The Butcher's Block
15 Redleaf Ave, Wahroonga, NSW
"Our location is just the latest in a long lineage of fantastic butcher shops dating back to before the 1940s," said Anthony Karnasiotis, who, with his father George, owns and operates The Butcher's Block restaurant in Wahroonga.
To pay homage to this tradition, the restaurant has a one-of-a-kind fit out. There’s an old cleaver from the 1800s that’s used as a door handle, and old-style mincers, scales, and other ornaments hang from the walls. With these classic elements, you might suspect the restaurant thoroughly rustic, but, in fact, the hip, attractive staff, numerous coffee grinders, and serious espresso machine make it modern and trendy, too.
The Butcher’s Block opened in 2013, and it is the first venture that George and Anthony have undertaken together. “Our entire family, for as long as we can remember, has had a love affair with food, laughs, and special experiences,” said George. He spent time exploring the Greek islands in his youth, and memories of those tastes have been with him ever since. Along with his wife, George went on to own and operate multiple food-related businesses in Sydney, including a deli, chicken shops, takeaway shops, and cafés.
In turn, Anthony grew up surrounded by delicious flavours – even if he had to wash dishes in the family businesses to taste them – and he, like his father, takes inspiration from Greece. “Travelling to Greece opens your eyes to new flavours, experiences, cafés, and restaurants,” he said. It also helped him hone the restaurant’s unique business model.
The Butcher’s Block is designed to be an experience – one that’s certainly unique and possibly even – dare we say – weird. Walking up to the restaurant, you see a large piece of butcher-block countertop hanging from the façade with the restaurant’s name across it. Inside buzzes with activity, both in front of and behind the glass display of cakes, slices, and baked goods. The scent of espresso is in the air, and the restaurant offers an Allpress Espresso specialty blend as well as a single origin for coffee devotees. And beyond the bustling kitchen, a doorway opens to reveal outdoor seating completely surrounded by the perfumed herb garden. It’s an ideal spot to escape the hustle and bustle of the city.
“Our passion,” said Anthony, “is in the recreation and reinvention of the norm by taking both familiar and unique dishes, plus great service, and garnishing it with The Butcher’s Block touch.” Chris Aguasa serves as head chef, and he offers breakfast and lunch Monday through Saturday. The breakfast menu includes the signature Truffle-Infused Scrambled Eggs with Smoked Salmon served on Brasserie sourdough, and the hearty lunch menu offers everything from burgers to risotto. On top of it all, The Butcher’s Block serves up a classic, thick-and-rich milkshake served right in the mixing cup.
Since opening in 2013, The Butcher’s Shop has developed a loyal following, and, so, if you visit on a Saturday for lunch, expect to find quite a crowd: a mix of locals and visitors seeking out an urban vibe, creative dishes, and rustic charm.