After lunch at Mamak on the Saturday I was in Sydney, I walked around Chinatown and Haymarket, mostly just window shopping. I mentioned in one of my AudioBoos how torturous it was walking past all the glorious sights and delicious smells in Chinatown, watching people sucking on noodles and seeing roast ducks and barbecue pork hanging in restaurant windows, looking all succulent and shiny. I was especially sad I was too full to get a snack at one of the Asian bun and cake shops. It all looked so good. Next time! (Yes, that “next time” list is awfully long! :P)
I hung around until I got hungry again, because 1) I was hellbent on having a curry tiger pie, having wanted one for more than two years (yes, really!) and 2) I knew if I went back to the hotel, I’d get comfortable and lazy and wouldn’t be bothered trudging all the way back down George Street to get one. This would be my only chance to eat a curry tiger on this trip – three nights in Sydney had left me with a pretty tight eating schedule. :)
As the menu shows, Harry’s Cafe De Wheels specialises in pies. But you can get hot dogs (Jac’s had a Harry’s Hot Dog De Wheels, and my brother-in-law JM told me how much he loves the chilli dogs), a sausage roll or pastie, or even a bacon and egg roll at breakfast time. But if you’re a pie lover like me, you will only have eyes for the pies. ;)
The tiger pie is topped with mashed potato, mushy peas and gravy and served with a fork. You can choose from 4 different pies for your tiger: chicken and mushroom, cheese and bacon, vegetable or curry. I was tempted to try one of the other pies this time around, especially the chicken and mushroom, but no – I’d craved a curry tiger and that’s what I would order.
I ordered my curry tiger (AU$5.60) and watched greedily as the cheerful man at the counter used an ice cream scoop to plop the mashed potato on top of the pie and continued to add the mushy peas and pour on the gravy. Carefully carrying my precious pie, I sat down at one of the tables. Be warned, if you’re not familiar with this Harry’s, the surroundings are dirty and not the most appealing or appetising; the tables have dried streaks of tomato sauce on them, and you may need to brush away the pastry flakes left by whoever sat at the table before you did. But it’s takeaway, it’s street food (you’re literally sitting at a table on the side of the road :)), and many people eat at Harry’s Cafe De Wheels after a hard night of partying rather than at lunch or dinner time. One of the great things about Harry’s is most of them are open until late at night or really early in the morning. If you’re a late-night/early morning Harry’s customer you probably won’t notice or care about all the dirt and crumbs and litter around you (it will probably be too dark anyway!). Me, I noticed the grimy surroundings (I was there a little past 6pm), but I was too busy breathing in the smell of hot brown gravy to care. :)
It was just as good as I remembered. I fell in love all over again with the curry tiger. And like the first time, I was mesmerised by the shiny pool of gravy in the centre of the mushy peas.
Gravy, mushy peas, mashed potato all piled on top of a curry meat pie probably sounds like the most ghastly combination ever, but it’s hot and delicious, savoury and comforting, it’s soft yet crispy, and it works. Every dig of the fork through the layers of gravy, peas, potato, pastry and curry was sheer pleasure. I even enjoyed hearing the crackle of the paper bag underneath the pie as I dug in with the fork. Every mouthful was heaven.
Listen to my first bites of curry tiger pie
In case you didn’t listen to it previously, or would like to listen to it again, here’s the AudioBoo I recorded as I had my first bites of the curry tiger pie. You can also read the transcript if you prefer. Curry tiger pie boo (audio)
I wish we had a Harry’s Cafe De Wheels in Perth!
Harry’s Cafe De Wheels
I went to the Haymarket Harry’s, which is located on Hay Street (near corner of George St) next to Paddy Maguire’s Pub, Haymarket, NSW
Phone (02) 9281 6292
See all Harry’s Cafe De Wheels locations
Harry’s Cafe De Wheels Newcastle
See my write-up of Harry’s Cafe De Wheels Newcastle from January 2008, in which Jac ate a Harry’s Hot Dog De Wheels, we shared a chicken and cheese pie and I ate a Curry Tiger for the first and only other time.
Harry’s Cafe De Wheels Newcastle – location and opening hours
Harry’s Cafe De Wheels Sydney Airport
There is now a Harry’s Cafe De Wheels at Sydney Airport! Not wanting to eat anything too substantial before my flight back to Perth, I just took a photo (and then went straight to Krispy Kreme to get doughnuts for Jac, Juji and Jay :)).
Harry’s Cafe De Wheels, Sydney Airport – location and opening hours
See the list of posts from my Sydney trip.