Although our business keeps us busy, we get out and about whenever we can. After all, there are fewer greater pleasures in life than a long lunch at one of Sydney’s favourite restaurants! We’re proud that so many of them stock Beloka Water.
Our most recent culinary adventure took place at Butcher and the Farmer, an all-day eatery in Forest Lodge – a small suburb between Glebe and the University of Sydney. You’ll find it within Tramsheds, a stunning food hall housed in the former Rozelle Tramway Depot, built in 1904. There are 12 restaurants and cafes altogether, including popular spots Belles Hot Chicken, Flour Eggs Water and Gelato Messina.
Seasonal share plates
At Butcher and the Farmer, the menu is all about sharing. Forget about ordering your own entree, main and dessert, and get ready to try a variety of flavours. The focus is on fresh, seasonal and local produce, which means the menu changes frequently. What’s more, the kitchen is in the hands of Will and Steve, who were all over Australian television back in 2015, when they won My Kitchen Rules.
We dropped by on a Tuesday, as we’d heard that weekends usually bring hectic crowds. A good look over the menu revealed that it was divided into three sections, determined by natural environments: From the Garden, From the Land and From the Sea. There were starters, too, listed under For the Table, as well as sides, and, of course, desserts.
Entrée and mains
We ordered the pea and parmesan croquettes with hazelnut and truffled mayonnaise. Something about the earthiness of truffles seems to take humble mayonnaise to a whole new level.
With such a sublime start under our belt, we got to thinking about mains. Needless to say, settling on options from a menu filled with numerous delicious-sounding combinations was no mean feat. In the end, we went for two dishes from the land. The first was rolled porchetta with raw fennel salad and apple caramel, which offered the ideal mix of crunchiness and softness, with hints of sweetness. The second was irresistibly succulent duck breast with pumpkin hummus, seeds and pickled cauliflower with orange and star anise syrup. A side from the garden seemed like just the right match, so we chose fried Brussel sprouts with cauliflower puree and pomegranate: a simple yet ingenious combination. Then, of course, we ordered the fries – with truffled mayonnaise.
Classics with a creative touch
In fact, much of the success of Butcher and the Farmer’s menu comes down to the chefs’ creativity in putting together ingredients. Rather than reinventing the wheel, they take classics, such as pork and apple sauce, then add innovative touches, such as caramel. They’re able to let the produce shine because they spend a lot of time and energy sourcing the pick of the bunch – through direct relationships with small, independent farmers.
And, before we forget, dessert! We rounded out our lovely, leisurely feast with the baby ricotta hotcake. This is as amazing as it sounds and comes layered with lemon curd, berries, passionfruit, pepitas, coconut gelato and honey.
Sophisticated yet casual atmosphere
With polished wooden floors, luxurious leather banquettes and tasteful lighting, Butcher and the Farmer is sophisticated yet casual. Like all eateries in Tramsheds, it occupies a private space, but within an open plan. One of the “walls” is formed by a restored tram, which made us feel for a moment like we’d stepped back in time. The carriage made its final journey back in 1961, having spent ten years running on Sydney’s tracks.
Next time you’re in the inner city, definitely consider heading along to Tramsheds to eat. If you haven’t checked out the building before, prepare to be awe-inspired by the architecture and atmosphere. On top of that, it’s not every day you get to dine at a restaurant run by two celebrity chefs!
Butcher and the Farmer is at Tramsheds Harold Park, Shop 7, 1 Dalgal Way, Forest Lodge. The lunch menu described here is available Monday-Friday; at dinner and on weekends, another menu is on offer.