22 February, 2016

Cream Stew Pie (クリームシチューパイ) - Sapporo, Japan - February 2016

A crust that reminds me of the 2009 Triangle Pie series. 

Consumed on 09 February 2016
Location - McDonald's Susukino, Sapporo, Hokkaido, Japan
Price - 150JPY = $1.33USD
Calories - 235kcal

McDonald's Japan Cream Stew Pie Box

Luckily for my waistline, this was the 3rd and final item that I tried on that snowy February afternoon in Sapporo (but don't worry, there's still one more item I was able to find in Japan about a week and half later). Since I was far more excited to try both the McChocolate Potato and the Unnamed Burger, the final promotional item being sold at the time, the Cream Stew Pie, didn't really make it on my radar.  I had only briefly noticed the pie being promoted on the website, and had forgotten about it completely prior to entering the branch for lunch. This also meant that I went it with absolutely no idea was pie this was supposed to be!  The menu, the promotional posters inside the restaurant, and the packaging had its name only written out in Japanese. I felt this was a good one to go in blind for, so I only Google Translated the name after my first bite.

The pie was served as hot as a McDonald's pie should be, and even though I this branch had run out of the Chocolate Fries promotional packaging, this pie at least was served in it's intended, promotional box. Since I had no idea what I was getting myself into, what peaked my interest at first was that it wasn't using the traditional McDonald's fried apple pie crust, but it had almost a flaky filo pastry look and feel to it.  I took my first bite, and was surprised with the creaminess of the pie filling, and I could immediately tell it was veggie based. When the cream subsided I was hit with a flavour that didn't agree with me at all, so I quickly whipped out my phone to finally discover that it was a Cream Stew Pie. When I passed it over to The Wife so she could give it a try, the rather unpleasant looking brown/green "stew" filling spilled out of the crust, and I'll admit it had to be some of the ugliest pie filling I've ever had.  I also finally figured out what that one taste was that I didn't like, as the filling was made of cream, onions, potato, corn, and aoki mushroom chunks...I know there's a pretty large new user base reading the blog, but long time readers will know well that I'll eat pretty much anything on this planet, but I utterly despise mushrooms, even though I've almost tried to stomach them before in the name of a review.

After The Wife had a good laugh about me actually eating mushrooms, I went back for another bite (but not before picking out any potential mushroom pieces out), and although the filling was ugly, at least it tasted pretty good.  The base was heavy on potato and onion, and it tasted like there was white pepper and potentially even a bit of mustard in there as well, which gave a nice deep, flavour which was only made better by being so bitterly cold outside. It was also surprisingly filling, even though it has less calories and fat than a standard Apple Pie.  When I usually go in expecting to review savoury pies like this, I often go in expecting them to pretty gross, as I, like many others I would imagine only grew up with sweet, fruit filled pies, so options like the Spinach Pie just sound to strange to be good. Sure, a few have been real big misses, but they often surprise me more often than not. 

The flaky pastry crust also complemented this type of filling perfectly, and I felt if they had tried to serve it with a standard crust it likely wouldn't have worked as nearly as well as it did.  Another benefit (only for me) was there wasn't more than 4-5 pieces of mushrooms inside the pie, so they were picked out easily, but I could see if you enjoy mushrooms that you might have been underwhelmed. I also felt like they could have used a bit more corn as well, as the few kernels that were inside were nice, and a few more could have given the pie a near perfect score. 

Rating 4/5

In my search for some official McDonald's photos of the pie, I stumbled upon a YouTube video of a commercial created solely for the pie. Enjoy!