Kulinary Adventures of Kath had recommended to me some time ago a new cafe in her part of town, called The Butcher’s Block. I was a little taken aback by the slightly morbid-sounding name and made some inquiries, to be reassured by her that it was previously a butcher’s shop from 1882 that had been transformed into a meat-themed cafe, complete with belts, cleavers and knife sharpeners hanging from the walls.
Intrigued as always by eateries that like to do something out of the ordinary, I agreed to pay a visit with her during the week. When we visited on one sunny autumn lunch time, the inside of the cafe was beautifully lit with both natural light and some interesting bulbs which accented the exposed brick walls and dark wood furnishings.
It was surprisingly busy for a Tuesday lunch. Didn’t these people work?? We were asked if it was all right to wait while they cleared a table for us, and us two girls agreed, standing around the coffee counter and examining the various goodies on display for the day.
We were more than happy to be seated outside, where the seating spilled out onto a sun-drenched verandah, surrounded by a fragrant herb garden and small shrubs, which almost completely obscured the view of the huge car park behind it.
There were waiters and waitresses aplenty, all quite young around uni-age, and extraordinarily polite. I don’t know what’s been happening, but lately when I’ve been dining out I’ve been finding that I’m getting wonderful service from people closer to my age – I take it as a sign of excellent hospitality training. I might also mention that the male waiters were quite good-looking, not that that distracted me much from the menu!
We both asked for tap water, then a regular-sized skim hazelnut latte ($4) for me and a pot of Earl Grey ($4.50) for Kath.
Her Earl Grey tea leaves were in a little cast-iron teapot, which yieled close to four small cups of tea. The very small size of the teacup made it a little delicate to hold while hot, as you weren’t quite able to hook your finger through the handle. We were both amused by the novelty of having your milk in a mini jar.
Kath had already visited the week before and conducted some espionage for me by sneakily taking photos of the menu, as they don’t have one on their Facebook website. I had already examined it carefully, and was tossing up between the chocolate croissant or the meatball sliders, however sadly it was now past noon and the breakfast menu was no longer available. Sad, (but also not really at the same time haha) I went for the Meatball Sliders of Provolone, American Jack and Buffalo Mozzarella served with crunchy fries ($17). And goodness my inner-carnivore was happy with what arrive
So you want a closer look at these incredible sliders? Okay, here you go:
Sandwiched in the gorgeously toasted yet soft, buttery mini-brioche bun, the meatballs were tender and piping hot, slathered generously in a rich, chunky tomato sauce with that deliciously obscene cheese melted over it. It was a hard call which slider was my favourite, but I’d have to go with the American Jack (the yellow one in the middle), which had a very sharp cheddar flavour. The chips were deliciously crisp and perfectly salted.
I was a little disappointed with Kath’s request for a healthy Caesar Salad, but all qualms were erased from my mind when I saw the size of her dish.
The caesar came out on an absolutely massive platter, with serrano ham, grilled chicken, croutons, mixed greens, and a butcher’s caesar dressing topped with a poached egg ($17). The croutons were nice and crisp, however the grilled chicken was a touch over-cooked and a little on the dry side. While she enjoyed the caesar dressing, I sampled a mouthful of her salad and was taken aback that the dressing was actually saltier than my chips!
However, the salad redeemed itself through the egg. Oh yes, I will never tire of egg-yolk porn.
After finishing our tea and coffee, we requested our bill and it arrived in a quaint little metal bucket. Very cute. A wonderful cafe that has truly captured the interests of many with its unique theme, and the lunch menu caters best for those that enjoy their meat. I had previously heard through the grapevine that they were working towards becoming a wine bar, but that’s yet to be seen. It would be lovely if the breakfast menu was available all day, but I guess this just means I’ll have to make another visit very soon to sample it!
The Butcher’s Block
15 Redleaf Avenue, Wahroonga NSW 2076
(02) 9487 8136
Click here for their Facebook Page