No matter how long you’ve been living abroad, whether in Japan or elsewhere, sometimes you want a taste of home. For some, it could be a hearty macaroni and cheese casserole, for others it may be a bit of biltong. For many Aussies and New Zealanders though, there’s nothing like a good meat pie* and finally, it looks like those pie prayers have been answered.
*or veggie pie, for vegetarians
Saint Makes Sinful Treats
Husband and wife team Kif and Noriko Saint go above and beyond satisfying their antipodean (and other) friends’ needs at their pie shop, Punk Doily. It’s only a leisurely 5-minute stroll from Kohumbutsu Station on the Oimachi line and a slightly longer, 15-minute walk from Jiyugaoka Station. First timers may be unsure whether they’ve reached the right spot upon arrival, as the shop is located in a rather unconventional location — the third floor of a red brick church. Not to fear though, several Punk Doily signs guide the way up, as well as a string of fairy lights when you finally arrive at the top floor. Turn around the corner and you’ll see a lovely open balcony — this is where the magic happens, and a heaven of pies, sausage rolls, and deep, rich coffee awaits.
Punk Doily opened just before Christmas in 2017, initially selling mostly cake, coffee, and sausage rolls. The sausage rolls especially proved to be a hit, which got Kif to consider making pies as well, and the rest, as they say, is history. As for the name, it came up after several brainstorming sessions. “Suddenly at 2 or 3 in the morning I stopped at that one and it stuck,” Kif says.
Made With Heart and Quality Ingredients
It doesn’t seem like an exaggeration to say that eating a Punk Doily pie is close to a spiritual experience. The IPA meat pie uses BrewDog brand IPA, which gives it depth, while the melt-in-the-mouth steak pie uses red wine to enhance the flavor of the meat. The pork, apple, and cider pie is a tender and juicy mixture that has a touch of sweetness to create a well-balanced pie. The pork used for both this pie and all the sausage rolls is potato-fed pork, shipped in from Hokkaido. The chicken and mushroom pie is a new addition, with tender chicken thigh, fragrant leeks, basil, and cream in a crisp shortcrust pastry.
When asked about how his pies compare with back home, Kif responded, “There are a lot of cheaper pie options in Oz and NZ now, so a lot of people know pies made with shortening and cheap meat stock gravy to bulk it out. That’s not what you’re going to get here.”
The Saints use only the best ingredients, including a mixture of Australian and New Zealand cheddar, grass-fed butter from New Zealand, and fresh fruits for the sweeter pies. “The secret to a really good pie,” Kif says, “is really, really good butter. And lots of it.”
Other Delicacies for Your Piehole
The Punk Doily pair are always cooking up something new and experimenting with ingredients and testing new flavors, and offerings aren’t limited to pies. During early autumn, pumpkin pies and Bramley apple pies made appearances and ahead of the Christmas season, mince pies will be on the menu. Other inviting treats include mikan marmalade flourless cakes, flourless chocolate cake, sausage rolls with fennel or sage — the list goes on.
As a pairing for these delicious treats, Punk Doily serves a selection of lattes, flat whites, and tall blacks using beans from Mojo Coffee, a New Zealand roastery that has some cafés in Japan as well.
To know what’s cooking, keep an eye on the Punk Doily Facebook page, where Kif keeps his followers up to date on his latest escapades and gives an idea of what will be available the following weekend.
For those with special requests — including an assurance of savory vegetarian options — contacting the shop in advance is your best bet. Punk Doily also delivers, for those not keen on heading out to the shop itself, although you’ll be doing yourself a disservice, as a chat with Kif is one of the highlights during a visit here.
It may seem like an overstatement, but we firmly believe that if meat pies were eligible for Michelin stars, Punk Doily would get a solid three. Then again, there’s no need to take our word for it — one bite and you’ll know what we mean.
For more info and how to get there, see our Concierge listing
Or, for some alternative sweet pie options, check out our pie roundup: