Ribs are among that special category of foods for which it’s appropriate, as an adult, to wear a bib. Channel your inner caveman and eschew cutlery for hands and teeth: this isn’t a time for etiquette.

LP’s Quality Meats

If you turn up at a dark, unassuming laneway and think you’ve arrived at the wrong place, you’re probably in the right one. From the outside, LP’s Quality Meats is a simple affair – a bit like owner Luke Powell’s amazing beef short rib. Forget the sticky-marinade disguise: this one’s for those who like good meat cooked to charred perfection. Covered in nothing but salt and pepper, the ribs spend 15 hours in a smoker imported from Tennessee before they land on your plate. Make sure your order includes the cloud-like potato and gravy – a side so good you’ll want to bathe in it. Emma Mulholland

Suite 1, 16 Chippen Street, Chippendale; (02) 8399 0929

China Lane

Nestled in the inner-city dining precinct of Angel Lane, China Lane dishes up lamb ribs with modern Chinese flair – don’t expect any smoky barbecue sauce or a side of chips here. Instead, ribs are petite and wok-fried with hits of black bean and finished with shallot. They come with the most thoughtful side of all: a hot towel to clean your hands afterwards. Kate Phillips

2 Angel Place, Sydney; (02) 9231 3939 

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Tap Rooms

There was a time when spare ribs arrived big, messy and confronting. Not so much a meal as a challenge, not so much dining as mud wrestling.  But there’s been an intervention. At the Endeavour Tap Rooms in The Rocks, ribs have emerged as the succulent, smoky, understated stars of the share plate. Order the Mirrool Creek lamb with spiced plum and smoky barbecue sauces and a pint of beer brewed on-site. Downside: it’s noisy. Upside: you don’t need a bib. We call that a win. Steve Taylor

39-43 Argyle Street, The Rocks; (02) 9241 6517

Hurricane’s Grill Circular Quay

Served with a generous side of chips or baked potato, the ribs (pork, lamb or beef) at Hurricane’s Grill are legendary, basted in the steakhouse’s “secret” sauce, then slow-cooked and finished on the chargrill until the sauce caramelises. You can enjoy them at any of the restaurant’s 11 locations (eight in Sydney, two on the Gold Coast and one in Perth… sorry, Melbourne!). But if you want to amp up the finger-licking factor, make a beeline for the newest outpost in Circular Quay. Located on the second floor of the Gateway Sydney precinct, this is the only Hurricane’s to offer the Rare menu, featuring the mega-delicious Riverine beef ribs – tossed in chilli, coriander and garlic, Balinese style – then cooked for eight hours and served with onion rings and chips. It’s steeply priced – $80 a serve – but they’re huge slabs of meat, so perfect to share between two. Akash Arora

L202-L203 Gateway Building, 1 Macquarie Place, Sydney; 02 9211 2210

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Mr G's Bar & Grill 

Not to be confused with a similarly named Potts Point institution, Mr G's Bar & Grill is a new addition to Double Bay's burgeoning dining scene. Located beneath the InterContinental Hotel, the upmarket, New York-style steakhouse (think dark timber and studded leather furnishings) caters for hotel guests and locals alike, serving locally sourced cuts cooked in a unique charcoal and wood-fired oven. Do start with the house-baked Damn Good Corn Bread with bacon butter – just be careful not to fill up on it as the mains are sizeable. The 400-gram Cape Byron Angus short rib, prepared with a chilli, barbecue and miso rub and slow-braised for three to four hours, is succulent and melts in your mouth. It comes with barbecue creamed corn, pickled tomato and potato gratin, but you can't help but think, “Where are the chips?” Craig Fordham

The InterContinental Hotel, 33 Cross Street, Double Bay; (02) 8039 3180


Ribs isn’t the first dish that springs to mind when you think of Lebanese cuisine, but Nour – a recent addition to Surry Hills’ Middle Eastern scene – does them, and rather well. Who are we, after all, to argue with short ribs marinated in chermoula (a North African spice rub) for three hours, then cooked sous vide for 11 hours before being reheated in wood-fired oven and served with roast carrots and toum béarnaise? And while you’re at it, make sure to sink your teeth into the Lebanese dumplings, stuffed with spiked pumpkin and served with yogurt and a drizzle of burnt butter. To top it all off, order the Middle Eastern banoffee with tahini, banana mousse and camel-milk ice-cream. Akash Arora

Shop 3, 490 Crown Street, Surry Hills; 02 9331 3413 

Top image: Hurricane's Grill

SEE ALSO: Sydney’s Hot Chips are Fully Loaded

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