Joe’s Bar and Dining Hall – 64-66 Acland St, St Kilda VIC

Posted: May 24, 2014 in Burger Hunt
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Gee I love ribs – I mean I really love ribs! Unfortunately it’s so hard to get good ribs in Australia. After returning from a BBQ tour in Texas, just around Austin, I had thought about doing a blog hunt focused on ribs in Melbourne. However, I realised pretty quickly that it would simply be expensive disappointment after expensive disappointment. But I tell you what – If I had started off with Joe’s then I might just have been convinced to give it a shot. As you can see from the lovely photo taken by Jo (My sister Jo that is), the Ribs look pretty darn good here. I mean, you know it’s got to be good when you get hit in the face with a strong smell of BBQ wood smoke if you walk near the kitchen… Anyway, I should mention that this was actually an official burger hunt mission, Jo and Katie had kindly offered to lend their support and culinary expertise to the hunt. Joe’s Bar and Dining Hall had been in the back of my mind for a while so the call was made to give St Kilda a try after to so much focus north of the city. Jo and I had met up early and had sampled a few cold beverages along Ackland street – Jo was particular impressed with the $10 Espresso Martini at the Vineyard bar. Katie had agreed to meet us at the restaurant a little later, so Jo and I ordered a round of buffalo wings to begin with. Word of advice on the wings – ignore the waiters friendly advice that 12 is enough, 12 is never enough, go the 16 delicious smoked and spicy wings for $19. I mean, sure 12 might have been ok if Katie hadn’t arrive while there were still wings left and then we had to share them. I probably liked these wings more than the wings at the Collection.I loved the fact that they were smoked first – just added a lovely Smokey note that cut through the spicy/sharp buffalo wing sauce. The dipping sauce that came with the wings was delicious as well. Next we ordered the mains – Jo got a full rack of ribs ($38) (she wanted the half rack – but I convinced her otherwise!), and Katie and I ordered the Burger Royale ($13). None of the mains come with sides so we got some curly fries ($6) and some sweet potato fries ($8). Both sides were really good, the sweet potato fries came with the same dipping sauce as the wings which really worked well.


Ok, so I really should address the burgers – I mean it was an official Burger hunt mission. First up, let me make this clear – if you go to Joes, get the ribs. They are amazing! Thankfully I had about half of Jo’s ribs, thanks Sis! The Burger Royale comes with smoked bacon, caramelised onion, cheese, lettuce, pickles, mustard and BBQ sauce. At $13 it’s reasonably cheap, however when it arrive I realised why – it’s one of those “smaller” sized burgers, what I call that annoying size between a slider and a real burger. Don’t order the burger if you’re hungry – or make sure you have a big side of the wings… Anyway, so the burger is framed by a nice brioche style bun, soft and spongy, the slight sweetness works really well with the BBQ sauce. The pattie is nothing out of the ordinary, good, not great. It does the job, a nice beefy flavour, juicy and cooked well. The one problem I have with the burger apart from the size is the fact that they over use the caramelised onions. There’s just too much of the onions and so they overpower the burger and you don’t get full value out of the other elements. I didn’t really get a lot of the smokey bacon coming though, nor did I really get much out of the cheese. The lettuce did the job of freshening up the whole thing, and the pickles added some sharpness to cut through all the sweet flavours that were coming through. Overall, a nice burger, but let’s be honest – if you come to Joes, you’re here for the ribs and wings and not the burgers. I’d give it a 7.

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  1. J.Phillips says:

    You are supremely lucky that your sister shared the ribs – but how many people know that the ribs you do are off the ricter scale ! The best many of us have tasted outside of the states

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