As I might have mentioned before, my partner is vegetarian and although he’s never tried to convert me, I have happily taken to eating vegetarian only… at home. When I’m out with friends, it’s another story though: bring on the meat I say!!
Thus after a pleasant first “Meat-Up” banquet at Bar H for Chinese New Year, I decided to renew the experience, accompanied with my friends Karen and Cenk. The Meat-up dinners were started a few years ago by Tim Elwin from Urban Food Market, and this one was going to be held at one of Rozelle’s oldest pubs, 3 Weeds. I was all the more enthusiastic as I was yet to try the Restaurant part of the pub, headed by Chef Leigh McDivitt (I’d heard a lot of good things about him!)
Meat is tastier when you know that the animal was raised in a good environment and had a good life, something that Tim Elwin always had on his mind when he set up his sustainable butchery business, Urban Food Market. Tim makes a point of only sourcing the best meat possible, raised sustainably and ethically. For this dinner, all the meat and wine came from suppliers located within 100 miles of Sydney.
The 3 Weeds kitchen also abides by this philosophy, as they try to source their ingredients locally whenever possible. The pub even has a little herb garden, where the chefs can pick what they need and use it straight away in the kitchen. They are also looking at becoming as self-sufficient as possible by using ingredients from their company farm in Terrey Hills.
Tim welcomed all the guests and talked about the challenge of sourcing every ingredient for this Meat-Up within 100 miles, especially since his pork supplier bailed on him at the last minute (to the great despair of Karen who is a pork tragic!). Shortly after we were brought a freshly baked sourdough bread roll with some hay-smoked butter.
Below you’ll find pictures of all the dishes we had that night, each one as lovely as the next:
The Quail dish was the winner to me though, and most of the guests at our table seemed to agree! The quail was perfect, tender with crispy skin, and I especially liked the basil sauce, which had a refreshing hint of citrus.
This was one of my favourites as well, I just love duck and the raspberry vinaigrette was a great match.
The beef pieces were both very good, the beef cheek slow-cooked and the tenderloin rare and tender. I was expecting the horseradish gel to be stronger though. Everyone at the table marvelled at the bone marrow, but I have to admit it doesn’t have the same effect on me… don’t know why!
Then it was time for the sweeter things. After a lovely raspberry panacotta pre-dessert, we were brought one of the highlight of the evening.
This dessert was just delicious and beautifully presented. We cracked the sugar shell to access the duck egg and Armagnac custard, which went beautifully with the blood plum puree/compote.
The matching wines all came from the Hunter Valley (beer and cider were local as well). My favourite: 2008 Margan “White Label” Barbera, that we had with the Duck, love red Italian varietals!
Thank you Tim and Leigh for a great dinner and for boosting my protein intake tenfold in the one night!
The next Meat-Up will take place at the Urban Food Market warehouse itself, check out their website soon for more info!
Urban Food Market
1/168 Victoria Road
Marrickville NSW 2204
Ph: (02) 9516 0601
(Warehouse opens every Saturday 9-1pm)
The Restaurant at 3 Weeds
197 Evans Street
Rozelle NSW 2039
Ph: (02) 9818 2788