Traditional East End Pie & Mash at Ginnys

Hunting for comfort food on a hangover…

Last Saturday, as a result of excessive alcohol consumption, we went a-hunting for comfort food on the East Edge.

We found it in the form of Pie and Mash from Ginny’s on Barking Road AKA East End Pie & Mash (take a sneaky peek at their instagram feed here to have a nosey around…).

Its traditional, yeah. So traditional that it is owned by Daniella Westbrook, of actual Eastenders fame. We are not sure if that is a good thing or a bad thing, but we got distracted by the pie and forgot to care.


No flounce, minimal decision making and solid portions

What we love about the East End pie & mash experience is that there is no flounce. There is one pie: Meat. It is served with mash. The required choices are: ‘Do I want Liquor or Gravy’ and ‘Do I want double Pie or single Pie’. The end (actually, you can ask to have your Pie extra crispy, which means they leave it in the oven for a bit longer so the pastry is good and scrunchy, but it’s not technically on the menu, you have to be an insider to know about it so it doesn’t technically count as a decision.)

The gravy is served in a ginormous gravy boat so no quibbling about extra sauce. There are no vegetables to speak of (not even a mushy pea) and it comes out piping hot. Everything you want from proper comfort food. We rounded the experience off with a solid jam roly poly with custard and washed it down with a cup of rosy Lee.

Take that, hangover!

Eat it like an East Ender

Because its traditional (see above), there is a traditional way to eat East End Pie and Mash – with white pepper & vinegar on top, and with a spoon (we had chilli vinegar… we’re not sure if that was traditional or cheeky but it was most excellent) . Luckily we had a tame East Ender (born and bred) to teach us the tricks so we’re able to avoid making bananas of ourselves (not that we mind a nana but they don’t arff stand out in a pie and mash gaff).


Simple food, served by friendly faces – this East End tradition is alive and well…

Now we must express that this is simple food. You will not find chorizo in your meat pie, nor a sprig of rosemary upon your mash. No airs and graces here and it is what makes it worth a visit. Ginny who runs the place and was one of the most helpful and friendly people we have met so far in our quest to discover the undiscovered (ok, we know technically it isn’t undiscovered, but it’s undiscovered to us, because we are newbies). Nothing was too much trouble, everything served just the way we liked it, and the cafe is absolutely spotless. 

The Daily mail and the BBC would have you believe this tradition is dying, but during the few hours we were there, we saw easily 20 people come and go… Many of them had an air of regularity about them, so we are guessing that it is a weekend ritual for Far East {Londoners} – one we intend to maintain. 

Our conclusion: Pie is a most excellent hangover cure. And cockneys are very much alive and kicking in East Ham and as long as all of us keep eating all the pies, we can hopefully keep it that way.

The deets:

What: A Traditional East end Pie & Mash shop. Jellied Eels and all…

Where: 538 Barking Rd, Plaistow, London E13 8QE

£££: Single Pie & Mash: £4, Double Pie & mash, £6.50.

Linky: They don’t seem to have an official website… you can find them on Facebook here or on Instagram: @pie_and_mash_plaistow

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