When you haven't had Western food for five weeks, there is literally nothing better than gorging on a gooey pecan pie or crunching up the crumbly coconut topping on a homemade banoffee. All made so much sweeter by the fact that a great friend has thought up and handmade all the pies using family recipes from back at home.
What Roel was missing most from home back then was the Dutch pies his Grandma and mum made. China is pretty rubbish when it comes to desserts. They don't really have sweet treats and aren't so good with milky/creamy food. Cheese, cream and custard are hard to find cheaply. So, Roel decided to change this.
He had noticed a gap in the market and the idea of creating a business selling homemade Dutch pies in Shanghai, bringing what he loved from home to China appealed.
Over four years later, I am back in Shanghai to see and taste Roel's delicious pies and witness them being lapped up and enjoyed across the city by both Chinese and expats. Huge congratulations to Roel and Vicky on their success. It has clearly been an insane amount of hard work (and still is) but Dutch Pies in Shanghai is totally spot on. They look great and they taste even better. If you are in Shanghai, seek out a Dutch pie and if you see a blonde Dutch man frantically preparing smoothies, whipping up a pie or cracking opening a beer, please give him a hug from me.
We tried the pecan pie, the rice pudding pie and the banoffee but they tons of choice and now do smoothies and quiches. All pies are made to order and can be delivered too! Great for birthday cakes and functions.
Dutch Pies in Shanghai:
It was just over four and a half years ago that I was sitting in Roel (my Dutch friend that I met whilst living in the hostel) and Vicky's flat, watching Roel excitedly dart around the kitchen preparing a cherry pie which he wanted us to try.
Back then, in 2012, approx. 22 million people lived in Shanghai, thousands of whom were expats. There was already a great range and variety of Western and other Asian food available, a lot of which was run by expats who, missing their local food and culture, had decided to bring it to Shanghai. I remember fondly a place called 'Tammy Shanters' a Scottish bar which did killer beef and ale pies and Scotch eggs and a fun pub quiz on a Tuesday night. Sometimes exactly what was needed on a chilly winter's evening when you're miles from home.
Visit their website here