If you’re going to do something, do it right.
That’s the mantra of Pieminister, Cardiff’s latest food fixture. However, But their definition of ‘doing it right’ means making as many variations of it as possible.
“We’ve got the pie,” said Tristan Hogg, co-founder of the pie chain, “and we want to sell it as many different ways as possible.” This however, does not by any means, mean they attempt to mass produce millions of flavoured pie he points out. “The essence of a good pie will always be the same,” Tristan asserted.
This ethos of conjuring up a whole heap of top quality pie fillers was born when Tristan sat down with his brother-in-law Jon, with a bottle of wine, and they made a list of 120 names for different pies. “Since then, over ten years ago, we haven’t had to really look for anymore flavours,” joked Tristan, who used to be a touring chef before giving birth to Pieminister.
The opening of the Cardiff joint brings Pieminister’s tally up to a total of ten restaurants, although Tristan never dreamed it would snowball the way it has. “This is our tenth shop, including three in London, two in Bristol and two up north,” he explained, “but it’s funny because we haven’t meant to roll them out… it just kind of happened.”
Since opening their first restaurant, out of an old printing shop in Bristol back in 2003, the family run business has come a long way and eyed Cardiff for the next notch on their belt (I may actually have to make new notches on my belt as I’ll be a regular here) six months ago. “We go wherever we have a bit of a following,” said Tristan. “Cardiff’s got a good booze scene too and pies go with that!” he continued. Having built up a legion of fans in the capital from catering festivals, they will finally be opening after turning an empty shell of a vacant lot into their new Welsh home.
Although their best sellers remain the traditional flavours such as steak and ale, the restaurant offers an array of different fillings and flavours, ranging from venison and dry cured bacon to goat’s cheese, sweet potato, spinach and red onion, as well as ‘lighter’ pies for those dead set on getting a tight bod for summer! All of which are made with British meat. “We are the only pie company of our size to use free range chicken,” Tristan added, “we always use UK meat so you won’t find any horse in our pies!”
Accompanying the core menu of pies, are a selection of sides, including sweet potato fries (yeah I’m a poet and I definitely know it!), and a tidy beer and drinks menu to wash it all down with! “We like to tap into local breweries,” said the co-owner, and their menu boasts brews from The Celt Experience as well as ales from Bristol Beer Factory and Wild Beer.
With their opening, Cardiff’s booming food scene gets another welcome, pastry topped boost.