It was a venison, red wine and portobello pie Matti Fallon tried at Fergbaker in Queenstown, New Zealand that got him thinking seriously about pies.
The chef was once behind upscale Scandinavian eatery DuNord, and worked at Mamasita, but the thought of being in another high-end kitchen didn’t appeal. And that pie spoke to him.
At Princes, Fallon and his small team make everything on-site, slow-cooking beef and lamb from Little Creek Farm in Coldstream. Each day he roasts the bones and makes a jus from the reduction. Herbs are from Fallon’s mum’s garden.
Pie cases at Princes have a high butter content, giving them an old-fashioned, homemade taste and iconic Four’n Twenty look. Together with Tom Jacobson of Changz, Fallon has made an all-natural tomato sauce, called Dead Horse.
The pies range from classic – mince and cheese, pepper steak, lamb and potato – to boutique: lamb, truffle and goat’s cheese. There’s also a borderline-obscene take on the sausage roll: pork, apple and fennel wrapped in prosciutto. Using ethical, antibiotic- and hormone-free meat is of paramount importance to Fallon.
The 22-square-metre shopfront has vintage crockery, two-up sets, a huge black mirror and some ’70s wooden stools.