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Travel + Culture

Australia’s Tiffany Butcher

A new meat emporium on the outskirts of Sydney might just be the world’s fanciest—and maybe the best.
churchill butchers

I t’s not every week you receive an invitation to a launch party for a butcher shop, but Victor Churchill, in Sydney’s upscale suburb of Woollahra, is no ordinary meat purveyor. Opened by Anthony Puharich and his dad Vic as the high-end retail arm of Vic’s Premium Quality Meat, it might just be the fanciest butcher shop in the world. Certainly Australia has never seen anything like it. The Puharich clan poured more than $1 million into the design. Michael McCann and his team from Dreamtime Australia (better known for the lavish décor at Sydney restaurants like Flying Fish) have exploded the tile-and-stainless-steel look, putting together a room rich in timber accents and copper-fronted cabinets. There are hunks of beef slowly tracking behind glass in their dry-aging area and in front of a wall made from bricks of Himalayan rock salt. The butchers on show working at the enormous wood blocks are the real thing, though, and the meat is far from a set. There’s richly marbled wagyu and grass-fed beef from Rangers Valley, as well as New Zealand’s Cervena venison, kurobuta pork from Byron Bay, and Macleay Valley rabbits. You can wander off the beaten path to pick up cheeks, tails, brains, and various other bits of offal, while the Bonnet rotisserie and restored Berkel flywheel slicers speak to the range of charcuterie, salumi, and other ready-to-eat sausage. It’s butchery, folks, but not as we know it, and whether you like the look or not, you’ve got to applaud such investment at a time when the humble family butcher shop has become an endangered species.