12 September 2023

Hot in the City: Botswana Butchery set to raise the 'steaks' in Canberra

| Lucy Ridge
Steak tartare and crisps on white plate.

Expect dishes like Venison tartare with umami-rich anchovy custard at the new Botswana Butchery. Photo: Arianna Leggiero.

The premium New Zealand restaurant chain Botswana Butchery has announced its plans to open a fifth location in the heart of Canberra early next year. Run by the Good Group Hospitality, this restaurant promises to deliver premium food in a relaxed atmosphere.

“We are so excited for the upcoming Canberra opening and to be bringing Botswana Butchery to the capital of Australia,” Good Group’s CEO Russell Gray said.

“We hope locals and visitors alike will be impressed by the elevated culinary offering, especially the succulent meat selection, served inside our opulent dining spaces where you will want to sit for hours on end drinking, dining and catching up with friends and business associates.”

Lamb shoulder with accompanying vegetables.

The roaring forties lamb shoulder is so tender it is just served with a spoon and fork. Photo: Botswana Butchery Canberra.

The ethos of the group is ‘fun dining’, but don’t let the relaxed style fool you: Botswana Butchery is a seriously upmarket affair with a broad-ranging menu from culinary director Angel Fernandez that focuses squarely on high-quality, premium ingredients.

The teaser menu starts with freshly shucked oysters, caviar served with blinis and top-notch charcuterie plates featuring some of the world’s best Jamón Ibérico de Bellota. There’s a page of entree dishes and light mains like venison tartare with salted egg and long-cooked octopus.

And then there’s the meat.

Flaming steak on grill

The restaurant has a strong focus on premium grilled meats. Photo: Botswana Butchery Canberra.

This is really the hero of the menu at Botswana Butchery. Despite the African name, the produce here is squarely focused on local ingredients. The many meaty offerings from ‘The Butcher’s Block’ are listed alongside their weight, provenance, how the animals were raised and fed, and a series of impressive marbling scores.

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For example, the Roaring Forties Slow Roasted Whole Lamb Shoulder clocks in at 1.4 kg, was pasture-fed in Geelong and is reportedly so tender it is only served with a fork and a spoon. This signature dish is designed to be shared by (at least) two people, as is the 1.6 kg Rangers Valley Black Onyx Tomahawk. Grain-fed, from Glen Innes with a 5+ marbling score, this impressive steak is a whopping $340! But it might just be the best steak of your life – at least, you’d hope so.

If those prices are making your eyes water, don’t fret. The menu also promises a double patty Botswana Burger at a reasonable $26.

Black and white photo of chef

Culinary director Angel Fernandez previously worked for the Rockpool Group in Sydney. Photo: Botswana Butchery Canberra.

Botswana Butchery started life in New Zealand with locations in Queenstown and Auckland, before it expanded to Melbourne and Sydney. One of the founders was born in Botswana, hence the name, but neither the food nor the fit-out are influenced by the African country.

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The Canberra restaurant looks to follow the luxe offerings of its previous restaurants with two levels of dining space and space for 180 patrons. A central L-shaped marble bar will dominate the space, which will also feature floor-to-ceiling windows and opulent velvet chairs.

A render of the exterior of Botswana Butchery.

A render shows the floor-to-ceiling windows. Photo: Botswana Butchery Canberra.

The prices might be off-putting to some, but it is the kind of place you come to splurge. Botswana Butchery isn’t about austerity or tiny portions, it’s brash and fun and larger than life. And with its opening date slated for early 2024 you’ve got some time to start saving for that life-changing steak.

Botswana Butchery Canberra will be located at Shop CG14, Bunda Street, Canberra. For more information visit the website, or follow Botswana Butchery on Facebook or Instagram.

Original Article published by Lucy Ridge on Riotact.

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