Food and Drink


Meet Meatmother

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Joining the growing culinary hub around Swan and Bridge street in Richmond, new BBQ restaurant Meatmother opened its doors this week. The new venture is unapologetically meatier than a meat lovers with extra topping – inside the walls are graced with cattle skulls, cleavers and massive black and white prints depicting hearts, skulls and the occasional boob.

The man behind the flesh fest is Neil Hamblen, a former journo who’s swapped inhospitable hours chasing leads for inhospitable hours smoking hunks of beef, pork and whatever else takes his fancy.

The upside of Neil and his team’s carnivorous commitment is that you smell Meatmother long before you see it, and it smells a heck of a lot better than Subway. In the kitchen Canadian chef Yannick Dagenais is the pit master who earned his chops working with Michelin-starred chefs and the Canadian BBQ touring circuit.

The menu is concise: pulled pork, brisket, short rib and spare ribs ($18 including one side, Texas toast and pickles). Sides include cold-weather carb fests like BBQ beans, chipotle slaw, mac cheese and gravy mash ($4).

I tried the beef short rib after Neil informed me the first time he sampled it was a “weeping moment” (the happy sort). I admit I got emotional when the rib was slapped down before me. A handsome slab of meat that 12 hours of smoking has made putty in my hands. Tender, smoky, humongous – the dish ticked all the adjective boxes you associated with BBQ. Plus the sides of sprouts with lardons (ie garlic and bacon) were a salty revelation.

And there’s more than just meat on the menu. Over at the bar they’ve got a decent selection of craft beers and a cocktail list that includes, you guessed it, a bacon sour.

When in Rome, or Richmond.

167 Swan Street, Richmond
9041 5393
Tues – Sun 5pm till late

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