Select a great cut of grass-fed meat, check it’s marbling, conjure up a delicious recipe and select the appropriate cooking method. Will it be smoked, braised or roasted? This is where it starts and finishes at Meatworks – a new restaurant by hospitality entrepreneur, Lindsay Jones-Evans.
Meatworks will be smoking, braising and slow-roasting its meats, creating a veritable pleasure palace for carnivores. The menu will also include vegetarian and seafood options, but the main name of the game is meat.
After endless research across the globe to find the best cooking methods, Lindsay has also hand built his own, 450kg in-house wood smoker – a practical display of his industrial engineering degree
The location is at 28-30 Ross Street, South Melbourne, where Lindsay has meticulously renovated an old 1930’s panel beating garage warehouse into a 100-seat capacity eatery – a transformation designed and built with his own hands over the last 15 months.
Meatworks has a ‘steam punk’ sensibility to it – a bright atrium feel by day, and moody, hip look by night. Lindsay has designed an old school/refractory canteen feeling for an interior to excite the visual senses – and provided an acoustic ceiling, which ensures the surround sound system is subtle
“You have to appeal to the five senses; sight, sound, taste, smell and touch. If you leave one out or don’t incorporate it precisely, you won’t achieve the X factor,” Lindsay exclaims. “And ensure the service and price is right.”
Lindsay came to prominence when he created the brand Jones the Grocer, then, with his brother Ashley Jones-Evans, The Victoria Room – both in Sydney. This is a talented family.
For Meatworks, Lindsay has been working with Chef Travis Watson to create a menu that takes inspiration from meaty, treaty dishes from both Eastern and Western cuisines.
“Possibly because I am happily married to my gorgeous wife, Shengnan, who is from Beijing and we have spent a lot of time in China soaking up the culture, socialising with Beijinese and dining from the incredible eateries in the hidden back alleys” says Jones-Evans.
Meatworks, the house of meat will include some old favorites like crusty meat pies cooked in ceramic dishes, smoked meats served on enamelware platters, Asian noodles topped with slow-cooked braised-beef, lamb, pork or chicken, to delectable smoked duck pancakes.
“Meatworks offerings are not from any one province, just the best well travelled delicious meat dishes that continually inspire me,” says Lindsay.
Clearly not your usual steak and slider offering, Lindsay harks back to old meat recipes that strike a comfort chord and are affordable, with Meatworks prices starting at $12- $18 per person.
“Great food should not be expensive, food can be too precious these days. My take is, keep it humble, classic, simple and tasty,” Lindsay says.
Sides are plentiful with a selection of fresh seasonal salads and an enamelware mug of spiced chips to accompany, say, a crusty pork-belly roll.
Slabs of desserts will be available to slice and plate with a selection of Sunday lunch family favourites, such as smoked custard, rice pudding and freshly baked seasonal fruit pies and tarts. A sight to be seen will be the roving sweet cart – Lindsay’s own design on an industrial trolley, with a selection of Middle Eastern treats, Turkish delights, nougats and Persian nut slices.
The beverage list is no-nonsense. A curated selection of Australian wines, spirits and beers. Meatworks’ own clean skins will be served in bottles or demi carafes. A selection of refreshing cocktail offerings will be matched to the meat dishes.
Meatworks will also offer a well-researched, superb range of teas from Lindsay’s experience with Jones the Grocer and The Victoria Room’s renowned ‘high-tea’ days.
Meatworks will open its doors in four stages across the next few months.