Lured in by a clever care package of bacon, maple syrup, ham and waffles, I spent International Bacon Day at Sunshine Meats.
I have a lot of time for this small, family-run business, located in Milperra’s industrial zone.
Along with an excellent range of charcuterie (which I will talk more about later) made in the cleanest pork factory I’ve visited, the women of the Pereira family have created a visually pleasing, inviting space within this factory setting.
Whether it’s the outdoor café setting decorated with pot plants and proto-feminist slogans encouraging women to keep their husbands well in hand, or the brimming deli display, great effort has been made to personalise the business.
It’s not what you expect from a factory eatery in the middle of a manufacturing zone.
For International Bacon Day, the Sunshine Meats team added to their regular Saturday offering with a collection of market stalls that celebrated their suppliers.
This included The Bread & Butter Project (who make many of their bread products) and smaller suppliers like Lenkie Lou’s, who make a Sweet Capsicum Jam ($14) you will find on their shelves.
After trying the jam on a cracker with some brie, we picked up a jar to go with our selections from the Sunshine Meats cheese collection.
With a colourful range of Fresh Fodder dips (try their taramasalata) that are made in Orange, the olive bar was another winner.
Beyond bright green Sicilian olives that had a lovely soft bite, there were tubs of hot peppers, dolmades and Marinated Mushrooms ($4) that looked so good, I took some home myself.
By now the maddening smell of spit-roasted pork was starting to get to me.
The day’s hot food offerings kicked off with a reduced selection from The Charcuterie Room’s regular café menu, and ended with suckling pig that was looking right on track to be ready at lunch time.
Arriving bright and early, we started our day with a Bacon & Egg Roll ($10) with a Havarti Cheese ($1) add-on.
Made on Sunshine Meats’ Traditional Short Bacon ($5.50/200g) and free-range eggs, it’s a hefty handful wrapped up inside a French-style panini from Bakers Maison (a business that kicked off in neighbouring Revesby).
The bun is soft and enjoyable, while still maintaining enough structural integrity to showcase the lovely bacon made here at Sunshine Meats using only Australian pork.
The Bacon and Chorizo Roll ($10) ate just as nicely, with Sunshine Meats' accessible Portuguese chorizo sliced lengthwise to make it similar in thickness and shape to the bacon.
We loaded ours up with barbeque and chilli sauce and enjoyed every bite.
From an outdoor Duccio Gelato counter, both the young and the young at heart, were able to keep up their bacon quotient with Gelato Sundaes ($6.50).
This basically entailed a scoop of your favourite flavour – we tried a traditionally styled caramel gelato morphed into salted caramel with a bit of additional salt, and an even better peanut butter gelato – being topped with maple-infused shortcut bacon pieces, chopped up waffles and maple syrup.
Suitably fuelled up on sugar and bacon, we tackled the Sunshine Meats deli, which was full to bursting as they promised ahead of the event.
While their own charcuterie items are the mainstays of the business, they’ve accentuated their considerable range of award-winning bone-in leg hams, double smoked chilli chicken breast, and extensive duck products with a hand-selected product range.
I’m a big fan of the La Banderita tortilla range - they make nice pliable tortillas that shit all over that Old El Paso supermarket rubbish. We picked up some 6” Flour Tortillas ($7.50) to team with our ham and Manchego Cheese ($45/kilo) for a quesadilla lunch later in the day, accentuated with our early purchase - sweet capsicum jam.
We threw in a packet of Portuguese Codfish Cakes ($10) (pasteis de bacalhau) for an easy mid-week dinner, pan-fried until they are golden brown and served with mayonnaise and Muraca Spicy Hot Cream Peppers ($6.20/280g). What you'll like about the Sunshine Meats range is that there are a whole heap of easy meal ideas that jump out from their over-stuffed shelves, and nothing feels particularly over-priced.
NOTE: You can see a previous visit to this venue back HERE.
The Charcuterie Room @ Sunshine Meats
360 Horsley Road, Milperra
Ph: (02) 9774 5543