The drive from Perth to Northam takes you past the town of Bakers Hill (no apostrophe). Originally known as Mount Baker when established in 1897, the name was changed several years later to avoid confusion with the town of Mount Barker in the Great Southern region.* The Bakers Hill Pie Shop serves as the town’s best sign post and most famous landmark.
It’s a pie shop, a milk bar for the locals and a refreshment stop for travellers on Great Eastern Highway. Get your morning essentials here: newspaper, bread, milk… and pies.
We arrived at 8.15am on a Saturday morning. The ladies behind the counter were busily serving half a dozen customers.
I chose a table while Jac waited in line to get our breakfast. There’s colourful artwork on the walls, along with a price list, in case you’d like to buy one of the paintings.
My first choice is usually chicken and vegetable, but they wouldn’t be ready for another 20-25 minutes. Staying in the chicken pie family, I had the choice of satay chicken or chicken, asparagus and bacon.
When I pulled my chicken asparagus and bacon pie (AU$5.70) out of the bag, I thought I’d made a bad decision. It’s not a particularly handsome pie.
But one bite and I was hooked: the chunks of chicken, bacon and chopped asparagus were smothered in a tasty thick white sauce. The old saying “don’t judge a book by its cover” proved true.
Jac ordered steak and kidney (AU$5.50) and was impressed with the saucy, meaty filling with chunks of steak and (slightly smaller) pieces of kidney.
I took a sniff of the steak and kidney gravy and declined a taste… the unmistakable bloody whiff of offal. No wonder Jac liked it. Have I ever told you one of my nicknames for her (with great affection) is Organ Breath? Are you a steak and kidney fan?
The pies were terrific but the sausage roll (AU$3.80) was disappointing. We found it dry, with a rubbery filling.
Sweet tooths can skip the pie warmer and agonise over the sweet pastries and cakes instead.
These weren’t the best pies we’ve ever eaten, and I’m not sure I’ll be keen to take another chance with the sausage rolls – ours was really disappointing. But you know, there’s something about this pie shop – as long as they keep baking, it’ll continue to be an oasis on the utilitarian road to wheatbelt country. If we ever find ourselves on this part of Great Eastern Highway, I’m sure we’ll stop for another pie. And maybe next time, a cream and jam lamington too.
Got a great pie shop to share?
Bakers Hill Pie Shop
4671 Great Eastern Highway
Bakers Hill WA 6562
Telephone: (08) 9574 1408
Open 7 days, 6am to 6pm
There’s plenty of parking next to the shop.
We went to Northam recently to attend the Avon Valley Gourmet Food & Wine Festival and Long Table Dinner.
*Incidentally, there’s a pie shop in Mount Barker too.