Location: 142 Cumberland Street, Toronto
Quick: name three dishes that come to mind when you think of food from New Zealand.
Yeah, me neither.
Suffice it to say, whatever New Zealand is known for, it’s probably not food (other than, of course, the ubiquitous New Zealand lamb).
Hemingway’s seems to be one of the only restaurants in the city representing Kiwi cuisine, with that representation being loose at best — its menu is dedicated almost entirely to generic pub staples like nachos, chicken wings, and burgers. The brunch menu, however, does have one dish of interest: the New Zealand Bacon and Egg Pie, which is described as “a New Zealand favourite.”
The pie is filled with bacon, eggs, onion, and peas, and wrapped in a flaky puff pastry crust. It reminded me a lot of the pies from the Pie Commission — but those pies are always delicious, so it’s like a bizzaro-world version of the Pie Commission, where the Pie Commission is lousy.
Yeah, it’s not great, unfortunately. The pie has two separate layers — a bottom layer of meat, and a top layer of egg. The egg is disastrously overcooked, with a rubbery white and a chalky, desiccated yolk. That alone is enough to sink the pie, but even the meat layer is underwhelming. Despite being crammed with bacon, the flavour is muddled, underseasoned and bland. It also had an underlying funkiness that I couldn’t quite put my finger on. It’s kind of unpleasant.
The crust was quite nice, though, with a good balance between substance and flakiness. It made an amiable attempt to save the pie, but alas, it was DOA.