To be honest, dining at City Grill Room was a last minute decision – I’d wanted to try out a pop-up restaurant that promised true American-style ribs but the crazy Melbourne weather meant the boys decided to close up shop for the night. Disappointing perhaps, but I don’t like giving up on my carefully laid plans so I diverted the group of us to somewhere that should hopefully have decent ribs. I wanted ribs and nothing but ribs – if there’s anything that will draw me back to America, it’s the promise of the best ribs in the world (and Chipotle’s but that's another story). Don’t send me into rehab please I assure you I have my obsession under control.
|City Grill Room|
After my last-minute decision, followed by an efficient online booking, we arrived to the restaurant for an early dinner and happily had (almost) the entire venue to ourselves. We did glance at the menu, but seeing as our original plan was for ribs, we all ended up ordering the same thing – 2 racks of baby back pork ribs with Monkeygland sauce.
The ribs were succulent and better than expected, with a good amount of meat on the bone. Melt-in-your-mouth tender, these ribs were equal measures savoured and scoffed greedily. The flavouring was relatively light, but this didn’t negatively affect the dish.
|Baby Back Pork Ribs with Monkeygland Sauce|
Monkeygland sauce turned out to be a BBQ style sauce, and was required to add an extra element of flavour to the ribs. Added sauce ended up being more expensive than I expected, but then again I should have read the menu more carefully rather than diving headlong into ordering. Intense emotions can drive you to do crazy things though. A word of advice as well, if it's ribs you're after, get the entrée size and skip the potato/chips unless you really want them - the ribs are already pretty heavy themselves.
The ribs were rounded off with a bottle of St Hallett Faith Shiraz that was a little rough around the edges when drunk on its own, but suited perfectly to the richness of the ribs. I love it when wine-matching works.
|St Hallett Faith Shiraz|
City Grill Room does a very good set of ribs at a reasonable (but not cheap) price-point, and has enough space to entertain a decent crowd. I can't say much about the rest of their dishes, but if the standard is maintained across the board, that I doubt you'll be disappointed. The only criticism I had was that the wait-staff seemed quite inexperienced, but we were still fairly happy with the service. This steakhouse is definitely on my list of places to return to.
535 Little Lonsdale St, Melbourne
Lunch: Mon-Fri 12pm-3pm
Dinner: Mon-Wed 6pm-9pm, Thu-Sat 6pm-10pm.