Funny enough, one of the most impressive butcher shops in Australia is situated in a fish market… This is Vic’s Meat Market in Sydney.
If you decide, like me, to go on a Saturday at lunch time, you’ll soon realise that this is the place to be :) Posh cars, chic clients, lots of people inside shopping for meat with trolleys. I know… a dream for meat lovers.
We were welcomed by a fantastic jazz band called HARLEM SWING which was hired by Vic’s meat to celebrate their first birthday party. Wow! I was happy as Larry because it is my favourite music, and they were good!! I took their card with me and if ever I have a nice budget for a beautiful party, I will ask them to come and play.
I only had a 50mm lens on my camera so I cannot show you how big this place is but basically you have an O shaped central bench with meet all over and an army of butchers in the middle. On the right of the photo, where you cannot see… there is a whole wall of shelving with sauces, salts, books, BBQ tools, and more meat.
At the back there is a counter where you can place orders. Behind it is a well lit cold room where you can see meat hanging. On the left there is a jerky and dry sausage bar (delicious we tested them all) and a spice rub display with a great selection.
Here’s one of your friendly butchers!
Ask him anything!
Look at these gorgeous lamb racks…
I bought one of these tongues. I know, most of you will go yuuuuk but it’s probably because you haven’t been raised with it (At this stage I think all vegetarian have left this page…).
Tongue is probably the most delicious stewed meat ever. My mum used to make it regularly and we loved it. Recipe soon on the blog :)
These shelves are laden with gorgeous products including sauces, salts, pickles, jellies and mustards. You will also find BBQ books and “meat cooking times” tea towels.
There is some serious BBQ reading to be done.
If you’re worried of forgetting your roasting times and temperatures, get the Vic’s meat tea towel!
We saw this Dragon Japanese Hibachi BBQ grill. If you want to know more about his device, have a look at this excellent Aussie blog article.
Of course, there is a very good stock of Pepe Saya’s cultured and hand-churned butter but also his ghee for cooking.
You will find duck products like nowhere else. Of course whole ducks, but also very well cut duck meat, duck eggs and duck fat which I use extensively as we French do.
Strangely enough, in a country where duck is king in Asian restaurants and posh Aussie restaurants, it is very hard to find a whole duck provider!
You don’t like thick cuts or you are planning a scrumptious Korean BBQ or a Spanish plancha evening. Ask the butcher!
You should see the thickness of these scotch fillets… We bought 2. They were delicious.
Here is the BBQ or roast RUBS. A huge choice with a the animal and its best part drawn at the front of the packet: cracking Creole, tasty dragon, coffee kick, Bombay buzz, smoking hot BBQ, Memphis BBQ to name a few.
Place your order here and if you need bones for your broth or your dog, necks for your cat, just ask the butcher.
What I found fantastic is that Vic’s meat doesn’t smell bad. I am completely turned off by most butchers in Australia because there is a high level of tolerance for corpsy smells which is not the case in France. I remember when I first came to live in Australia as a temporary expat in Melbourne in 2004, I was amazed and disgusted by that. At the time, even in supermarket meat aisles, the smell was absolutely foul. A bit like the meat market in Athens where I lived too, or butchers in Egypt where the meat used to hang outside, in the street among armies of flies and the constant dust. I remember watching in horror, the blood thickened, falling like a red string of cheese on the pavement.
Here too, people accept to step in a store which smells like off-meat. I cannot… at all… So I don’t go to butcher’s. Wendell does it and calls me a pansy…
Well, if you’re like me, and you’re a meat lover nonetheless, head to Vic’s meat. There is no bad smell!
There is a large Pork areal with great cuts.
I will definitely come back for the pork belly (and hundreds of other products).
Here is the start of the MARBLE BAR. I couldn’t take a photo of the actual bar as it was so crowded, people were lining up in front of it.
You can find all sorts of Wagyu marbled meat in this section. It is amazing.
Look at these Angus Sirloin 270 days + grain fed from Rangers Valley. It has to be delicious…
More friendly butchers at your service, happily posing for the camera. Thanks guys!
Next to this sausage display, you will find a mini-dry-sausage bar with serving scoops and paper bags. There is also a Jerky/biltong bar which made the delights of our “apéritif” crew back home. We served them with our recent craft beer spree samples and the pre-dinner time was sumptuous.
The mini-dry-sausages are sold by the weight. You can find a chilli one which are pretty fierce, one classic sort which I looooved and a very tasty tomato version.
The fantastic thing with a “real” and large butcher is that you can ask for any part of the animal, even if they’re not usually sold at your local butcher shop. You can ask of special cuts and you can have whatever you need in your next recipe, prepared exactly as it should.
Whatever condiment you want on you meat is there. Grab a trolley and make your choice.
What we really appreciated in this place is the thickness of all the cuts. If you want smaller, you can ask and you will get. But if you are like us and like a BBQed tick meat, this is the place to go.
Beef mince is presented like a field of flowers :)
This is a mustard I have never seen before. It is Italian and called Mostarda di Voghera. In France we wouldn’t call this a mustard as it is actually candied fruits in syrup with mustard flavour but how interesting!
Look out for the butcher’s special!
In the refrigerated shelving on the right you will find an important selection of poultry products including hard to find duck, spatchcock and quails in many different forms.
Another hard to find product is chicken liver. I wish they had the duck version but I bought this one to make my favourite Liver and Port mousse RECIPE HERE.
Beef cheeks are delicious and cheap. I will make a recipe soon.
Say you have a special dinner with lots of guests and you want a proper “rôti” or roast with beef fillet and you want it prepared and tied the French way. Well… ask the butcher!
Diced beef, perfect for stews.
The large Veal section. I recommend the veal cutlet.
You will find a great selection of salt, in crystals or flakes, flavoured, spiced or “au naturel”.
I was also amazed by their mustard selection including flavours such as cider, Pastis, truffle, Pinot noir, or tarragon.
I found my favourite seed mustard by Edmond Fallot from the French city of Beaune made with an old fashioned milling stone.
I haven’t tried these legendary BBQ sauces from America but am very tempted to do so! Let me know if you have ever tried one of them. I want to let the “taste of the south” invade my cooking :)
After the heavy meat shopping we had a delicious lunch at the Smoke house. The pulled pork sandwich was to die for. Wendell had the brisket and wants to go back just for that one.
To make their extraordinary pulled port, pork butts are brined for minimum of 12 hours and then barbecued for 10 further hours in very special BBQ used at night, to be ready in the morning. Brisket takes about 12 hours…
If you don’t cook meat at home, it is still worth coming to Vic’s meat for those incredible sandwiches.
We haven’t tried the Wagyu bar yet, but this is on the list for the next week-ends.
I hope you enjoyed this meaty visit of Vic’s Meat Market in Sydney! I will be glad to hear from you if you have been or are planning to go to Vic’s meat market.
NOTE: this post is not sponsored
Sydney Fish Market
Pyrmont NSW 2009
Mon – Sun | 8am – 5pm
Smoker & Wagyu Bar
Mon – Sun | 10am – 3pm