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20 Mar 2012

Meet at the Meat Market

“Happy cows and pigs make better meat. You treat them well, you eat well.”

This is the guiding principle of manager Eamon Walmsley as he steers South Wharf’s new Meat Market restaurant and bar to, hopefully, pre-eminence on Australia’s busy culinary stage.

“We focus on how the animals are treated, and how the food gets to us,” Mr Walmsley said.

“It’s about ethics. Australians have become a lot more concerned about what happens to the animals. We like to deal direct with the farmers.”

Meat Market head chef James Wilkinson sources most of the restaurant’s beef from Campbell Farms, in north-east Victoria.

Mr Wilkinson recently joined Meat Market from Baba Restaurant, in Brunswick East.

Mr Walmsley, a native of Belfast, has earned his management stripes at Melbourne’s Malthouse Theatre, Bertha Brown in Flinders St, and Richmond’s brunch central, Friends of Mine.

The media’s feeding frenzy with cooking shows and celebrity chefs has created what Mr Walmsley describes as “the brave new world” of hospitality.

“Melburnians now have such savvy palates,” he said. “Everything is getting faster.

“People are exploring new flavours, and expecting more from us. Melbourne has the badge of Australia’s food capital. We have to have the product to back it up.”

Mr Walmsley said it was hard to go past Meat Market’s 450-gram Victorian farm dry aged rib eye ($60).

The key to the flavour is in the hang drying technique.

“The goal is to eventually be hanging our own meat,” Mr Walmsley said.

The kitchen is the engine room that drives every restaurant, and Meat Market’s layout is in keeping with the world-wide “open kitchen” trend.

“Patrons can see the amount of work that goes into preparing their food,” Mr Walmsley said.

He agrees that the South Wharf promenade along the Yarra River is fast evolving into a prime culinary strip.

“South Wharf has so much talent, with all the elements in place – we just need to let the people know to come here.”

Mr Walmsley’s message for Southbank diners: Expect a generous serve of passion and perfection at Meat Market.

 “Sometimes you can have the best dining experience at where you least expect it,” he said.

Meat Market is at 53 South Wharf Promenade, Southbank, overlooking the Yarra River in front of the Hilton Hotel and DFO shopping centre. Call 9008 8953 or visit www.meatmarketsouthwharf.com.au

 

Southbank's new "Pearler" of a place...

I remember an ancient proverb from my travels in China: “The loftiest towers rise from the ground.”

It pretty much means, even the grandest of achievements have a simple beginning.

That is what we are witnessing on the corner of Queensbridge and Powers streets in Southbank today – the construction of Prima Pearl apartment tower has begun.

Each day, watch the 72-storey, 250m tower slowly rise from the ground at 31-39 Queensbridge St.

Prima Pearl is being developed by PDG and Schiavello, and sales executives Chris Carmona, Julie Belleville and John Pickham say the apartments are pretty much selling themselves.

“Prima Pearl has the best amenities being offered in Southbank today,” Chris said.

“Skylounge, on level 67, has a huge bar and lounge with views to die for,” Julie said.

Level 9 could be described as “Cloud 9”, with a massage studio, private cinema, gym, golf virtual driving range, snooker and table tennis.

“It’s perfect for entertaining people,” Chris said. “It is like living in a 5-star hotel.”

Julie pointed out the sense of security, with two 24-hour concierge lobbies.

“There is so much to do at your doorstep,” Chris said. “Just across the road is Crown Entertainment Complex and we are surrounded by some of Melbourne’s best restaurants and chic boutiques.”

“And there’s the public transport – there’s a tram stop right out the front door, and buses, and the train lines on the other side of the Yarra River.”

“Double glazed windows insulate the apartments from traffic noise,” Julie said.

“The body corporate fees are lower than many similar apartment towers in the local area, because we don’t outsource body corporate management.”

Chris said people “from Shepparton to London” were buying the Prima Pearl apartments.

“We have a mix of people,” Julie said. “Families with young kids, empty nesters who want to move into the area, people who have been in Southbank for 10 years and want to upgrade – I have people from Perth who just want to use their apartments during Melbourne’s magnificent sporting events.”

John said the apartment layouts were evolving even as the tower took shape.

“There are more than 40 different apartment designs,” he said.

“The designs have been altered following customer feedback. There are still a variety of floor plans to choose from.”

Prima Pearl apartment tower will be finished second half of 2014.

One-bedroom apartments start at $351,000, two-bedrooms from $509,000, and there are many varieties of three-bedroom apartments and penthouses.

Talk to Chris, Julie and John in the display suite at the former Queensbridge Hotel, 1 Queensbridge St, Southbank. Call 8638 1888 or visit www.primapearl.com.au

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