Growing up in Australia, if you found yourself in a pie shop you were probably having a good time. It’s that kind of nostalgia that Aaron Donato, co-owner of Footscray’s Pie Thief, wants to tap into.
The tiny shop only has a few seats, but it's mostly geared towards takeaway. It has a bright colour palette of aqua, pink and yellow. Painted on the front counter is the official Pie Thief mascot, a misty-eyed little monster gazing up at the pies passed across the marble countertop.
The chef (and other co-owner) is Scott Blomfield, who worked as head chef at Mighty Boy and Grub Fitzroy, and as chef de partie at Supernormal before heading overseas to spend time cooking in France and Mexico. Returning to Melbourne, Blomfield became a regular at Donato’s other project, Bar Josephine (right next door to Pie Thief). The pair bonded over a love of pies.
The menu starts with familiar fillings: steak and cheese, bacon and egg. But it quickly veers in its own direction with a lasagne pie, a Thai red-chicken-curry version, and a vegan option with pumpkin, tofu and faux cheddar.
All the pies here are available in smaller, party-pie form, and if you can’t decide you can order a party-pie tasting paddle of four flavours for $12. Sausage rolls come in pork and fennel, and chicken parma, the latter with chicken mince, bacon and napoli on the inside, and more napoli and mozzarella on top.
All the pastry is made in-house, as is the old-school vanilla slice, which rounds out the menu. To drink, there’s hot Milo and milkshakes in chocolate, peanut butter and strawberry.