25 June 2018
Addicted to that great Aussie classic, the pie? You’ll be well served in the Bunbury Geographe region, as Cassandra Charlick finds out.
It’s one of the obligatory things about growing up in Australia. The distances are wide and the pit stops are plentiful so an Aussie meat pie and an iced coffee is an unmissable tradition when you hit the road. I’ve trekked the tarmac to find the best in the region for your next visit down south.
The perfect pit stop on the way down south, you can’t miss The Crooked Carrot’s sign on Forrest Highway in Myalup as you head for your holidays. Previously known as The Emu Pie Shop, the pies here are definitely worth pulling over for. Enjoy them in their funky, recently refurbished dining area, or grab a take away along with some fresh produce from their on-site marketplace. You’ll find uniquely Australian flavours like kangaroo and pepperberry, emu with lemon myrtle, chicken with anise myrtle, and crocodile with strawberry gum. For an ever-so-slightly more traditional approach, there’s Moroccan lamb and venison in Shiraz. This is the place for a gourmet pie fest with bushtucker flavours in spades. Stock up on homemade chutneys, preserves and baked treats to keep the blood sugar levels up for the rest of the road trip.
Cnr Rigg Rd and Forrest Highway, Myalup.
Smallwater Estate’s owner John Small has been warned by faithful customers – don’t take the pie off the menu. Its reputation for sensational pies is well-deserved; its decadently divine melt-in-your-mouth marron and chardonnay pies are legendary. Marron plucked fresh from the dam and chardonnay from the neighbouring vines are indeed a match made in heaven. But a warning – at $45 it’s not one for the road with a packet of tomato ketchup. Take the opportunity to waste some time, savour every bite and enjoy the views overlooking the picturesque, multi-award winning vineyard.
52 Tramline Road, Newlands.
DARDANUP BAKERY, DARDANUP
This bakery truly is a hidden gem. Well worth a detour when you’re near Bunbury, the pies and sausage rolls sell out daily from this russet-red corrugated iron magnet for pie lovers, so be sure to get in quick. The whizz in the kitchen is a chef with a long international pedigree who
has chosen the quiet life in the countryside – luckily for the tastebuds of Dardanup locals. Drawing on German influences, the breads and pastries are too good to miss as well – don’t forget to take a vanilla slice for the road.
13 Charlotte Street, Dardanup.
The Official Great Aussie Pie Competition has some serious contenders, so it’s no mean feat that this little café in Balingup has been scooping up plenty of top gongs recently. They won a silver medal for their pork and mushroom in cream cider sauce while the creamy chicken, leek and bacon took out a bronze medal too. Veggie-lovers will go nuts for the luscious creamy mushroom pie (well, it is called The Mushroom after all).
31 Bridgetown Road, Ballingup.
THE PASSIONATE BAKERY, BUNBURY
Master Baker John Carey has 43 years of meat pie mastery to draw on and is behind the tasty treats at this Bunbury favourite. The Passionate Bakery is located in the heart of the City of 3 Waters, and with a long list of awards, interesting flavours that change regularly and the added bonus of scrumptious cakes, slices and tray bakes on offer, this is passionate baking indeed.
50 Spencer Street, Bunbury.
ALSO DON’T MISS – Make sure you try other top pie bakeries in the region –such as Boyanup, Capel Bakehouse and Donnybrook Family Bakery.