A couple of people now have told me about how good the pies are at Jaylea's Patisserie, so I thought it time I checked them out. With the whispered promise of pastries, I bribed the little one into the car and we headed out to Willagee. On first impressions, Jaylea's appears to be a typical bakery in a typical non-descript local shopping strip, until you venture inside and check out the rows and rows of Show certificates and blue ribbons festooning the walls, and realise these guys are pretty serious about pies. They've been plied with awards from everyone from the Royal Agricultural Society of WA and the Baking Industry Employers of WA to the Great Aussie Meat Pie Competition.
After much hemming and hawwing and mucking about, we chose two multi-award winning pies, the mince and the steak and cheese. Now there's no way that I'm a meat pie aficionado or anything like that, but anyone with a mouth could tell that these pies are very, very good. Firstly, there's no watery gravy overflow when you bite into them. Secondly, they hold their shape (and content) beautifully, from the very first to the very last mouthful, thanks to a solid casing of buttery, flaky pastry. No spillage, which is, for me, a minor miracle. Thirdly, the fillings are top notch. No tell-tale aftertaste of preservatives and great quality ingredients. The mince was fine, tasty and lump-free, with a thick sauce and no dodgy gristle. The steak in the steak and cheese pie was tender and delicate. At $4 a pop on average they're pretty pricey, but they certainly fill a hole. Oh, and they're available cold so you can freeze them. Cool.
Jaylea's are at 76 Archibald Street, Willagee.