(SPOT.ph) There's just something so down-to-earth about ribs. It could be the sweet and tangy flavors that evoke memories of backyard barbeques—or maybe it's the urge to tear at a slab with your bare hands. The preparation, however, is anything but simple. The best ribs require absolute tenderness, paired with the right sauce and seasoning. Smoked ribs are even tougher to get right. They’re meticulously cooked for hours in a smoker until the meat is effortlessly tender and the profile of the wood has seeped into its sinews.
We searched the Metro for restaurants that offer slabs showcasing the same effort and precision. Here are the Top 10 Smoked Ribs in Manila.
All SPOT.ph Top 10 lists are researched, paid for, tested, and selected by the writers and editors. They are discreetly conducted without any notice made to the restaurants or their owners.
10. Baby Back Ribs (P389) from Chubby's Rib Shack
One look at a plate of these ribs, and you already know this is a dish that calls for a hearty appetite. Chubby's serves up a half-pound rack of smoked ribs with coleslaw, a thick slice of toast, and a generous pile of their Honky Tonk rice. They recommend their sweet Home-Style BBQ sauce, which is a little on the sweeter side, but you'd need to slather more on the fatty meat to get the full flavor.
Chubby's Rib Shack is at G/F Solaris One Building, Legazpi Village, Makati City.
9. Smoked Soft Bone Ribs (P230/solo, P390/duo, P495/full, P1,990/platter) from Big D's Smokehouse
A slab of these ribs arrives at your table glistening with a lot of barbeque sauce, but you can also request to have the latter served on the side. This rack is cooked "Southern-style," dry rubbed and basted in their signature sauce. The result? Melt-in-your-mouth ribs. The flavors are all there, though you might miss the fun of tearing the meat off the bones.
Big D's Smokehouse has branches at 2/F POS Building, Scout Madriñan Street corner Tomas Morato Avenue, South Triangle, Quezon City; and 2/F Eastwood Citywalk 2, Libis, Quezon City.
8. Famous Baby Back Ribs (P599/half, P1,199/full) from Murray's New Orleans
Though Murray's primarily serves Cajun fare, their ribs are still a must-try. Marinated in a dry rub, smoked for over six hours then grilled, the juicy meat is charred perfectly and falls cleanly off the bone. You get just a hint of smoky flavor in every bite, paired with a sweet and tangy sauce that doesn't overpower the meat. Bonus: Hearty eaters will love their generous sidings!
Murray's New Orleans has branches at Building 5, Bonifacio High Street, Bonifacio Global City; and G/F, Entertainment Mall, Mall of Asia Complex, Pasay City.
7. Baby Back Ribs (P645/half, P1,185/full) from 'Cue Modern Barbeque
For the carnivorous bunch who like their meat simple and fuss-free, make a beeline for these ribs. It's a bit on the pricey side, but the quality of the smoked meat really shines through. Their dry rub variety, for instance, needs only a smidgen of sauce, allowing the flavors and delicious juiciness speak for themselves.
'Cue Modern Barbeque is at Bonifacio High Street Central, 7th Avenue, Bonifacio Global City.
6. Baby Back Ribs (P635/half, P895/full) from Wild West Roadhouse Grill
These bestselling ribs are Southern goodness through and through. The meat, lean with just the right amount of fat, is locked in a smoker then grilled for a rich, smoky flavor that permeates through every satisfying bite. The rack is double-basted with their lipsmacking barbeque sauce, and when you pull at the meat, watch it fall away from the bone with little effort.
Wild West Roadhouse Grill has branches at Building 1, Bonifacio High Street, Bonifacio Global City; and L/6 East Wing, Shangri-La Plaza, Mandaluyong City.
5. Original Baby Back Ribs (P685/half, P888/regular, P1,175/full) from Tony Roma's
It's a good thing Tony Roma's ribs are slow-smoked, because it would be a shame to exclude a classic from this list. This mouthwatering rack probably has its own cult following, and we don't blame them. The meat is on the leaner side, which pulls cleanly and easily away from the bone. Their Original BBQ sauce is just as famous as the ribs they peddle, and you'll be glad they're extra generous with it.
Tony Roma's has branches at G/F Glorietta 4, Ayala Center, Makati City; Unit A, The Fort Complex Entertainment Center, 28th Street corner 5th Avenue, Bonifacio Global City; and 2/F Expansion Wing, Alabang Town Center, Muntinlupa City.
4. Smoked U.S. Pork Spare Ribs (P360/solo, P700/full) from Fat Daddy's Smokehouse
Believe us when we say these are ribs worth the trip deep into the heart of Marikina. This is the kind of place that elicits the hungry caveman in you, appetite included. In the case of the ribs, the knife goes through the meat with ease and it's just the right shade of pink—the result of 12 painstaking hours of smoking and grilling. The meat is on the leaner side, which will delight your inner carnivore.
Fat Daddy's Smokehouse is at 171 Dao Street, Marikina Heights, Marikina City. Read more about Fat Daddy's Smokehouse.
3. Original Smoked Ribs (P180/solo, P450/half, P880/full) from Big Daddy Jay's
The menu at Big Daddy Jay's is modest, which tells you that you're here for the star of the show: the meticulously prepared ribs. Don't let the char deter you from digging in; the dry-rubbed meat is so fall-off-the-bone, you won't even need a knife to cut through the juicy layers of meat and fat. You can taste the six hours' worth of smoking and flavor in every succulent bite.
Big Daddy Jay's has branches at 61B 17th Avenue, Cubao, Quezon City; and 169 Aguirre Avenue, BF Homes, Parañaque City.
2. Baby Back Ribs (P335/solo, P635/half, P1,120/full) from Smokin' Pig Legendary Rib Joint
Tucked and hidden in Capitol Hills Drive are perfectly seasoned ribs that are worth the legwork. Their signature baby back ribs comes in "wet" and "dry" varieties, but if you have trouble choosing, they can do half-and-half for your rack. Though the sauce is slathered onto the meat, it nails the right sauce-to-meat ratio. Here, it's the lean pork ribs that take center stage, and with good reason. The distinct, smoky flavor sings through every juicy morsel, each one charred on the outside but perfectly pink in the center. You don't need a knife to get through this rack; just an empty stomach.
Smokin' Pig Legendary Rib Joint is at Unit 1G and 1H, Capitol Greenstreet Commercial Center, Capitol Hills Drive, Old Balara, Quezon City.
Photo by Hans Fausto
1. Smoked Ribs (P250/single, P490/half, P950/full) from The Smoking Joint
The Smoking Joint may be new to the scene, but don't underestimate its carnivorous fare. Their ribs are dry rubbed, and cooked low and slow for 10 to 12 hours. The result of all that careful and precise work? Juicy, tender spare ribs that slide gracefully off the bone without any effort. The dish arrives at your table and you get a whiff of that fragrant smoke that begs you to dig in with your hands. (They encourage it, too; The ribs come with surgical gloves for that hands-on experience.) Each glorious bite is chockful of sweet-and-spicy flavor that makes you forget it came with sauce on the side. Bring a friend and you'll soon find yourselves filling the provided bucket with bone after bone.
The Smoking Joint is at 308 Aguirre Avenue, BF Homes, Parañaque City. Read more about The Smoking Joint.