Belmore has a busy shopping strip, where many shopfronts go large to stand out from the crowd. A few doors down from more lavishly decorated blue-and-white striped souvlakia, you’ll find Belmore Meats and Souvlakia. Their modern 3D LED lightboxes (the work of Eastwood’s Sebal Grafix) are done in simple black and whites.
Popping up late last year, they attracted my attention on Instagram with trays of sheftalia – Cypriot skinless sausages wrapped in white nets of caul fat. The pork mince is flavoured with onion and finely chopped parsley and they’re grilled (preferably on charcoal) until the fat melts away into a charred crust.
They’re made fresh then frozen, in trays that will set you back nine bucks (for 6) or sixteen bucks (for 12).
In the long, glass counter you’ll find Greek lamb ribs and chicken wings that you can accompany with creamy white tubs of excellent Tzatziki ($9) that you’ll find in the fridge along with haloumi and taramasalata.
The sausage range is also interesting, running from Continental Sausages ($13.99/kilo) to Macedonias Loukaniko ($15/kilo). Rather than the red wine soaked Cypriot version, the loukaniko here are Greek pork sausages, made according to the butchers’ family recipe from the Macedonia region of Northern Greece.
Despite the modern logos, at its heart, this is an old-fashioned butcher where you’ll actually see into the spotlessly clean area where they’re butchering and preparing meat.
To fuel up after your meat shopping adventure, head across the road to the vividly pink Mastika.
This loudly decorated shopfront lured me in with signboards advertising Künefe ($12.50).
Here the cheese pastry topped with crisp kadayif (angel hair) is served with your pick of gelato from their brightly coloured display. Choose from contemporary flavours like crunchy doughnut, black Hawaii (charcoal enriched coconut) or classics like pistachio and chocolate.
Wanting to taste my cheese, I opted for a simple vanilla that was adequate without being exceptional - with the name, I was surprised not to be eating stretchy Turkish ice cream. The kunefe here was super-sweet and hard to finish.
More exciting was the drinks fridge, where a beverage with a similar name to the shop, Mastik ($4.50) turned out to actually be made with the mastic tree’s resin. It drinks fresh, like being in a pine forest, and is a nice counterbalance to all the sweet. We also tried Koozo ($4) an adult cola flavoured with star anise – be sure to give the bottle a roll before opening, the spice tends to sit towards the bottom.
With plenty more of Belmore to explore, including an intriguing handmade tofu store called Hoa Hung Tofu that caught my eye as I was leaving, I doubt it will be long before I return to this bustling shopping strip.
Belmore Meats & Souvlakia
415 Burwood Road, Belmore
Ph: none provided
396 Burwood Road, Belmore
Ph: (02) 8385 0571