From North to South: Chasing the Perfect Scallop Pie Across Tasmania


Adventured by Amanda “Cookie” Gardner

A Gastronomic Adventure Through Tasmania:
Amanda’s Scallop Pie Saga

Welcome to Amanda’s journey through the heart of Tasmania, where the quest wasn’t just for scenic vistas but for the ultimate scallop pie – a staple that captures the essence of Tasmanian comfort food. Over six weeks, Amanda’s mission led to sample an ambitious 16 scallop pies, all in the name of science (and a bit of gluttony). Here’s the lowdown on Amanda’s favourites, those that came close, and the pies that, well, didn’t quite hit the mark.

The Crème de la Crème

Best Curried Scallop Pie: Blue Seal Café Food Van, Eaglehawk Neck
Imagine a pie so transcendent that it becomes the sole reason for a return trip to Tasmania. The Blue Seal Café food van does just that. Nestled in Eaglehawk Neck, this van serves up a curried scallop pie so divine, I plan to camp out in their carpark on my next visit. The flaky pastry and the homemade curry sauce, enriched with seven perfectly cooked scallops, made every bite a piece of heaven.

Runner-Up: Richmond Bakery
Coming in at a respectable second, Richmond Bakery combines a light and flaky pastry with a curry that’s flavourful without being overpowering, accompanied by five succulent scallops.

Third Place: Stanley Nut Rock Café
A strong contender with a nicely balanced sauce and pastry, earning its spot in the top three.

Best Mornay Scallop Pie: McCarthy’s Bread Lounge, Ulverstone

Breaking the curry dominance, McCarthy’s Bread Lounge takes the crown for the best Mornay scallop pie. The combination of six scallops, thick mornay sauce, and the taste that lingered after every bite was unforgettable, placing it as my second favourite pie in all of Tassie.

The Rest of the Feast

The journey wasn’t all pie perfection. From the underwhelming three-scallop offering at Deloraine Town Café Bakery to the culinary misadventure that was Stanley Seafoods’ mornay pie, it was a roller coaster of flavours and experiences. Special mentions must go to Dunalley Bakery for their creamy curry sauce and to the Eaglehawk Neck Doo-Lishus van for their commendable attempt that echoed the Richmond pie’s qualities:

  • Banjo’s New Norfolk: A mild curry sauce with 4 scallops, though the pastry was less impressive.
  • Beaconsfield Jubilee Bakery: 7 scallops in a standard curry sauce – an okay pie, but there’s better.
  • Bicheno Bakery: Strong curry overpowered the 4 scallops – the pastry was nice, but overall too intense.
  • Deloraine Town Café Bakery: Only 3 scallops with an overpowering curry that masked the perfect pastry.
  • Derwent Bridge Hungry Wombat: Thick base pastry overshadowed the 4 scallops and curry filling.
  • Dunalley Bakery: 5 scallops in a creamy curry sauce, encased in nice pastry – one of the better pies.
  • Eaglehawk Neck Doo-Lishus van: Similar to Richmond’s filling, with 5 scallops and decent pastry.
  • Ross Café 31: A bit of a letdown with gluey sauce, despite a good initial impression.
  • Smiths Pies at Salamanca Markets: 7 scallops with a tasty, though slightly gluey, light curry sauce.
  • St Helens Bakery: Delicious mild curry sauce and pastry with 5 scallops.
  • Stanley Seafoods: Disappointing, with only 4 scallops and a tasteless mornay sauce.
  • Swansea The Horny Cray: 6 scallops in a soup-like curry sauce – top pastry was great, but the base turned soggy.

The Verdict

In a land where scallop pies are as varied as the landscapes, my pie pilgrimage was a testament to Tasmania’s culinary diversity. The Blue Seal Café food van’s pie was not just a meal, it was a revelation, setting the bar sky-high for curried scallop pies. Yet, every pie told a story, from the flaky pastries of Richmond Bakery to the heart warming mornay of McCarthy’s Bread Lounge.

Tasmania proved that it’s not just the destination that counts but the journey – especially when it involves scallop pies. And while I may not have been able to sample every pie on the island (a feat requiring at least six months, by my estimation), the adventure was a delicious testament to Tasmania’s gastronomic delights. From the sublime to the soggy, it was a pie odyssey to remember, and I can’t wait to do it all over again. Here’s to the next round of pies and the endless pursuit of pastry perfection!

Amanda’s Tasmania Adventure:
A Comprehensive Guide

In addition to my epicurean quest for the best scallop pie, my journey around Tasmania was a grand adventure that took me across breathtaking landscapes, through quaint towns, and into the heart of Tassie’s natural beauty. Here’s a closer look at the logistics of my Tasmanian lap, highlighting not just the culinary delights but the essence of traveling around this enchanting island.

Duration and Costs

  • Time Spent: 6.5 weeks, with a longing for an additional 8 weeks to fully explore and revisit the places that captured my heart.
  • Distance Covered: Approximately 4,100 kilometres, a testament to the island’s rich tapestry of experiences.
  • Total Spend: $3,900 (about $600 a week), covering everything from pies to petrol, and the occasional van hiccup.

Breakdown of Expenses:

  • Food and Incidentals: $1,813, which includes sustenance for both me and my dog, alongside necessary repairs for my van.
  • Gifts: $200 spent on mementos for friends, a small price for sharing a piece of Tassie.
  • Fuel: $988, the lifeline for our extensive exploration.
  • Entry Fees and Tickets: $315, for those must-see destinations and ferry rides across the water.
  • Camping: $584, thanks to a mix of free camping and paid sites, proving you don’t have to spend a fortune to enjoy Tasmania’s wild beauty.

Culinary Highlights:

Camping and Accommodation:

From the serenity of free camps to the unique charm of paid spots, Tasmania offers a plethora of options for every traveller. Some of my favourites include:

Parting Thoughts

Tasmania, with its stunning scenery, heart warming hospitality, and unforgettable camping spots, has left an indelible mark on my heart. The memories, the meals, and the miles travelled have woven a tapestry of experiences that beckon for a return. To those planning their own Tasmanian adventure, take it from me: allow plenty of time to explore, indulge in the local cuisine, and immerse yourself in the natural beauty. Tassie, I will be back, with an appetite for more adventures, more scallop pies, and an endless desire to discover every corner of your magnificent island.

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