Imagine a butcher shop where you can choose a Flintstone-sized piece of meat they'll dry age for you. When you come back for your meat they'll lower a table from the ceiling where you and 15 of your friends can squeeze around while the in-house chef works his magic on your meat. If that's your idea of a butcher shop, then the future is here. Well, almost here. The butcher shop side of the Argyle Smokehouse & Butchery will open its doors tomorrow in Rosebery, but the smokehouse won't be puffing for a week or so and the eat-in table will hopefully be ready by the time your meat is properly dry-aged.
"We've got some four metre lengths of western red cedar we're making the table out of. There's a pulley system so we can use the shopfloor space during the day," says co-owner and executive chef Ryan Crawford. Crawford, who toiled in hatted Sydney restaurants and overseas at Nobu, met co-owner Jonathan Glover when they were both working in Hong Kong. Glover started The Butchers Club in 2012, which expanded into an empire of 20 restaurants, butcher shops and chef's tables across Asia. The duo has partnered on the Rosebery project with meat magnates Lachlan and Bryce Graham, from Argyle Meats.
When the operation is fully up to steam, there'll be a smokehouse pumping out brisket burnt ends, promises of meat prices "that cut out all of the middlemen" and weekly butchery classes.
"You can't just be a traditional butcher shop. You need to come up with different ways to make money," Crawford says.
10am-5pm (shop); 11am-3pm (smokehouse)
Shop 10/61 Mentmore Ave, Rosebery