Westfield Eastgardens has recently undergone some pretty major renovations, the best of which is the opening of the new casual dining precinct, Food on Banks. Food on Banks, an indoor street serves up fresh and tasty meals, long after the stores upstairs have shut up shop for the night.
The newest addition to Westfield Eastgardens; Food on Banks.
Open late every night of the week, Food on Banks has given this standard shopping centre a new lease on life, with people flocking to enjoy cuisines from Asia, all the way to South America while local musicians provide free entertainment most weekends.
Ribs & Burgers on a busy Friday night.
One such place, Ribs & Burgers, modelled on a retro butcher shop, serves up, as you may suspect, an assortment of juicy burgers and saucy ribs.
In keeping with the butcher shop theme, the large open counter at Ribs & Burgers makes a show piece of the busy kitchen staff, while potted baskets - thankfully not carcasses, hang from meat hooks throughout the restaurant. As an ode to inspiration, the brick feature wall houses vintage photographs of butcheries in mismatched picture frames, and a collection of 30 odd antique crank handle meat grinders are displayed as a testament to days gone by.
Modelled on a retro butcher shop, Ribs & Burgers pride themselves on their quality free-range meats.
The service at Ribs & Burgers is speedy and efficient, primarily because orders are placed at the front counter before grabbing a seat. An aluminium kettle filled with sauces, cutlery and anything else you may need is also handed to you after ordering, keeping table service to a minimum. While the order then sit down method is efficient and works well with the casual atmosphere; it can be a little inconvenient, particularly on a busy Friday evening when you turn into a vulture hunting for a free table.
Table service is kept to a minimum, ensuring fast, efficient service.
As far as the food goes, the name truly says it all. Ribs of three different varieties; pork, lamb and beef, are all basted in a sweet and sticky golden glaze and served with a choice of chips or cabbage salad, and about a dozen burgers, all fresh, free-range and grass fed are available, along with a few sides including salads, onion rings and wings.
The ribs at Ribs & Burgers are liberally slathered in a delicious in-house basting sauce - sweet and sticky with subtle smoky notes, and the portions are quite generous. However, the ribs themselves, lamb in this instance ($24) are a little meagre, leaving you gnawing at a glazed bone.
The steakhouse burger topped with Ribs & Burgers' sweet and spicy pink sauce
The burgers though, fare far better. The steakhouse burger ($18) piles a tender, pasture-fed rib-eye steak atop piles of caramelised onion, dill pickles and fresh baby cos lettuce, and tops it all with Ribs & Burgers special pink sauce. Despite its lack of protein, the home grown veggie burger ($16), stuffed with field mushrooms, Spanish onion, grilled haloumi cheese, aioli, and topped with crispy golden fried onion rings packs some serious flavour and makes for a delicious and satisfying option - even for those of us that do eat meat.
The home grown veggie burger with super crispy onion rings
While the traditional burger patty of free-range, grass fed beef is succulent and juicy; itís the chicken burgers that really shine at Ribs & Burgers. Chicken burgers tend to get a bad rap; they either lack flavour or turn into a dry stringy mess. The chicken burgers here however are neither of those things. The Cajun chicken burger ($14); a whole grilled free-range chicken breast seasoned with Cajun spices and topped with avocado, chilli mayo and fresh tomato salsa is anything but dull. The chicken is succulent, the salsa is zesty and refreshing, and the Cajun spices add some serious flavour - with some serious heat too.
Succulent and spicy; the Cajun chicken burger.
With a simple menu, quality produce, great flavours and a laid-back atmosphere; Ribs & Burgers makes for a great alternative to the standard lunchtime food court fare, or the ideal spot for a casual dinner before a late night movie.
Where: Shop FC3, Westfield Eastgardens, 152 Bunnerong Road Eastgardens NSW (Entry via Banks Avenue, off Wentworth Avenue).
Why: Tasty food, great atmosphere and convenient location.
Cost: Burgers from $10 - $18. Ribs from $19 - $29. Sides and salads $4 - $10.
When: Open Sunday to Thursday from 11am - 9.30pm and Friday to Saturday from 11am - 10pm.
Good for kids: Yes, there is a lot of space and large booths ideal for families available. There is also a childrenís menu.
Take away: Yes