Harry’s Cafe de Wheels
Much of the little I knew about Sydney prior to arrival came from multiple readings of Clive James’ Unreliable Memoirs. It was lovely to see this work referenced with a brass plaque at Circular Quay, a sight I saw on my way to another place he mentioned, Harry’s Cafe de Wheels in Woolloomooloo.
Having been trading since 1945, Harry’s is a real Sydney institution. Their speciality is pies served typically with mushy peas. Pies come in a number of different varieties but I stuck with the classic beef.
My eye was caught by a mention of something called a tiger which offered a pie, mash, peas and gravy for $7.80. This sounded worth investigating.
The counter woman ladled a dollop of mash, then a dollop of peas atop the pie. She then used the back of the ladle to create a well in the peas into which the gravy was poured. Ingenious!
I took my splendid tower of goodness over to one of the nearby benches and tucked in. While there may be some method to eat the pie and topping at the same time, I decided to attack the top first.
It proved to be absolutely delicious. The buttery mash was outstanding and the mushy peas just great. The gravy was excellent, too.
The pie matched the pepperiness of a scotch pie with the meaty chunks of a steak pie making it deeply satisfying. This was top notch stuff that really hit the spot.
So overall, Harry’s Cafe de Wheels served me a memorably good lunchtime feed. It’s easy to see why it’s a culinary icon in these parts. It serves until the wee small hours so I can see it being a very popular and restorative post-pub snack. I must try it in that context next time I’m in town.