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Meating place

THESE days we tend to organise our shopping around convenience. Which has seen the disappearance of the neighbourhood grocery store and, for the most part, the local butcher’s shop.

If you can remember back to the days when the West Indies could play cricket and the Bay City Rollers and Sherbert were our choice of tunes, you will remember when popping down to “Tony” your local butcher and sorting out your weekly supplies was a natural part of the week.

These days we too often get caught up in the trap of convenience shopping and, it would be fair to say, miss out on the delights of specialty shopping. Take shopping for your girlfriend’s/wife’s birthday present. Do you just screech into any old shop on the way home? No, you almost always enlist the help of an expert, a specialist in their field, which is why their best friend always buys the gift for you. This is specialist shopping, enabling confidence. And so it is with a prime cut – why buy from any old store when you are able to buy from a specialist butcher and purchased with the knowledge that you will receive quality advice from a trained professional working in their chosen field.

Weir’s

88 Broadway Nedlands

9386 1105

Ted Weir has been butchering for about 33 years. Needless to say, he’s seen a few changes over his years as one of the premium meat and small good outlets in Perth. Weirs started out more than 58 years ago in North Perth with Ted’s father, Bob, at the helm. As a family-run business, it was a natural progression for Ted to begin learning and developing his skills as a butcher.

Weir’s moved from the North Perth location some eight years ago and have now developed their business around gourmet lines, having what would be the most extensive selection in Perth. Ted says that for them it was a natural way to head, as that was what the consumer wanted. Some of Weir’s customers include Jo Jo’s, Stephanies and the Blue Duck. Ted tells me that they also make a pretty mean pork snagger – which at the Perth Royal Show in 1999 was top of the pops. And if you haven’t yet tried their famous glazed hams then you will soon realise that ham ain’t just ham!

R & I Butchers

1057 Albany Highway Bentley

9361 1780

I asked Rocco Iannolo what he specialised in and he simply replied everything, but only quality everything. Rocco has been in the meat game for 42 odd years.

The last 28 years in his own business in Victoria Park where he services a very loyal customer base and some of Perth’s leading restaurants. Rocco has a very simple philosophy for his business, do the right thing by your customers, give them 100 per cent quality and they will stay loyal. He believes the biggest problem is not being truthful to your customer.

“I have some customers that have been with me for over twenty years and you are only able to maintain that with quality and honesty,” he said. You only have to see the number of Royal Show Ribbons around the walls to get an understanding of where Rocco is coming from.

Rocco’s philosophy has enabled him to work closely with the Burswood resort, E Cucina, Little Creatures Brewery, The Subiaco Hotel and The Hyatt, to name just a few. He provides a range of products through his outlet including game such as quail and rabbit but you won’t see new wave meats such as crocodile and kangaroo at Rocco’s – he is a true “old school” traditionalist.

Open five and a 1/2 days a week, Rocco closes at 11.30am on Saturdays to ensure that a couple of hours are available to correctly clean up the shop. Rocco tells me he likes to walk in on Monday morning and smell the cleaning solutions.

“This is important, this is a must, it helps maintain our quality,” he says.

Closing at lunchtime on Saturday is also part of Rocco’s tradition,

“Everyone should only work five and a 1/2 days, we need to rest and enjoy,” he says. “You can’t do this working seven days.”

Mondo’s Butchers

824 Beaufort St, Inglewood

9371 6350

Vince Garreffa has become somewhat of an institution around Perth.

Twenty-one years ago Vince opened Mondo Di Carne – World of Meat – in Midland, tapping into a market that seemed to be waiting for Vince to come along. Vince and wife Anne haven’t looked back since. It was a chance meeting on a flight in the late eighties that realy cemented Vince and Mondo’s on the map. Sitting next to Vince was dairy farmer David Partridge who, at the time, was also producing White Rocks Veal. The two entered into an agreement that has become White Rocks Veal, a product that is sought after by leading chefs around the country and some overseas markets. “We wanted to make the Dom Perignon of veal,” he told me. To find out just how close they have got you will need to pop in to Mondo’s and pick up a cut or two.

Mondo’s really is more that just a butchers shop. There are cooking classes and meat workshops, a healthy supply to restaurant trade around Perth, and a very healthy and loyal local customer trade.

Gary Payne, executive chef of Beaumonde Catering, finds that Mondo’s range of products coupled with Vince and his team keeping up with current trends, and, of course, the quality keeps him going back.

Alto’s Restaurant in Subiaco uses Mondo’s and Frank Torres. While owner Steve Scafidi acknowledges that there is a number of quality butchers in Perth, he finds that the service those two offer is second to none.

Clyde Bevan from Friends Restaurant says he has tried a lot of other butchers but believes that Frank Torre is the best around

“He selects the best produce for our needs and is passionate about what he does, we have a relationship where we just don’t have any problems. Lwegnly, our chef is very particular and can’t praise the team at Torre enough,” Clyde said.

We will revisit this topic, as there is a butcher’s block of information to be gathered from these skilled, specialist tradespeople.

Others who do it well:

Terranova Quality Butchers

113 Aberdeen Street

Northbridge 9328 7244

Frank Torre Quality Butchers

318-320 Bulwer Street

Perth 9328 7596

Barbaro Bros Quality Butchers

120 Cockman Road

Greenwood 9247 4244

Dubrovnick Butchers

204 Railway Parade

Meltham 9272 1453

Franks Gourmet Meats

17 Wray Ave

Fremantle 9335 2356

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