Sydney Meat Centre directly reaches an audience of people who don’t need meat sales to be pretty, but who do expect decent quality meat for a very keen price.
It’s frequented mostly by groups of mature, Chinese-speaking women, doing their monthly meat shop together.
They leave Wilmeat - the wholesale pork outlet - with both arms laden with heavy, white plastic bags full of meat.
Game Farm’s factory outlet has a Chinese speaking counterhand, who switches languages to tell us about the Hokkaido octopus special (large tentacles are $12 today rather than the usual $33).
The week before we picked up two trays of quail breasts for under twenty bucks; drawn from a range that includes spatchcock, guinea fowl, turkey, crocodile, wild boar, duck, venison and kangaroo.
The whole place has a backstage feel - getting a glimpse into meat processing that you wouldn’t normally get to see.
It’s visceral, and might feel shocking in places, especially if you don’t think much beyond supermarket-style sanitised packages of meat labeled and separated from the animal carcasses they were drawn from. Every part of each animal is being sold, from pigs heads to chicken feet to duck heads and chitterlings.
You’ll find out exactly what’s in your coarsely ground pork mince, as you watch whole cuts of pork thrown into a giant mincer. This is what ten nights worth of pork for two people looks like for a smidgen over forty dollars after we'd separated it, and bagged it up neatly at home.
What actually drew my attention to this place is actually a bit more premium than the two outlets I have already covered.
Tucked away from the bustling Saturday morning car park is Osawa Enterprises.
Following the signs will lead you to an underground garage where you’ll walk between branded refrigerated trucks all loading up boxes of full blood wagyu beef, to find a small glass counter.
Equipped with electronic payment technology, these guys are offering up Australian and Japanese wagyu beef in slabs, steaks, thick slices for your charcoal grill, and thin ones for dishes like pho and shabu shabu.
While it isn’t cheap, it’s certainly not as expensive as the high-end butchers who usually stock wagyu, particularly for the thin slices.
We paid just over sixty bucks for two decent sized wagyu steaks, a tray of Australian wagyu pieces for our Japanese charcoal barbeque and a tray of thin slices that will make up four bowls of beef noodle soup.
The quality of Osawa Enterprises’ wagyu beef is unmistakable, and will ensure we return to Sydney Meat Centre once again. Their opening hours are strictly 8am-11.30am on Saturday mornings... don't be late!
Sydney Meat Centre
1-21 Madeleine Street, South Strathfield
Ph: none provided