Andrew McConnell (Cutler & Co., Cumulus Inc., Builders Arms Hotel etc.) and Troy Wheeler (ex-Peter Bouchier head butcher) have opened their highly anticipated butchery, Meatsmith, in what was once – somewhat ironically – the vegetarian Soul Food cafe on Smith Street.
The bright, marble-countered space, with its high ceilings, is more meat emporium than standard snag shop. Pristine display cabinets are stocked with perfectly frenched Wiltipoll lamb racks and rolled loins of juicy, rare-breed pork. There is chicken, duck and rabbit, house-made salamis and other smallgoods, and a range of accompaniments including mustards, relishes and sauces by the Builders Arms crew.
“Next week we’ll start getting in vegetables from different farmers that are pretty special too,” says McConnell.
You can buy wine from Meatsmith, and there is a sommelier on hand to help you choose the right bottle (or beer) for your protein. Leanne Altmann (ex-Cutler & Co., Supernormal) has sourced the collection with the meat in mind.
“The advantage of coming here is that you can ask Troy how to prepare the meat, you can ask Andrew how to cook the meat and you can also look at what you can drink with it once you’ve cooked it,” says Altmann.
Meatsmith also caters to the hopeless home cook: take-home meals include Cumulus Inc.’s famous eight-hour lamb shoulder (a steal at $45), coq au vin and duck confit. You can also pre-order a whole roasted suckling pig – or a raw one if you prefer to roast it yourself.
“We’re providing the best possible ingredients for the confident cooks who want to put together a great meal themselves, and also catering to those who aren’t so confident,” says Wheeler.
“You can come here and basically pick up everything you would need for a really good meal,” says McConnell. “Except for dessert – but we’re working on that.”
273 Smith Street, Fitzroy 3065
(03) 9419 8558
Mon to Sat 9am – 7pm
Sun 10am – 5pm