On the first park-appropriate sunny afternoon of the season, this past Sunday found me lounging on Mont-Royal, enjoying tam-tams in Raybans and a tank-top (legs weren’t allowed out quite yet – didn’t want to blind all the children/dogs/men). Following a sojourn on the hillside, my friend and I eventually wound our way down to Parc Avenue, headed north with our sights set on Dairy Queen – that is, until our eyes fell upon a small, packed and happenin’ patio donning the Australian flag. Quoi!? Intrigued, we decided to enter the tiny shop, and in true Montreal fashion, we accidentally discovered a pure and simple diamond in the (not-so-)rough.
Tourtière Australienne (or, lovingly abbreviated to ta) is exactly the type of take-away/sit-down/‘ethnic’/food counter that serves a perfectly unique yet familiar combination of salty and sweet, in a way that naturally appeals to every demographic. Founded in 2009, native New Zealander chef Don Hudson aims to bring traditional Australian and New Zealand dinner and dessert-style pies to Montreal’s diverse food scene. As the name suggests, ta serves an expansive array of pie-like tarts filled with locally-purchased ingredients, including steak and cheese pie, Thai green curry pie, spinach-tomato-ricotta pie, and my personal favourite: butter chicken pie. Crikey.
Mini-tarts can be purchased hot, while larger, still-frozen, family-size pies are perfect for dinner parties and events. Ta, also whips up an assortment of desserts, most of which I’ve never encountered before, such as yoyos (custard shortbread sandwiched with passion fruit butter icing) and lamington (vanilla sponge cake sandwiched with strawberry jam, dipped in chocolate icing and rolled in coconut).
Above all, prices are very reasonable; pies range from $5 to $16 and individual desserts all hover around the $3 mark.
Lastly, it should be duly noted that rugby games often take place in the park adjacent to Parc Avenue, more or less across from ta. Rugby players in your close vicinity, and butter chicken in your pie – both served up hot? Feeling it.
Tourtière Australienne – 4520 Parc.
~ Tyler Yank