Rib Shakk is the latest Leeds venture by the prolific Anthony Flynn – well known to all who live in West Yorkshire for his handful of restaurants, cafes and foodie establishments in Leeds.
Anthony is a man who knows food well – any chef that did a stint at El Bulli in Spain is clearly a cook to be reckoned with. So I did find it a little strange that he decided to add a Rib joint to his empire in the Corn Exchange in Leeds.
The premise is simple: order food and drink at the counter and pay for it up front. Now I have to confess that I love doing this – it means a quick getaway after the meal which I think is one of life’s little pleasures. Sometimes the endless faffing waiting for the bill, then the machine and then catching the eye of the waiting staff can be a chore. So paying up front scores big points for me.
Leeds has a gaping hole where a decent rib place can slot in nicely. There’s Cattle Grid of course, but I’m not sure about that place – the food is a bit iffy and the service not so hot either. So Rib Shakk is perfectly placed to steal a march on other meaty eateries.
Based in the side cafe area of the Corn Exchange, Rib Shakk has a relatively concise menu laden with all things rib. We opted for the rib platter and the pulled pork Boston Butt. Pleasingly, the platter included beef ribs which are rarely seen on menus but done properly are a huge treat. Eating with my two ‘young adult children’ is often an expensive experience due to the appetites associated with growing/grown-up kids. Not so on this occasion as the opening offer of half price food if you follow on Twitter made the meal an absolute bargain.
The food arrived on huge wooden platters and there was plenty of it. This a place for big appetites and tucking in. Chicken wings, slaw, fries and beans all complement the rib by main event perfectly. A selection of home made sauces were lip smackingly good. Apparently Anthony has some high tech cooking method which cooks the ribs long and slow to melting tenderness. I have no idea how its done – the end result is perfection. If you’ve ever eaten ribs in the States and bemoaned the fact there’s nothing as good over here, well look no further.
I didn’t take any pictures because a) the place is quite dark and b) the platter didn’t stay intact long enough to get my camera out!
Lets be clear – this is not a sophisticated dining experience.
It’s a roll your sleeves up, get sauce on your chin, beer slurping, full bellied kind of place. The meat is exquisitely cooked and the flavours all deliver the punch you’d expect with Anthony personally at the helm. I recommend that you get along there whilst the offer is still on – Rib Shakk offers one of the most satisfying nosh ups in Leeds.