From smoky to spicy, we fill you in on where to eat BBQ pork ribs, beef short ribs, and even lamb ribs in Singapore. Time to get those hands dirty!
Some places, like fine dining restaurants, require an elegant sense of decorum while eating – use this fork for that starter, that spoon for this dessert, and all that jazz. But sometimes, all we wanna do is get our hands dirty, and chow down on meaty delicacies without trying to impress anyone or anything but our appetites. And when it comes to American restaurants, we’ve got plenty to keep our mitts occupied – burgers, fried chicken, and possibly the messiest of the lot, meat ribs. From BBQ baby back pork ribs to smoky beef ribs, and even exotic lamb ribs, here are some places in Singapore if you feel like calling dibs on ribs. And yes, licking and sucking meat from the bone is totally acceptable.
Aside from chilling like a sloth and soaking in some beachy sunshine whenever we make visits to Bali, getting our hands dirty with Naughty Nuri’s Warung’s smoky BBQ pork ribs in Ubud is usually stuffed into our to-do list. So obviously, we were stoked when the Indonesian franchise opened its first Singaporean outlet at Capitol Piazza, bringing with it its signature specialties of fall-off-the-bone meat and glug-worthy martinis. Prices are slightly more expensive here at the SG chain, but better than booking a flight all the way to Bali, right?
Naughty Nuri’s Singapore, #01-84 Capitol Piazza, Singapore 178884, p. 6384 7955. Open daily 11.30am-2.30pm, 5.30pm-11pm.
We’re so in love with this new Asian BBQ (and modern desserts) restaurant run by the double-trouble duo of Chefs Sam and Song, that we even featured them in our Hot 50 Tables series. And naturally, , it would be hard to find a BBQ joint that didn’t serve the classic sticky and spicy pork ribs. The pork ribs ($28), cooked sous vide for 11.5 hours is warmed in chicken stock before finally being fired on the BBQ. The sticky sweet sauce offers a potent bit of spiciness that’ll sneak up on you if you’re not careful, and of course, it goes without saying that the meat here just melts off the bone.
Fat Lulu’s, 297 River Valley Road, Singapore 238338. Open Tue-Fri 6pm-11pm, weekends 11am-4pm 6pm-11pm. Closed on Mon.
How serious are the MeatSmith fellas about smoking meats? Serious enough to yank down two large smokers all the way from The States, and setting them up in a cosy diner in the heart of Telok Ayer Street. The result? Tender, flavourful meats that will neither give your jaw a tough time while chewing, nor a desire to drown them in sauce – it’s that good on its own! The ½ pork spare ribs go for $25, which is seasoned with a spice-laden Memphis rub; or if your appetite’s ambitious enough, go after the Dino beef rib ($59 per rib) – a chunky cut of black pepper and mustard-crusted American black angus.
MeatSmith, 167/169 Telok Ayer Street, Singapore 068620, p. 6221 2262. Open Mon-Sat 8.30am-late.
While many might associate the Les Amis Group as the trailblazers of French (Bistro Du Vin) and Japanese (Aoki) fine dining in Singapore, they also cook up authentic Spanish cuisine at La Tapería. And amongst its tantalising array of tapas, you can find the costillitas de cordero a la parrilla – or in other words, charcoal-grilled lamb rib confit glazed with honey mustard. If you yearn for a stronger, gamier flavour in your meat ribs – with just as much slippery tenderness – these ribs will rock your taste buds.
La Tapería, #02-10/11 Shaw Centre, 1 Scotts Road, Singapore 228208, p. 6737 8336. Open daily 12pm-2pm, 6.30pm-10.30pm.
The Coastal Settlement
Though a lil’ out of the way as one of our far-out dining spots, The Coastal Settlement is one of our go-to hangouts for comfort food and ’50s nostalgia. We’re talking about more than just juicy peppery wagyu beef cubes and addictive portobello fries; at $36, their char-grilled baby rack ribs can feed two with its generous portion and thick, filling, tangy Asian marinade that’s slathered all over the soft, succulent meat.
The Coastal Settlement, 200 Netheravon Road, Singapore 508529, p. 6475 0200. Open Tues-Sun 10.30am-12am.
A household name that dates back to its ’70s origins in Miami, Tony Roma’s has perfected the art of baby back ribs for over 40 years, deservedly evolving into a franchise that boasts outlets everywhere from Thailand to Australia. While its BBQ baby back ribs are its signature delicacy, Tony Roma’s St. Louis Ribs pack just as much as punch with fatty marbling and a selection of enticing sauces – such as the sugary Carolina Honeys, the spicy Red Hots, or the fruity Smoky Apple. But if you’re a traditionalist like us, the good ol’ BBQ sauce is the way to go.
Tony Roma’s, #B1-123 Suntec City Mall, Tower 5, 3 Temasek Boulevard, Singapore 038983, p. 6337 9055. Open Mon-Thu 11.30am-3pm, 6pm-10pm, and Fri-Sun 11.30am-10pm.
