Extraordinarily tasty ribs, succulent burgers, a secret marinade, epic character graffiti, and a mint green vintage car right in the heart of Pakington Street. There’s nothing quite like it.
Coming from an electrician’s dream to open a restaurant after three decades perfecting marinades for the Filipino Social Club, and a son who believed the tempting creations should be shared, RIBZ Master Grillers was born.
Jonathan Smith – stepson of the ‘master griller’ Ed Sismaet – says he knew they were onto a good thing with the concept, especially with the heavenly marinade sauce which is kept under complete wraps.
“Only he knows the ingredients to it,” Smith says.
“I don’t even know, he is really secretive like that. He’s got a range of sauces and marinades, there’s so many different varieties and we’ve only managed to milk some stuff out of him. Only because it’s just impossible for him to do it all.”
Since planning the venture late last year, Smith has used his extensive business experience to turn the former clothing store into a unique, street style restaurant, while his passionate mother Rhodora, and stepdad Ed focused on creating the food to fill the void in the Geelong rib market.
Following many long days and sleepless nights, the highly anticipated restaurant opened two weeks ago and so far, the success has exceeded the family expectations.
“At the start we thought we would just ease into it, but we just got absolutely smashed. We had about 30 people out the front at 11am on the opening morning. It was raining, it was freezing cold, and people were chanting ‘we want ribs, we want ribs’. We even had to close for dinner because we ran out of meat.”
Perfecting the staple of any meat lovers diet, the food speaks for itself. The five hour marinated beef and pork ribs make for one mighty flavoursome dish, served by weight with a choice of 250 grams, 500 grams, or even one and two kilograms for those with an appetite. If that hasn’t got your mouth-watering, Smith says they also have pull-apart beef and pork rib burgers and the delectable locked’n’loaded chips, complete with beef ribs, double cheese sauce, chives, caramelised onions, jalapeños and capsicum!
With juicy street food and sticky fingers comes a street theme décor to match, with the venue featuring a full-scale mural down the wall with the family’s favourite movie characters, such as Iron Man, Bane, The Joker and Harley Quinn, painted by local graffiti artist Ian Lowe. There are also tyre marks painted on the floors and reclaimed wood tables to complete the rustic alley way theme.
As for the bright vintage truck used as the service counter, well that was all part of Smith’s vision – and he wasn’t going to go on without it.
“I’ve always wanted one. Everyone was like nah this is too hard; you need to forget this whole idea. Everyone was against me, but I was committed. I was looking everywhere.”
After weeks searching, he eventually found an old Datsun in Norlane and carried it straight through the front door. Revelling in the perfect find, Smith gladly demonstrates the trucks working horn and windscreen wipers, thanks to the handy work of his brother.
Ribz is currently awaiting a liquor license, which will see Smith adding beer taps and a possible cocktails list to compliment the killer food and central location. Smith says there is also the possibility of live music, with his sister CJ Sismaet first on the line-up, a neon addition to the wall and an old school arcade machine. But we will just have to wait and see.
RIBZ is located at 136 Pakington Street, Geelong West and is open Tuesday to Sunday from 12pm – 3pm for lunch and from 5:30pm – 9pm for dinner.
Phone 5222 4122 or visit their Facebook page www.facebook.com/ribzmastergrillers
Written by Talia Rinaldo