Bay of Plenty Times reporters took the opportunity to taste Tauranga pie king Pat Lam's Bakels New Zealand supreme award-winning roast pork and creamy mushroom pie yesterday to see just how good it really is, writes Kiri Gillespie.

There's usually no shortage of reporters wanting to taste food, and sure enough, we got three willing - John Cousins, Peter Williams and myself.

Our colleague who went to Patrick's Pies Cafe in Bethlehem to collect them had to wait for a new batch of pies to be baked because the store had already sold out -- and the news of his win hadn't even been announced yet.

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Soon enough, the soft, savoury smell of pie pastry wafted through the newsroom and flakes of golden pastry soon fell onto plates as the three of us began the serious job of finding out why this pie was such a winner.

Immediately, the dense filling of tender roast pork encased by creamy mushrooms, cheese and a smattering of caramelised onions within pastry showed this pie meant business. The filling was generous hunks of meat and slices of mushrooms winking at you. (Did I mention I really like mushrooms?)

Then you notice the flavour. Firstly, the tender pork complemented by a strong creamy mushroom taste. After a few seconds, you notice the sweetness of caramelised onions knitting the pie's flavour together right there on your palate.

Pat Lam's roast pork and creamy mushroom pie won the Bakels New Zealand Supreme Pie Award. Photo/supplied
Pat Lam's roast pork and creamy mushroom pie won the Bakels New Zealand Supreme Pie Award. Photo/supplied

This is, in my view, a pie to take your time with and really enjoy. (Did I mention I really like pies?)

Cousins said the pie had great consistency, genuinely large chunks of meat "and I thought it was a good combination of flavours".

"It's definitely not a scoffing pie; it's a gourmet pie," he said.

Cousins said although the pie was savoury, it had a sweet undertone.

Williams remarked on the light pastry and generous filling. He also said the pie had a good flavour.


We rated the pie a solid 9.5, 9 and 9.5 out of 10.

We probably ate the pie in just as many seconds. It was delicious.