Dallas Restaurant & Bar
Turning 10 in style, this American bistro entered a new chapter when it recently unveiled its gorgeous, glass-housed outlet at Suntec City’s Sky Garden. What’s kept it in the game so long? Finger-lickin’ mains like its decadent pork ribs, slow-cooked for two hours to achieve a perfect texture that’s tender without being flaky. Complemented with red cabbage slaw and potato wedges, a full rack of Fiery Ribs will test your spice tolerance, while the Berry Ribs offers a taste that’s different from the smoky sweetness one would expect from BBQ sauce, with a tangy berry glaze that lightens without diluting the dish.
Dallas Restaurant & Bar, #03-302/303 Suntec City Sky Garden, 3 Temasek Boulevard, Singapore 038983, p. 6333 4068. Open Sat-Wed 11.30am-12am, and Thu-Fri 11.30am-1am.
Self-proclaimed as the “home of sticky bones”, it’s no surprise that Morganfield’s signature dish is fork-tender, rustic pork ribs – their classic, hickory wood-smoked version is coated in an addictive, cider-infused barbecue sauce, while you can wolf down more adventurous flavours such as garlic BBQ and smoked peppercorn.
Morganfield’s, #02-23 The Star Vista, 1 Vista Exchange Green, Singapore 1386187, p. 6694 3635. Open Sun-Thu 11am-11pm, Fri-Sat 11am-12am.
Firing up an authentic barbecue experience, Smokey’s slow-roasts and smokes all its meaty mains with a secret blend of seasoning and wood chips carted in straight from the USA. Feast on ribs seasoned in special dry rub and doused in BBQ sauce, fit for sharing… or for those of you who are very, very hungry.
Smokey’s BBQ, 73 Joo Chiat Place, Singapore 427790, p. 6345 6914. Open Tue-Thu 3pm-11pm, Fri 3pm-12am, Sat 11.30am-12am, and Sun 11.30am-11pm.
Jerry’s Barbecue & Grill
For a reliable bounty of barbecued goodness, Jerry’s Barbecue and Grill won’t disappoint. Expect flame-licked ribs that are smoke-barbecued Memphis-style, using Hickory wood to impart intense, bitter, smoky flavours into the meat. These ribs are cooked for four to five hours at low heat – a skill executed to perfection at this American eatery. And yes, they do takeaway in case you can’t finish!
Jerry’s Barbecue & Grill, 92 Club Street, Singapore 069460, p. 6323 4550. Open daily 12pm-10pm.
Yes, even our go-to coffee joint across the road has new ribs on its menu! Just added to its dinner repertoire are the sous vide pork ribs ($28) that are cooked and marinated in coffee (yes, more coffee!) and Kahlua for a subtle bitter and boozy kick. This is also served with BBQ sauce, and truffle mash and coleslaw.
Sarnies, 136 Telok Ayer Street, Singapore 068601.
Dan Ryan’s Singapore
A fave haunt amongst sports fans who frequent here for live screenings of games, this Hong Kong-originating franchise has kept its patrons chuffed and stuffed with a widespread selection of American classics, including its specialty baby back ribs. And if you need more meaty energy for that late night sports marathon, Dan Ryan’s even pairs its ribs with barbecued chicken, so you’ll never get hungry after all that cheering (or cursing).
Dan Ryan’s Bar & Grill, #B1-01, 91 Tanglin Rd, Tanglin Place, Singapore 247918. p. 6738 2800. Open Mon-Sat 11.30am-12am, and Sun 11am-12am.
Boomarang Bistro & Bar
This is one of our favourites that we keep coming back to (see what we did there?). Boomarang is a cafe, bar and bistro concept that proudly serves authentic Australian cuisine. Located by the scenic Singapore River in Robertson Quay, Boomarang offers a relaxing ambience for all-day dining and entertainment, and will have you stuffed with meaty favourites like the fiery devil’s ribs ($25++) – baby pork ribs marinated in a spicy sauce that will leave tingles on your tongue.
Boomarang, 60 Robertson Quay, #01-15 The Quayside, Singapore 238252. p. 6738 1077. Open daily 7am-3am.
Patbingsoo Korean Dining House
We admit: these aren’t your typical baby back ribs, but pork ribs are a specialty here at this new Korean restaurant regardless. Having just opened its doors at Plaza Singapura, this laid-back resto has sinful street food like its rolling cheese pork ribs – cheese is melted ’til it’s stringy, and is wrapped around crispy pork ribs while served with a spicy gochujang sauce.
Patbingsoo Korean Dining House, #B2-47, 68 Orchard Road, Plaza Singapura, Singapore 238839.
For Asian pork ribs with herbal broth to boot, why not try some of Singapore’s own bak kut teh?