Tuesday, March 6, 2012

In search of the best ribs in Sydney...

Last month, Mr M and I set out on a mission to uncover the best ribs in Sydney. We surveyed many friends and Hurricane’s ribs was almost unanimously agreed to be the best. To test it out for ourselves, we visited five steakhouses (some even twice) in February 2012, and here are our results :P 

Finding #1:
A diet on ribs and ribs alone will make you lose weight!
Mr M, as we speak, is on a diet. Now people ask “how can you rib out like this on a diet?” But in fact he has been steadily losing weight, especially so when we have ribs for dinner. “The trick is to not have any chips or sugary drinks!” revealed Mr M, and I won’t comment here on how strict he was in adhering to his own rules. All I can say is it's working, even for the times when chips counted as vegies :P

Finding #2:
Each steakhouse had their own ways of attracting rib enthusiasts. In this post, I’ve listed what we liked and disliked about each.

Ribs and Rump

Yay J
  • Chips – R&R have “the best chips” claimed Mr M and their Caesar salad is great too.
  • Ribs are consistently good, in fact they are Mr M’s favourite. 
  • Bibs and wet napkins are always a nice touch 
  • Takeaway 2go (North Ryde) – you can call and order in advance, pick them up (in delivery bags that keep them hot) and eat them at the comfort of your own home (or at the beach or anywhere else you’d prefer to rib out :P). 
Nay L
  • Buffalo wings – wasn’t the best we’ve had
  • They can get pretty busy here so expect some waiting time

Buffalo wings
Grilled chicken wings smothered with tangy BBQ relish

The Caesar
Cos lettuce, egg, cripy bacon, fresh croutons 
and shavings of Parmesan cheese, topped with a traditional Caesar dressing

Ribs & Ribs & Ribs (Plate 1)
A mouth-watering combo of tender pork, meaty beef and juicy lamb ribs
Slow cooked in special marinade, then grilled in zesty rib basting

Ribs & Ribs & Ribs (Plate 2)

Ribs & Ribs & Ribs (Plate 3) - yes, we ordered three plates of Ribs & RIbs & Ribs!

Mr M's Favourite... Yummy Pork Ribs from R&R

Mr M's Favourite... R&R Chips - nice and crisp!

Ribs & Rump
11 Talavera Road  
North Ryde NSW 2113
(02) 9805 1199

Ribs and Rumps on Urbanspoon

Pancakes on the Rock
Yay J
  • Juicy beef ribs and tasty pork ribs
  • Smaller serving sizes (which can be a nay for bigger eaters, but they are cheaper than ribs elsewhere) means room for other things on the menu
  • Yummy pesto and pine nut bread crisps (deliciously nutty, crunchy and served straight from the oven) and Caesar salad
  • Open 24/7 with breakfast served 24/7 too!
  • Ribs are served with wedges (although they might not be the best wedges, but certainly nice to have a break from chips once in a while). If there's anywhere that serves kumara (sweet potato) chips with ribs, that would definitely be a winner!
Nay L
  • Expect to see a queue in front of the restaurant during peak hours
  • Don’t have high expectations for the pancakes here (thick and uninteresting flavours) despite the name of the restaurant. 
L Loves... Pork ribs
Grilled in your choice of marinade, barbeque, teriyaki or honey soya sauce.
Served with golden potato wedges and mixed lettuce

Miss J's Fav... Beef ribs
Tender and juicy marinated and grilled in tangy barbeque sauce.
Served with golden potato wedges and mixed lettuce.
A closer look at the succulent beef ribs
Caesar salad
Made with the freshest of ingredients. A mix of cos lettuce, bacon bits,
shaved parmesan cheese, croutons and our very own home made caesar dressing.

Crunchy corn chips smothered in Mexican beef sauce, beans,
jalopeno peppers and a generous melt of tasty cheese.
Topped with sour cream, guacamole, tomato salsa and shallots.


