Meatmother opened in Richmond recently, and as you may be able to guess from the name – it’s all about the meat. Not just any meat though, the focus is the wonderful art of American BBQ.
One Saturday, I headed there for an impromptu dinner with Haz, Gaz, Thanh and Alastair. They don’t take bookings for groups smaller than eight, so we all arrived before their opening time of 6pm and hung around outside until the doors opened.
The restaurant is split over two levels, with downstairs holding a bar and bar seating, and a main dining room upstairs. Upstairs are several large communal tables (plus a few smaller ones), large pictures hung on what look like butcher hooks, and industrial style dim lighting.
Before we got into the food, a few of us ordered some cocktails ($15 each).
I had a Black Widow Tea – made with sweet tea vodka, lemonade and Chambord.
Thanh had the most interesting choice – a Bacon Sour which comes with bacon-infused Maker’s Mark bourbon, lemon, bitters and a slice of candied bacon.
We ordered three meat trays to share between the five of us. Meat trays come with one meat, one side, and slices of Texas toast served on enamel trays.
My favourite of the three meats was the beef short rib ($21) – it was fall clean off the bone tender after the low slow cooking time, infused with delicious wood smoke flavours, and finished off with a drizzle of sauce.
The pork spare ribs ($21) were also very good – like the beef the meat was tender and smokey – and coated with a tangy, sweet, sauce.
Our last meat was the pulled pork ($19). This is what I always want my pulled pork to taste like but never actually achieve. It was excellent with juicy and flavoursome strands of meat.
Oh, and the Texas toast? Delicious.
Out of the three sides that we had, the BBQ beans were the best.
I was really looking forward to the mac and cheese, but found it a bit bland and boring.
The chipotle slaw was also a bit boring, and this coming from someone who loves coleslaw.
In addition to the meat trays, we also had a few extra items.
The house pickles ($5) are good for pickle lovers and ours contained a mixture of cauliflower, carrots, cucumber and most interestingly – okra. The okra was surprisingly good.
The BBQ chicken wings ($6) were tender and juicy, with a strongly flavoured sauce that was slightly spicy.
I was expecting the hock croquettes ($6) to be made of potato (the whole croquette thing) and was pleasantly surprised to find strands of slow cooked pork inside.
We finished with the two desserts on offer that night.
Sticky toffee pudding with Bourbon ice cream ($8).
And a frozen lime pie on an Oreo base ($8).
Both desserts were good and a nice way to end the meal.
My only complaint about Meatmother are the chairs. They were REALLY UNCOMFORTABLE. If they were deliberately chosen as a strategy to prevent customers from lingering, then it was a job well done.
However, if I ignore that, dinner was quite enjoyable and a lot of yum. Can American BBQ PLEASE be the next big trend in Melbourne? It is one that I highly approve of.
View Off the spork in a larger map
167 Swan St
Phone: 03 9041 5393