People can go on and on debating which joint in the metro offers “the best ribs”, but in a country where ribs is not as often an option as tapsilog, I’m sure more people are interested in knowing which one offers the most for their money.
Good thing I have an answer.
Everyone, welcome to RB CTY (“Rib City”).
The light, welcoming vibe at RB CTY is immediately palpable evenmeters away from their door. You’ll notice the urban, semi-industrial design they’ve given the place and prepare yourself for the “tourist spots” and the “go-to destinations” of their menu.
A few seconds in and you’ll realize and think to yourself that maybe the ribs are not their only asset, but the diversified yet complementing variety in their menu. Don’t worry: you’re right.
Owner-entrepreneur Aya Gonzalez told us the story of how she and her friends conceptualized the menu, the food, and the place, culminating to its opening to the public exactly a year ago (March 2015). She also shares how her family of entrepreneurs helped her construct what we now know as RB CTY.
Though I have to admit that what really made me excited to taste their food was the fact that most of what’s on the menu is prepared by none other than Aya’s father, a chef-restaurateur. Handcrafted, personally made.
When asked what separates RB CTY from other steak/rib joints, Aya immediately gave us the three words every foodie in the planet probably wants to hear: “value for money”. In a world where “quality” is deemed synonymous with “expensive”, food places and makers all over the world have sought to attain the status of being known as offering good food at an affordable price in an attempt to attract the best of both socio-economic worlds. Like Presidential candidates, though, very few live up to the hype and expectations they put on themselves. Thankfully, RB CTY lives up to its own.
Now let’s get down to business.
For appetizers, we first made a detour to their menu’s “Fast Lane” and “Winner’s Way”.
Seafood Chowder Soup (Php98)
I personally am not the biggest fan of seafood soup, but RB CTY’s just had the right amount of creamy and hearty that made me change my mind for the night.
Plus, bacon makes everything better, right? (A rhetorical question, but feel free to answer in the comments section below!)
4-Cheese Fusilli Pasta (Php 188)
Cheese-lovers, rejoice! The light parmesan-cheddar-mozarella-blue cheese combo will make sure your tummy’s ready for the real deal (see: riiiiiiibs).
K-pop Wings (P188)
This Korean-style soy and garlic chicken was actually one of our night’s unexpected highlights. My friends and I found it better than the ones offered at some actual Korean-themed places or restos. We love how seemingly natural the flavor remains despite the marinade and the sauce.
Now, we go to the capital: RIBS, BABY.
The “Suburban” is a one-person dish, which features two small slabs of RB CTY’s signature ribs with a choice of 1 side dish (pesto pasta, corn cobette and veg, eggplant fritters, baked beans, cajun coleslaw, garlic mushrooms, thin fries, mashed potatoes, OR ANOTHER CUP OF RICE BECAUSE YOU KNOW YOU NEED IT.)
The Twin Towers (Php368)
This is the 2-3 person variety of their ribs set which is actually a chicken-and-ribs combo with a choice of two sides from the abovementioned enumeration (again, pro-tip: CHOOSE THE EXTRA RICE AS A SIDE. YOU’LL BE NEEDING IT.)
Have you seen how mouthwatering those ribs are?! Are you at peace with the fact that the only reasonable resolution now is for you to finally try it for yourself? Well, I have no other advice other than that you should.
I can still vividly recall and re-experience that moment when I placed my knife above the ribs of the Twin Towers. To my delight and surprise, without even applying any relevant pressure, the knife just went through and sliced the meat on its own. THAT was how soft and chewy the ribs were!
And then.. we ate it. We ate it all, no matter how full we were.
Truly, there is NOTHING quite like the charcoal-grilled goodness of genuine ribs that are worth every centavo!
MAGINHAWA – 63 Maginhawa St., UP Village, Quezon City
PIONEER – Upper Ground Floor, Pioneer Highlands, North, Pioneer cor. Madison St., Mandaluyong City
Twitter: @rbcty / #WeBuiltRibCity
Photography: Chelsea Eichel Dauz