“Which fruit is that one?… Yes, and that vegetable is called..?”
My daughters and I used to love looking at Mulga the Artist’s colourful murals, which for months adorned the vacant-lot paneling inside South Village, beside Coles. South Village, Kirrawee is our local and preferred shopping centre, but as we walked around the shops in the past we’d often comment that we wished there was a fruit market or deli separate to the big hitters. When it was revealed that a new, huge and family-owned multi-purpose retailer would soon be occupying the space that Mulga’s mural had enclosed, we eagerly awaited the announcement of what it would be.
With a family full of foodies & chefs, imagine our delight when we learned that Panetta Mercato, comprised of a quality grocer, deli, meat from Butcher Bag, and fresh seafood from Astakos, would be on our doorstep. This marks a return to the Shire for Panetta Mercato (who once had a store in Miranda). Within days of its opening, we visited Panetta Mercato and were pleasantly surprised and very excited by both the huge range of products available, as well as the obvious quality.
As a family of four, we, like many others, are on a budget. I had planned to visit the grocer for rarer or more seasonal produce that is difficult to find, and keep our weekly fruit & vegetable purchases as they were. We learned on our first visit, however, that the fresh produce is not only affordable, but some of the specials are even better value than the prices offered by Panetta Mercato’s bigger rival neighbours. We now buy our fruit & vegetables from Panetta Mercato weekly. Complementing the fruits & vegetables is a beautiful arrangement of harder-to-find fresh items, particularly in such good quality, including native fruits, not-so-common root vegetables and even fancy edible garnishes like rose petals.
If you’re ever in need of inspiration for a meal or dinner party – I highly suggest perusing Panetta Mercato’s aisles. Feel like Italian? You’re sorted. Choose from the many, many Italian pasta varieties or grab some Mutti tinned tomatoes for your pizza base. Maybe Mexican? Easy. Pick up your authentic spices, seasonings, sauces and tortillas. Perhaps you’d like Arabic? Spanish? French? The shelves are stocked with a surprising amount of items that are conveniently grouped by region or cuisine. The chilled section is equally exciting with decadent butters, hand-made dumplings, fresh rice noodles, kimchi, falafels and more.
It is obvious when looking at the meat available, that Butcher Bag, pride themselves on quality. More than just a local supplier, the butchery is on-site, so you can ensure the meat is as fresh as it gets. In one of my first visits, I’d planned on ‘just looking’, but that was prior to seeing both a pork and lamb shoulder, with the bone in- a cut that is rarely seen in supermarkets, so I snapped them up! The proof really was in the eating, with Butcher Bag’s prestigious history in the industry and their relationships with select, trusted farmers apparent – the lamb & pork were delicious. A new favourite in our family is their gourmet sausages (like Mint, honey and rosemary or Wagyu caramelised onion), which are a hit with my one and four-year-old.
It’s a treat to have fishmonger Astakos conveniently within Panetta Mercato too. Astakos, a local family-operated business, greets you with incredibly fresh seafood, as well as the welcoming smiles of their staff who are ready to help & answer any questions you have. They pride themselves on their range of fresh produce with a focus on sustainability. Finally you can grab fresh oysters, prawns and even sashimi-grade tuna and salmon in the same trip as your bread and milk.
There’s not enough time to touch on the mind-blowing range of available products at Panetta Mercato. On the occasions my daughters are sitting patiently in the trolley, my husband and I weave through the aisles, often commenting to each other “wow, they even stock this!”, as we brandish a bottle or packet of something we’ve struggled to find locally in the past. Their huge selection includes all manner of fine cheeses, dips and yoghurts, dried fruits and nuts, jams and preserves, breads, crackers and flatbreads, baked sweets and biscuits, sauces, marinades and so much more.
My girls still love to play “Which fruit is that one?… Yes, and that vegetable is called..?”, although now they play it as we peruse the aisles of Panetta Mercato and I can see the wonder & delight on their faces as my husband and I introduce new, seasonal and unusual produce to the game.
For more information on Panetta Mercato’s Kirrawee store, visit the South Village website.