A Food & Travel Blog

Ta Pies – Aussie Lunch in Montreal

12/01/2015 | By

Lamingtons a long way from home - in Ta Pies, Montreal.

Lamingtons a long way from home – in Ta Pies, Montreal.

I’ve said it before – Canada is full of surprises, but the last thing I expected to see in a small shop on the chic streets of Montreal was a jar full of lamingtons. I was having a divinely chocolate based day in Montreal, with visits to some of the best chocolatiers in the city. At the end of the morning my Tourisme Montreal friend, Hugo, announced that he had one more little surprise venue to show me. Tucked back just a little on Avenue du Parc is an unobtrusive, single-fronted store with the cryptic sign “Ta” out the front.

A cunning play on words, “ta” is not only Australian slang for “thanks”, but also short for “Tourtière Australienne” – or Australian Pies. Ta bakery and pie shop was created by New Zealand-born/Australian resident chef Don Hudson and his Quebecoise/Australian wife Melanie. Don moved to Montreal in 2008, but pined for some of his favourite foods from home. Of course there are pies in North America, but (up until the recent spate of ‘hand-pies’ I’ve noticed on Pinterest) they are generally a full sized family dish, not the individual meal in a bag we are used to here down-under.

Ta Pies, Montreal.

Ta Pies, Montreal.

Don and Melanie decided that the antipodean culinary culture had something to offer the stylish Quebecoise and opened their store in 2010, offering a decidedly up-market, gourmet, single-serve pie. They produce a range which includes butter chicken, rogan josh, steak and mushroom or the Ned Kelly, all served hot with a big squirt of tomato sauce. For locals of more delicate sensibilities they also provide their range in family sizes and frozen for more decorous consumption in the privacy of their own home.

Ta Pies, Montreal.

Ta Pies, Montreal.

Not wanting to limit the Aussie experience just to main course, Don also produces rum balls, pavlovas, trifle and Anzacs for dessert. Homesick Australian and New Zealand tourists will be thrilled to know that they can also source familiar treats such as Milo, Cherry Ripe bars, Tim Tams, Vegemite and Marmite (shudder) at Ta, too. (Quite frankly, I can’t imagine searching out Tim Tams with all of the other gourmet treats available in Montreal, but there you go – there’s horses for courses.)

Melanie Des Lauriers of Ta Pies, Montreal.

Melanie Des Lauriers of Ta Pies, Montreal.

And – credit where it’s due – with beautifully flaky pastry on top and rich, generous fillings I can see how these pies have romanced the locals. They aren’t half bad. For a Kiwi baker.  😉

While in Montreal Lambs’ Ears and Honey was a guest of the Canadian Tourism Commission and Tourisme Montreal.

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  1. Maureen | Orgasmic Chef
    12/01/2015

    You are reminding me that I didn’t make a tourtière pie for Christmas Eve this year. John isn’t all that fond of it but I love it. I think you have to go to midnight mass in order to like it. 🙂

    I love what this couple have done with our Aussie favourites!

  2. Lizzy (Good Things)
    12/01/2015

    Wow, that would have been a surprise and a real treat! Lovely story Amanda.

  3. Anna @ shenANNAgans
    12/01/2015

    Wow, what a treat. I do enjoy travel, a lot, but being able to experience a tasty bite of home is special too. Especially the vegemite. 🙂 HA!

  4. Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella
    12/01/2015

    I found that in America, the pies are usually sweet. Quebec has the tourtierre as you’ve mentioned but they’ve got some really interesting sweet pies too. Good to hear that they’re delicious!

  5. InTolerant Chef
    14/01/2015

    What a wonderul treat indeed! Yay for us in the Southern Hemisphere 🙂

  6. Hotly Spiced
    16/01/2015

    If I was living in Canada, I’d love a store like this. I think I’d be really homesick for all the goodies we get back home that are uniquely Australian. What a great little find! xx