I blame the Food Channel - it showed a documentary on Sydney’s Harry’s Cafe de Wheels and its saliva-inducing Tiger Pie, a meat pie topped with mushy peas & gravy. I’d been to this Sydney dining icon on Woolloomooloo, formerly a wharf but gentrified beyond recognition in the past couple of decades. Now I suddenly developed a yearning for the Tiger Pie, but Sydney is 17,000km away!
The next best option? Go to local chippy, Rock & Sole Plaice, order the components and construct a Tiger pie oneself. We’re paying London prices here: a beef and onion pie costs £7.50, mushy peas are £2 and gravy £1.50 (!!).
Tourists flock here for the fish and chips - pretty expensive as we’re in the tourist belt. Cod, plaice or haddock costs £14.50 for a regular piece and £17.50 for large. The chips that came with the fish were, honestly, pretty awful: chunky and soggy eventhough the well-staffed serving counters seemed to be turning those out a la minute.
The place is purportedly 147-years-old now. What gives? Anyway, its central location and proximity to the West End theatres doubtlessly work in its favour. Plus its very casual ambience and long operating hours - it’s one of those places where one feels that one can conveniently drop in at any time.
So, @Harters, it was already that way 10 years ago! But it’s doing well relative to the places down at Soho - Hoppers, the current darling of Frith Street occupied the old location of Roka, whilst next door, I remembered dining at @Siam Thai restaurant. Here today, gone the next.
I went there with visitors once on their insistence. To be honest, that day it wasn’t that bad. I remain sad that these particular visitors have yet to experience a really local fish and chips and only these sorts of tourist-trap places to think about. One day…! Those prices! But, seriously, pie with gravy!!! I’m envious.