266 Marrickville Road
Marrickville, NSW 2204
Chris absolutely dreads it when I ask him to find us somewhere to eat. Not only am I inordinately picky, I’ve usually also canvassed out pretty much all of the available options before passing the baton onto him. Yet sometimes he manages to surprise both of us, and find a place that not only have I not heard of, but am also interested in. And that was the case with Reuben Republic.
Being both avid lovers of its namesake sandwich, it was no wonder that we were both keen on Reuben Republic. But it’s not just Reubens they have here. Despite being barely more than a takeaway canteen, the menu boasts a respectable selection of sandwiches, as well as ribs, buffalo wings, burgers, and all the side dishes you can reasonably expect. Although there were plenty of people dropping in and out for a quick bite, you can easily make a hefty meal of this.
This is the Reuben of my dreams. Stacked high American-style, the East Coast Reuben on Rye ($14.2) looks like every deli sandwich I’ve ever lusted after on Instagram.
But this isn’t just a case of quantity over quality. The pastrami, made from Black Angus Beef, is brined, smoked, rubbed, and roasted over a whopping 7 days before being sliced and piled into the sandwich. The result is a deliciously tender and smoky meat, with just a hint of heat from the spice rub. If I had to make one criticism (and I feel very petty doing so), it’s that the sandwich had maybe a little too much meat to it, and a tad more dressing and kraut would’ve made it just that little bit tastier. See, I told you it was petty!
As tempting as the other sandwiches were, I couldn’t go past the Sticky Pork Ribs ($22, 400g), which not only sounded delicious, but was also great value to boot.
Just like the Reuben, this was absolutely scrumptious. The ribs were fall-off-the-bone tender, yet still retained just enough structure for each bite to be satisfyingly meaty. The sauce slathered on top was bursting with flavour, striking a balance between savoury, smoky, sweet, and spicy. It was ridiculously good soaked into the fluffy brioche buns underneath, which were positioned perfectly to catch all the delicious meat juices. A scoop of slaw and a generous handful of pickles on the side provided some relief from the heft of the meal.
For a place that looks so unassuming, I was really quite impressed by how good Reuben Republic is. The food is simple but well done, and it’s easy to tell that the owners care a great deal about the food. It’s not the most glamorous of places to eat, but it’s neat and clean, and the staff friendly. And frankly, when the food is this good, I’d eat it sitting out front on the kerb.
Rating: 14/20 – get ribby with it.
This rating reflects my personal experience at the time of visit.