Pancakes on the Rocks
4 Hickson Rd   
The Rocks NSW 2000
02 9683 4322

Pancakes on the Rocks on Urbanspoon

Mumu Grill
Yay J
  • Good ambience with lots of room to move around
  • “The use of sustainable product, grass fed beef, organic chicken” as stated on their menu
Nay L
  • Ribs were slightly chewy and the sauce tasted strange with hints of Asian spices. Maybe they are trying to have a fusion thing going on here but it’s not working for us! 
  • Slightly more expensive considering the quality and portion size of the dishes served. 

Cute umbrella hanger tree

Wood fired bread
Sicilian Green Olives


Rib Combo: beef short ribs with baby back pork ribs 

Beef Ribs
Slow cooked beef ribs served in house made BBQ sauce

Twice Cooked Duck: roasted, then braised and
served on bok choy with poached pear

Not entirely satisfied with their ribs, we decided to give their ducks a try. It was well cooked, but again had hints of Asian flavour, accentuated by the use of bok choy.

Mumu Grill
76 Alexander St   
Crows Nest, NSW 2065
02 9460 6877

Mumu Grill on Urbanspoon

Kelly's Bar and Grill

Yay J
  • Complementary warm, fluffy and buttery brioche bread
  • Great ambience (with a view!), relatively easy parking (inside Bondi Westfield), and easy access to desserts afterwards (right next to Max Brenner)
  • Easy to book, service was prompt
  • Serving portions are generous – they may not look like a lot, but these ribs are certainly meatier than all others
  • Can choose to have chips, mash, baked potato or rice (seriously, rice?) with the ribs. You can also add an extra $3.95 to have steamed vegies or garden salad instead. 
  • After dinner mint crème chocolate with your bill 
Nay L
  • Inconsistency in how the ribs are cooked – on the same stack we can get ribs that are dry and overcooked, as well as ribs that are perfectly moist. We also found the sauce to be slightly bland.
  • Caesar salad and chips here are not as nice as some of the others

Nice and comfortable seating area 
L Loves... Complementary brioche bread

Pork ribs (700g) combo with lamb ribs (200g), with a side of steam vegies

Lamb ribs (500g) combo with pork ribs (300g) with a side of chips

The chef grilling away in the semi-open kitchen
Kelly's Bar and Grill
500 Oxford St   
Bondi Junction NSW 2022
02 9389 8288

Hurricane's Grill & Bar on Urbanspoon

Hurricane's Grill & Bar

Yay J
  • Mouth-watering ribs smothered in finger-licking sauce – and the meat is so succulent it falls right off the bones!
  • Cute bibs to wear if needed
Nay L
  • Hurricane’s is always crowded and the tables are cramped. 
  • The restaurant is really dark it’s hard to tell whether you’re getting the pork, the beef or the lamb ribs.
  • You could be looking at a two hours wait on a weekend if you decide to show up without a booking (so remember to booked ahead!). The food here also takes quite a while to come out.
Big apologies for the appalling photo here as I forgot to take my camera and had to rely on my iphone. Maybe this is a perfect excuse to revisit, given Hurricane’s has, in my personal opinion, the best ribs in Sydney :)

L Loves... Full rack of tender pork and juicy beef ribs
Hurricane's Grill & Bar
Corner Devlin St and Blaxland Rd
Ryde NSW 2112
02 9130 7101

Hurricane's Grill & Bar on Urbanspoon

L's Verdict: Hurricane's definitely won me over with their unbeatable ribs. That being said, it also had the worst ambience (and possibly the worst service too). So I'm happy to go to Ribs & Rump, Pancakes on the Rocks or Kelly's Bar and Grill when I want to spend more quality time with friends. 

