It’s a sunny Friday afternoon and people are strolling down the street waving to the local butcher. And despite this being a scene you might expect in a claymation children’s cartoon, this isn’t Pontypandy, it’s Paddington.

And it’s all due to Field to Fork, owned by Paula Horwitz, who runs the business with her two sons Joshua and Sam – the fourth location for the eastern suburbs butcher. Joining existing locations Bondi, Vaucluse and Randwick, the Paddington digs opened earlier this month in the long-vacant ex-Sonoma space in Five Ways.

With dark straps of biltong and a dry-aging cabinet sitting in two bay windows, the store is full of heritage charm courtesy of the original tiled floors, stained glass windows and crown-moulded ceilings. On one side sits a navy blue cabinet stocked with house-made pies, imported smoked salmon and portions of Glacier 51 toothfish as well as Pepe Saya butter, eggs, bacon and fresh ravioli. Nearby there are baskets of baguettes from Grain Bakery in Waverley. The opposite wall is piled high with homewares from Paula’s homewares label Fontaine de Vaucluse.

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But Field to Fork’s focal point is the cabinet housing grass-fed meat almost exclusively, one exception being Rangers Valley’s grain-fed meat because of its good track record with animal welfare and sustainability.

“I think the quality difference you get buying from an independent butcher as opposed to a supermarket is enormous,” Joshua tells Broadsheet. “But also, it’s down to the service. People want to be able to ask questions like, ‘How do I cook this?’ ‘What’s good at the moment?’ By buying anonymous gas-packed meat from the supermarket, you lose that connection to your food.”

When Broadsheet’s in store, people come in to ask for the sort of specific advice you’d never be able to get from a supermarket: are the Italian sausages too spicy for a two-year-old’s birthday party? Can I try some of that biltong? If I ring up in the morning, could you roast a lamb shoulder for me and I’ll pick it up for a lunch I’m hosting? Yes, yes and yes.

But Field to Fork isn’t just bringing a “shop small” mentality and claymation levels of charm to Paddington, it’s also bringing a damn good burger. At the back of Field to Fork, you’ll find The Secret Grill. The butcher has a full kitchen churning out roast chooks and dry-aged Riverine Black Angus steaks, lamb and pork ribs – all to order.

The grill also helps the butcher manage food waste. “We try and buy the whole animal and cook everything from nose to tail,” Joshua says, pointing out that they use less desirable cuts to make sausage rolls, curries and beef bourguignon.

Beef burgers, cheeseburgers, crispy chicken schnitty burgs with lemon and herb mayonnaise are all deliciously rich. (“It’s one of those things where you have to clear your afternoon and nap after you eat it,” says Joshua.) Reubens with slow-cooked brisket and a classic steak sandwich on charred sourdough bread have also proved favourites with the lunchtime crowd.

Field to Fork is a welcome addition to the cafes and pubs of Five Ways and a welcome break from the clinical linoleum-lined sections of a big supermarket. And it’s making it easier than ever for me to bust out a perfectly roasted chicken on Sundays and say, “Here’s something I prepared (purchased at Field and Fork) earlier.”

Field to Fork Paddington
241 Glenmore Road, Paddington
0492487113

Hours:
Mon to Sat 8am–6pm
Sun 9am–5pm

www.fieldtofork.net.au
@field_to_fork