I have been a major fan of Australian meat pies since I was a small boy. From school lunches, to party pies at social functions, to a half-time treat at the football, a pie with tomato sauce is one of my most favourite foods. I have probably been eating pies at an average of about two per week for almost 60 years so you can imagine the withdrawal symptoms when I moved to Indonesia where meat pies are a rarity and a good Aussie version was effectively non-existent.
A couple of years ago I found some frozen Australian Mrs. Macs pies in an expatriate supermarket in Jakarta for $15.50 each!! The only thing worse than not having a pie is having to pay extortionate rates to buy one. It really affects the taste for me so I refused to buy such an outrageous offering. A number of Indonesian bakers and restaurants have attempted to make a real Aussie pie, but as a connoisseur I can confirm that all those that I have tried, and I try every single attempt that I find, have been a disappointment. In desperation I resorted to bringing some pies and sausage rolls back in my check-in luggage. You can guess the disastrous outcome.
Then I discovered Santi’s Pies. Perfect pies, just like home. Problem solved. Santi is an Indonesian lady with a Pommy husband, Keith, who is also very fond of pies. One day, Keith asked Santi to try to make an Aussie style meat pie and to his delight she produced an outstanding result. Keith was so impressed with Santi’s product that he suggested that she could make a small business from selling these pies to the expatriate community in Jakarta. Keith was right, Santi made her first pie on the 3rd of May 2014. She recently sold her 25,000th pie and business is growing every week after a significant dip due to the oil and gas and mining downturn. Santi principally uses word of mouth and Facebook to promote her product and has an active list of mainly retail customers ordering via phone and email but also has golf societies and a number of commercial outlets buying her products.
The beef is sourced in Jakarta from an importer with well-known Australian suppliers including Nolans Meats, T&R, Harvey etc. High quality local fresh beef is also used. And the prices of the pies are very reasonable at AUD $5.75 including delivery all over Jakarta and its suburbs, as long as the order is for 8 or more pies. Who on earth would order less than 8 pies?
Despite the firm prices of imported Aussie beef and the introduction of much cheaper Indian product, Santi has resisted trading off quality for price. See below a post from her website making it very clear to all of her customers that Indian buffalo will never be included in her pies.
Anyone wishing to contact Santi to order some pies can find her at https://santispremiumpies.com/