Meat and smoke. You might be thinking American barbecue, but LP's Quality Meats is much more than that. Head chef Luke Powell (ex-Tetsuya's and ex-Mary's) is cranking out lamb bellies stuffed with Merguez sausage, smoked salmon and massive hunks of beef short rib - all put through a Southern Pride wood smoker shipped over from Texas. And then there's the cured and cold cuts of meats, all made in-house, like coppa di testa, bierwurst and belly ham.
LP's Quality Meats dining room
LP's Quality Meats might have only opened last Wednesday, but there was a decent crowd of carnivores packed into the restaurant on Friday night. Hidden down a dark laneway around the corner from Ester, the dining room is surprisingly big with a long row of communal tables and stools making up 100 seats in total.
You'll spot the staff by their distinctive white t-shirts, emblazoned with the LP logo across the back. The American diner-style feel is compounded by the location of the cash register by the entrance for payment, stocked with branded t-shirt and trucker cap merchandise.
The drinks menu is massive, looking more like a wine list for a hatted restaurant. There's a fully stocked bar at the front serving everything from wine to a list full of whiskeys. Young Henry's is on tap and they've got all your cocktail needs sorted too.
Belly ham $12 and German bierwurst smoked sausage $12
The cold cuts are all made in-house and sliced to order, delicate shavings piled onto a paper-lined tray with complimentary pretzel sticks, olives, mustard and a pickled chilli pepper. The belly ham is impressively ribboned with fat, so soft and sweet it practically melts on the tongue.
We order the coppa di testa ($12) - head cheese or brawn by any other name - but are mistakenly served the bierwurst instead. It's a tasty mistake, the German smoked sausage is pleasingly pink and seasoned generously with garlic and spices.
The pretzel sticks are worth mentioning - they're so tasty you'll wish you could order more on their own.
Chef Luke Powell carving the beef short rib
The open kitchen gives you a birds eye view of all the carving action. Every now and then you'll catch a tantalising whiff of smoke when the smoker is opened. Watching Chef Luke Powell carve up a mammoth beef short rib is damn sexy too.
Lamb belly stuffed with Merguez $26 and beef short rib $32
We have to skip the smoked salmon ($18) and the pickled sardines ($12) but we'll make room for them (and ask more dining partners along) next time. We order the lamb belly stuffed with Merguez sausage and the beef short rib instead, even though the toulouse sausage ($14) and the chicken -- it's smoked AND THEN DEEP-FRIED ($24 half/ $42 whole) sound tempting too.
The sides menu is no afterthought either. In addition to soft bread rolls ($2 each) and pickles ($10), there are five veggie-heavy choices to supplement your protein.
Eggplant salad $12
The eggplant salad is gobsmackingly rich and smoky, the eggplant chargrilled to a smoky and sweet stickiness. Then there's the Nicoise salad ($14), kale with chickpeas ($12) and corn on the cob ($10) cooked on the grill. Mashed potato and gravy ($10) is reminiscent of the one at Mary's, and right now they're also doing optional extras of truffle shavings on top.
Smoked lamb belly stuffed with Merguez
But you know it's the meat we're here for. The lamb belly looks the business, curled up around a Merguez sausage, a spicy snag heavy on the cumin that hails from North African. Together they make one big flavour bomb. The lamb is smoky, fatty and tender; the sausage is meaty and firm. And then there's the skin on the outside that's all kinds of wicked crisp and charred at the edges. It's like magic.
Smoked beef short rib
And then there's the big kahuna, the beef short rib. Sure size isn't everything, but tell me your eyes didn't just glaze over at this behemoth. Powell smokes his meats at under 100 degrees, cooking it low and slow so its tender and smoky. You can tell before you've even had your first mouthful. The meat comes off the bone clean as a whistle, and the meat is so juicy, you may find yourself weeping with joy. This bad boy is loaded with pockets of joy-giving fat, but it's the undercurrent of gentle smoke that will keep you going back for more.
Pouding Chômuer $12
There's only one dessert on the menu and that's the pouding chômuer, a Canadian poor man's pudding invented in Quebec during the Great Depression. The cake batter is poured into a tray, placed in the fridge overnight, then poured over with maple syrup and cream and baked in the oven.
It turns into one hot mess of caramelised maple syrup-soaked pudding, a little on the sweet side but easily alleviated by the melting puddle of vanilla ice cream on top. That maple syrup kick is what makes this so addictive even after your teeth start hurting. Share this between three people. No, better make that two.
LP's Quality Meats
Suite 1, 16 Chippen Street, Chippendale, Sydney
Tel: +61 (02) 8399 0929
Wednesday to Thursday 5pm-11pm
Friday 12pm-3pm and 5pm-11pm
Closed Monday, Tuesday and Saturday
Related Grab Your Fork posts:
Chippendale - Brickfields
Chippendale - Ester
Newtown - Mary's
36 comments - Add some comment love
8/30/2014 10:28:00 pm