Thanks to all our friends for joining in the fun of ribbing out and special thanks for our partners in crime Mr T & Ms C for not missing a single rib out event. Big Yay!!! J

Now dear readers, what is your favourite place to rib out? Please do let me know if I've missed anywhere that deserves a visit, as I'm far away from being sick of ribs yet :P

Update for Hurricane's Grill:
To make up for the terrible photo taken at Hurricane’s Grill North Ryde, we visited Hurricane’s again, this time at Darling Harbour. The experience was another one of long wait (on a Wednesday!) and then came the good food. Firstly it was their reservation line, busy right from when they opened at 10am. Then we waited a good 20 – 30 mins outside the restaurant for a table we have booked in advance. After we got into the restaurant however, the service was pretty smooth and we had a good time. We suspected part of the reason why Hurricane’s ribs always taste so nice is because we always end up getting really hungry before we get served our food :P

Mr M commented that he didn’t like the chips - they are not crisp and tasted bland. The ribs are tasty but slightly burnt on the outside. Perhaps a sign of understaffing of kitchen staff. I still think Hurricane’s have the best sauce and the ribs are worth the wait! Anyway, here are the photos, enjoy! :)

S. Pellegrino teamed up with Bvlgari to bring together the most
prestigious Italian brands, in a tribute to Italian timeless magnificence.

Caesar Salad 
L Loves... Full rack of tender pork and juicy beef ribs

The tender pork ribs cut up

Hurricane's Grill & Bar on Urbanspoon


  1. i love hurricane's ribs! have you tried cafe ish's ribs? they do an awesome ribs there too!

  2. Thanks for the tip! I will definitely look at giving cafe ish a try :)

  3. Sydney ... pork ribs ... Tony Romas! You need to hone in on which of the 4 sauces is to your taste though (sauce is very integral to the rib experience). I rate them Australia's best. Ribs and Rumps second. I agree that Hurricane's chips are a bit soft and bland.

    1. Hi Anonymous, I've tried Tony Romas before but I don't remember getting to choose the sauce, and I didn't like the one I got given. Any tips on which sauce to get? Thanks!

    2. Tony Roma's is fucking attrocious. Worst customer service, terrible portion sizes, and generally overpriced craps.

      On my birthday last year, I got the exact same serving of ribs as a 'full rack' as my mate was served as a half rack in is rib/steak combo.

      Not worth the time or effort.

      I recommend sunset grill tbh

  4. You should try Barbuto in Narrabeen

  5. Urban Bites in Newtown do tasty ribs!

  6. Try the ribs at New Orleans Cafe in Crows Nest. Meaty, juicy and delicious.

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  8. Best ribs by far is Taste of Texas BBQ, authentic hickory slow cooked.Dural lounge pop up, every Saturday 12-5.I hear they are finally opening a permanent spot in Horns by sometime in July.

  9. give the rib factory a try.

  10. Wished I read this before going to Pancakes on the Rock and ordered the pancakes, which taste very ordinary. However I do not understand why are people raving about the ribs at Ribs & Rump. Went there and found their beef ribs to taste too sugary. Hurricane's is the best so far.

  11. 100% the best ribs and buffalo wings in Sydney are at Blue Plate in Neutral Bay... Hurricanes is a poor mans version of tasty dude food... If you go on Wednesday nights, you can get 2 for 1 wings.... It's seriously better than sex.

  12. Taste of Texas BBQ but a country mile, check them out at https://www.facebook.com/TasteOfTexasBBQSydney

  13. wonderfulkitchens.com.au offers an exclusive custom made, individually built designer kitchen to suit your style, design, and budget.

  14. I think the ribs at Outback steakhouse are better than hurricanes try their razarback 1kg pork ribs they the best in sydney and they have their famous blooming onion yummy!!!!

  15. Hurricanes hit and miss with there pork ribs... Sometimes juicy and tender and sometimes dry and chewy. Maybe prepared in advance way to early. I've had this prob at darling harbour and Brighton le sands.
    Good tip if you like hot... Order the perrie perrie sauce and dip your ribs into it mmmmmmm

  16. Best ribs I have ever tasted were at Montana's in Canada, any ribs place in Sydney doesn't even come close to it...But if anyone has been to Montana's and can recommend a place then I would drive even 10 hours to try it....

  17. Try BBQ Smoken Ribs @ Crows Nest