International pi day is a filling equation, any way you slice it

As mathematicians and foodies around the world celebrate 3.1415, Mischa Moselle examines the top of the city's pie charts

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 12 March, 2015, 3:26pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 12 March, 2015, 4:53pm

You may think it’s too early for us to be talking about pies – the rugby sevens doesn’t start for another couple of weeks. But this coming Saturday is March 14th 2015, or 3.1415 to North Americans and maths nerds – that’s the magic number you learnt at school to calculate the area of a circle. That’s only a fraction of the 2.7 trillion digits that pi has apparently been calculated to, but that won’t stop the world’s maths buffs from celebrating the day by eating, what else, but pie.

Hong Kong’s most famous pies are the egg tarts from Tai Cheong Bakery in Central, beloved not just by locals but the last British governor Chris "Fat Pang" Patten. Would it be cheeky to wonder what his circumference might be? 

More indulgent is the pumpkin pie with bourbon ice cream at the Whisky Bar in Hullett House, Tsim Sha Tsui, where if you want to match it with a drink, there are more than 90 whiskies, bourbons and rye to choose from.

For the other all-American pie, there is the memorable apple pie at Burger Circus in Hollywood Road, thickly stuffed with fruit, some of which had been cooked to soft and some left crunchy and flavoured with just a hint of cinnamon.

While soul food restaurant Restoration in Central has earned admiration for its lime pie, the rich pecan pie in New Orleans private kitchen Magnolia in Sheung Wan takes the biscuit for local dessert aficionados. Chef Lori Granito’s fans are usually happy to trust her to cook what she wants on her frequently changing menu but the one item they won’t let her take off that menu is the pecan pie.

The less-sweet toothed will prefer something more savoury. For home consumption we’re happy to recommend the steak pie or chicken pie from Marks & Spencer, with their plentiful fillings and high quality pastry.

For a special occasion we have to vote for the warm, young rabbit pie at Spoon. The restaurant’s executive chef Stephane Gortina tells us, “The meat of the rabbit is mixed with foie gras, pork belly, savoy cabbage and an aromatic garnish that includes onions and carrots.”

While the dough is a traditional pie dough made with flour and eggs it’s enriched with duck fat and the whole deal comes with a sauce made from rabbit stock and red wine, reduced for several hours and mixed with more foie gras.

This French dish should satisfy the pickiest, but we do wonder what Spanish mathematicians will be eating. Surely not paella?