A trek alongside the Torrens River yields views of some delightful woodland and with the coots and moorhens doing the rounds on the riverbanks alongside the unwelcome predatory presence of the gulls and swans I’m transported back to dear old Bedford and a springtime walk along the Embankment. I say spring because, since leaving Perth, the weather’s been distinctly un-summery here in Adelaide.
Now I can completely empathise with how you chaps in the UK have had it these last few weeks…..
Stopping at an understatedly beautiful scene, I watch as the River Torrens lurks murkily away from view to behind a curtain of Red Gum Trees, Sheoaks, reeds and bullrushes. I glance across the bridge at what will become the venue for the last Pie Day Friday in Australia; an unremarkable looking kiosk situated at the end of the Par 3 on the North Adelaide Golf Course.
The course is a municipal one, but for location and backdrop alone rates fairly highly on those I’ve seen in Australia. It’s a nice little spot if a little windswept. I contemplate a quick round but being so near to New Zealand and so far from my last Caaaaalld One, I decide against it and the demons of self hate remain inside their despicable little hideout somewhere inside the back of my mind.
A pie sits in cellophane solitude in the golf shop’s pie warmer. The last turkey in the shop, though this will surely be variation on a theme of beef. South Australia must be the only state in which you can’t buy Four N’ Twenty’s or Pie Face goods, so I make do with the local equivalent: Vili’s.
The surface looks like a Day 4 one from up the road at The Oval. There’s so many cracks and marks on this, I’d have good money on Swannie getting a five-for on it. As is now standard I liberally smear the pie top with no frills tomato ketchup, which sticks obediently to the surface. Biting down, the pastry shoots out in magpie friendly flakes. The well-warmed beef is the hottest thing I think I’ve experienced in my time in Adelaide. The meat, minced, is like a Four N’ Twenty version of bovine gloop but with a stronger, more offal-like taste. The ketchup springs into multitask mode, acting as an adhesive to the brittle pastry, a welcome balm-like substance against the heat while also countering the over-strong kidney flavour. No wonder the humble red sauce is so revered in these parts.
The Vili’s pie does a job. Only just.
Going with a local metaphor; of the famous cricketing Chappell brothers who played here with such distinction in the 70s, this pie would definitely be Trevor.
And like Trevor, I can’t imagine this pie going down too well in New Zealand.