31st December 2015
Shop 94-96, Northcote Plaza
8 Breavington Way
Northcote, VIC 3070
Sometimes mystique is overrated. Take Ribs and Burgers for example; in this instance, the name really does say it all, and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that.
Ok so Ribs and Burgers may be attached to a shopping centre, opposite a Degani, but don’t knock it just yet. Though I haven’t heard much about their burgers, there have been some good things said about the ribs. And look, they’re ribs – how bad can it be?
… and one more thing, Ribs and Burgers is also a chain. But I mean, Rockpool is a chain and they have chef’s hats! To be entirely honest, had I not known, I would’ve assumed that this was a stand-alone restaurant. It has the casual bistro and grill vibe going, and the condiment shelf with a sink to wash your sauce-encrusted hands is an absolute necessity. The ambience was somewhat ruined by the high concentration of teenagers though. GET OFF MY LAWN!
The Smoky BBQ Pork Spare Ribs ($28.5, full rack) stole the show on its rustic wooden chopping board. Coated in smoky-sweet BBQ sauce and stamped with grill marks, the sticky pork was so tender that it fell off the bone. It’s sloppy, messy, and everything I love in a rib.
We also had some BBQ Beef Ribs ($29.5, full rack), but unfortunately the photos seemed to have walked off my camera. Leaner and with large chunks of meat, these offered a much more carnivorous eating experience. Although these were nice, they just didn’t compare to the pork ribs. You really do need that smokiness from the sauce, and the caramelisation of the fatty edges.
And yes, we got a plate of Sticky Soy Chicken Wings ($9.5) too. Despite being somewhat on the dry side, these were redeemed by the thick, glossy glaze of sticky soy. It was an addictive combination of sweet and salty, with just a hint of umami thrown in.
Served with the ribs was a selection of sides, out of which we chose the Butcher’s Salad. It was essentially a garden salad, but everything was crisp and fresh – perfect for between those mouthfuls of rib. We also got a side of Onion Rings ($6), piled high in a golden mountain. The slivers of red onion were battered in tempura and tossed with chicken salt, resulting in crisp, frothy strands that were addictively easy to eat.
So it may not be fine dining, but Ribs and Burgers does some of the most finger-lickin’ pork ribs around. Though I’m not so sure about the prospect of a salmon burger, I know that I’ll be coming here for my rib fix unless I can find something better.
Rating: 13.5/20 – hi bens.
This rating reflects my personal experience at the time of visit.