When I was nine years old, I used to continually ask my mother for a younger brother or sister. As an only child whose parents worked long hours in a take away shop, I was very lonely and wanted someone to spend my time with. Of course, I regretted ever asking for a younger sibling when my brother finally came along and I had to learn to share the attention of adults with a much younger and much cuter sibling who wasn’t going through the awkward teenage phase. For some reason, babies get more attention than ten year olds.
So when my eldest cousin in Hong Kong broached the subject of sending his ten-year-old son out to Australia in the Hong Kong summer school holidays, I agreed to have his son stay with me in Sydney for a week and a half, and with my father in Melbourne for three weeks. I knew that his son was going to find things difficult in the coming months with a new baby sister on the way, and a two year old younger brother at home. At least he could get some attention in Australia with his great uncle (my dad) and his aunt (me).
And so, for ten days in August, I had a ten year old boy sleeping on my couch. He slept late every day, did a spot of holiday homework when I was at work, and then I took him out every night after work for a fun activity like ice-skating or trampolining, or a nice meal out. He enjoyed the freedom, the focus on him rather than his younger brother, and the constant calendar of fun activities that I had planned!
The first meal he had in Sydney was at Ribs and Burgers in Rhodes – a quick meal with my friends before we all went out for a night of karaoke. Squeezing six people into a booth meant for four made for a cozy meal!
I ordered some large chips for us to share, as both my nephew and I were only ordering burgers. Super crispy and crunchy, everyone couldn’t stop themselves from grabbing a few each to satiate their hunger while waiting for the main meals to come out.
I asked my nephew if he wanted to order the simple beef burger from the kids menu as the size would be much more manageable – however he was insistent that he wanted to have bacon and cheese on his burger. A full-sized burger it was! As much as he enjoyed it (you don’t get burgers as big and elaborate as this where he lives in Hong Kong!), he also complained that it was too big and that it hurt his mouth to open it that wide in order to take a bite. What a first world problem!
K and a few others opted for the Best of Both, an elaborate meal on a board of the two namesake dishes – Ribs and Burgers. I had a bite of the mini chicken slider, and I can vouch for it as being an excellently marinated and grilled piece of chicken. It definitely tempted me to consider ordering the chicken burger next time I’m there!
A friend who’s currently on a protein-heavy diet ordered a full rack of pork ribs with a salad on the side. It was truly finger-licking good, though the general consensus from those who ordered ribs was that it didn’t quite measure up to the likes of Hurricane’s Grill.
My lamb burger was deliciously infused with a mix of herbs and spices that really helped the burger to sing. The combination of Mediterranean flavours like hummous and tzatziki as the dressing with the cos lettuce made the burger taste quite fresh and clean on the palate as well. Luckily, the board that it was served on had a ridge all around as the lamb burger was so juicy that I dripped sweet juices from the burger with every bite that I took – it could have been a very messy meal! They also have a washbasin available right in the middle of the store so that patrons can wash up after digging in with gusto into their meals with their bare hands!
Ribs and Burgers serves up a big, hearty, and messy meal for a reasonable price. With locations all around Sydney and Melbourne (and one in Brisbane!), it’s a convenient alternative to my usual ribs joints such as Hurricane’s Grill and Ribs & Rumps. I’ll be back!