Ever since Adam plucked a rib from his chest (admittedly, to ‘make Eve’ rather than fix dinner), we’ve had a thing for ribs. Here are five places serving up the best pork and beef in London. Do you agree with our choices? Use the comments box below or tweet your suggestions.
Here’s what to do at this highfalutin smoke and steakhouse: go directly to the baby back ribs (do not pass go, do not collect £200). The best dish in the joint, it’s also a starter, but no matter: you can always fake a medical emergency and leave straight after. You get roughly half a rack, with plenty of meat on dem bones. The pork is chewy, pit-smoked and slathered in a sweet, sticky marinade, with chilli and coriander adding fire and zing. Ribs from £10.
A barbecue joint in a former pub, Duke's dishes up ribs that are truly divine. Go for either the beef or pork: both come smoked to within an inch of their lives, with a sweet, charry stickiness that you’ll want to lick off your fingers. The tender flavourful meat falls off the bones... You should be getting the picture by now: we're fans. Ribs from £10.25.
If you’re not at imminent risk of having a heart attack, these might be the ribs for you. So rich and so decadent that they’re probably on your GP’s no-no list along with Krispy Kremes and stuffed-crust pizzas, this enormous ‘bar snack’ (ha!) comes crafted from pork belly. This means the fatty-edged meat is exceptionally juicy, with very little bone. A fruity, peppery marinade gives it intensity, while pickled red cabbage is the perfect accompaniment. Ribs from £10.
They should rename this joint Pitt ‘Queue’ Co, Because the waiting times at the Soho hotspot have become almost as legendary as the barbe-‘cue’ itself. It’s partly down to space (or lack thereof). But mostly, it’s because, heck, the ribs are so good. Chunky, blackened hunks of beef leap off the bone on contact, the dry-rub marinade is deep and intense, the flesh smoky and moist. The St Louis ribs (pork spare ribs to you and me) are pretty darn decent, too. Ribs from £11.
The owners of Shikumen were doubling their bets when they launched London’s newest Chinese restaurant concept. They opened this branch in the Dorsett Hotel just six weeks after debuting their first in Ealing’s Xanadu Hotel. Named after a Shanghainese East-meets-West architectural style popular in the seventeenth century, Shikumen claims to reflect the refinement of that period. It isn’t something you’d expect to find. First impressions lived up to the promise – from the courteous greeting at the door to the handsome dining room furnished with leather banquettes and Shanghai-style room dividers. The dim sum menu is a compact selection of exquisitely steamed, baked, and fried dishes ranging from classic har gau and xiao long bao to more sophisticated items such as scallop siu mai topped with tobiko and cheung fun filled with prawn and beancurd skin. The latter was a revelation, each mouthful exploding into a sensual mix of sweet, briny flavours and crisp textures. Pan-fried turnip cake, another lunchtime staple, exceeded expectations with an eggy topping of chopped garlic chives. A generous portion of stir-fried seafood udon in XO sauce was also faultless. We didn’t have time for Peking duck, which requires at least 45 minutes notice and is presented in two servings – sliced and served with pancakes, then shredded and served with fried rice or fried or braised noodles. Judging from the dim sum, I’m willing to bet this dish would be executed with equal meticulousness. Servi
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