Gerringong Bakery has brought a little more flair to the traditional “Aussie pie, tomato sauce and a stubbie” that you might typically find at the footy.
Bakery owner Grant Jamieson launched the idea for evening dining of gourmet pies with specialty relishes and chutneys, complemented by South Coast beers and wines, in September.
“No-one else is doing anything like this that I could see – it’s a little bit more creative,” Grant said.
“We have quite a big pie business – most of our revenue comes from our pie sales – so we’re just simply expanding on what we do well, and elevating a pretty good pie to something different as a nice meal.
“We’re pairing our pies with sauces, relishes and chutneys.
“We’ve got a number of Indian-inspired pies and we’re serving those with a choice of dahl or garlic mash.
“That gets served with chilli jams or mango chutneys and some minted raita and pappadums, fresh coriander.
“It makes for a nice and interesting meal.”
Grant took over the bakery in 2018 after extensive experience in the hospitality industry, including cheffing at a Sydney restaurant, Camden Valley Golf Club and running wood fired pizzerias in Nowra and Shoalhaven Heads, to name a few.
He then developed the pies and sausage rolls which for the past three years he’s entered into the annual Australia’s Best Pie Competition held in June.
“It attracted over 300 bakeries this year from around the country, from Tassie to Queensland,” he said.
“It’s a big event for bakeries.
“We’ve won a number of medals – silver and bronze – but haven’t gotten gold yet. It’s a stiff competition.”
Earlier this year, the bakery was approved for a liquor licence after a lengthy process, opening up the opportunity for an evening dining experience.
“We’re carrying a few local ales from Stoic Brewery in Gerringong. They’re quite innovative and always have something new happening there,” he said.
“We’ve got some Crooked River wines as well.
“It’s an on-premises licence so unfortunately we can’t do takeaway, but you can come in for a pie and a glass of wine or local beer.
“Gerringong needs some more dining options at night, so we thought we’d give people that option.
“It’s another option if they want to sit down and have something more than just a pie and sauce.
“Although, you’re welcome to come and take away a pie.”
Grant is now hoping to gain some traction with the evening menu to allow him to expand it.
“If there’s enough interest, hopefully I can open more than three nights a week,” he said.
“At the moment we’re just trying Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays.”
Much of the produce and products that help create the dishes are sourced from the South Coast region, including gourmet pickles, olives and olive oil from Kangaroo Valley, and various produce from Buena Vista Farm in Gerringong.
“Buena Vista Farm has got some beautiful goat cheeses which are seasonal and should be coming out again in November when they start milking again,” he said.
“We’ve got local honey from Gerringong – there’s three different hives around the back of Gerringong that all produce slightly different variations on a theme and different flavour profiles.
“We’re utilising some of those products from the local region.”
Examples of the pies on offer include spiced sweet potato pie on dahl, chilli jam and minted yoghurt; beef burgundy pie on garlic mash, aioli garlic prawn and red wine jus; and Bombay beef curry pie on dahl, mango chutney and minted yoghurt.
“There’s some side dishes of pickles, kimchi, kraut, some pickled zucchini, which is really nice with some rocket and nam jim dressing, which is a typical Southeast Asian sweet/spicy/sour combination that marries really well with the pie which counters those rich flavours, the heaviness of the pastry.
“It’s also good for the gut and aiding indigestion, which is good with a pie.
“So I’m trying to give some reasonably healthy aspects to the menu.”
Gerringong Bakery, located on Fern St, also stocks traditional cakes, sourdough breads and danishes, along with fruit loaf and baguettes on weekends.