I don’t know about you, but when Demi Lovato was singing about staying ‘Cool for the Summer’ I guess I was the only one who took it as eating your way through the heat. Vic’s Meat Market must have thought the same; throwing a party to send the Summer off in the best way possible – drinks, chill vibes and a free flow of food.
Located in the precinct of the Sydney Fish Market, Vic’s Meat Market is one part meat market and one part Restaurant and bar, showcasing their amazing produce in a range of smoked and BBQ meats. This event also saw the collaboration with Chef and Owner of Belle’s Hot Chicken, Morgan McGlone, taking the highly popular chicken wings into the smoker and churning out a collaborative masterpiece for the senses… similar to how Beyoncé and Nicki Minaj release dope collaboration tracks every single time.
Speaking about the smoker, cleverly named ‘Kong’ – it is the largest custom smoker in Australia and can hold up to 200kg of meat, ready to be smoked for more than 10 hours a night. Vic’s Meat market use a combination of ironbark and applewood, which is what gives each piece of meat its distinct smokiness. What is interesting is that each BBQ meat draws influence from different regions of the United States giving your taste buds a culinary road trip in one sitting.
Pulled Pork Sandwiches
We started the night off with Vic’s signature Pulled Pork, dressed with a North Carolina vinegar sauce and a creamy slaw in a bun. The melt-in-your mouth smoky pulled pork was so soft and tender. This may be due to the 12 hour brining and further 10 hour barbecue cooking process that the pork goes through. Taking inspiration from the Carolinas and Memphis states, the pork had a rather robust flavour and aroma that took you on a flavourful experience with every bite. Starting with a rather deep sweetness from the use of brown sugar, a mild spiciness from paprika, a sharp hit of vinegar and ending with lasting smoky notes. The creamy slaw worked so well with livening up the sandwich as it complimented the various flavours of the pulled pork adding a layer of richness and freshness.
This was actually my first time trying burnt ends, and it definitely will not be my last. Burnt Ends are traditionally the off-cuts of brisket (hence their odd shape) and were once refused to be served being one of the fattiest parts of the brisket. They were rather served as appetizers or thrown into stews or eaten as scraps. Though times have changed, and now burnt ends are considered a delicacy in barbecue cooking for its intense flavour. Being at the end of the brisket, it captures the melted-down fat creating an incredibly moist piece of meat with a charcoal crust, helping to produce an all-around flavourful bite. The piercing smokiness of burnt ends can shine on its own with so many elements working together once again. With an intensity of flavour that is trapped within each single morsel, it pours out as you eat each piece, enveloping your mouth with natural sweetness from the pork, a richness from the fat, and a lasting flavour of black peppercorns.
Polynesian Pasta Salad
A contribution by Morgan McGlone — the Polynesian pasta salad was a great palette cleanser to eat with each BBQ meat option for its freshness. The pasta was cooked well with smoked spanner crab and crabsticks folded throughout giving little pops of seafood with every bite. The creamy sauce was quite heavy in its use of dill but that was great in contrasting the richness and fattiness of the intense smoky meats.
Belle’s Smoked Chicken Wings with Belle’s Alabama White Sauce
Now what brought me to the party in the first place, the collaborative item of Belle’s smoked chicken wings. I’ve recently sampled the Fried Chicken and what I can say is that this one off version of Smoked Chicken Wings is just as amazing. The wings had the same smokiness notes from the apple wood and ironbark used, which gave off a very mild with subtle fruity notes. The meat was succulent and soft and just as juicy as there Fried Chicken version, just without the crunchy golden exterior. However, the real winner here was the sauce, it definitely lifted each bite. The sauce had just enough tang and heat that you could feel in the back of your throat but was quickly cooled down by the creaminess.
The Vic Rib Sandwich
Now this was definitely a crowd pleaser that literally had a crowd forming around the work station. The Vic Rib Sandwich is twice cooked David Blackmore rib meat with barbecue sauce and slaw. The rib meat was smoked for 10 hours and then grilled in front of the crowd. The rib meat had just the right amount of marbling to keep the meat moist and the natural sweetness of the ribs shone through and complemented the smoky yet complex BBQ sauce. The sauce had the right balance between sweetness, saltiness, the tang of vinegar and a few other spices melding together. Surprisingly, this was definitely my favourite from the night.
Smoked Mortadella Ham
Lastly, the smoked Mortadella Ham with mustard and brown sugar rub was deliciously multi-dimensional, beginning with sweet molasses notes and quickly followed by peppery flavours and smoky hot paprika undertones, which left a little heat in your mouth.
Overall, Vic’s Meat Market clearly know how to throw a party and being the only meat option at the Sydney Fish Market, it is easy to see why they are so successful. With drinks on tap, a laid back ambiance and food getting pumped out of the kitchen non-stop, it was the perfect way to kiss Summer goodbye.
Vic’s Meat Market
50-60 Bank St, Pyrmont NSW 2009
(just to the left of the boom gates when you come into the Sydney Fish Market)
Phone: (02) 8570 8570
Web: Vic’s Meat Market