Hurricane’s Grill, Brighton Le Sands

Another year, another end of NBA season, another basketball tipping competition awards night dinner at our trusty ribs place, Hurricane’s Grill at Brighton Le Sands! Richard was last year’s winner (his first participation, too) and came a super close second this year, but it’s not like that would stop us from stuffing our faces!

Basketball Trophy
The trophy with engraved plaques; it’s serious business

The same dozen of us as last year (technically 13 this year because two are pregnant) were seated in possibly the darkest corner of the entire restaurant. A waiter came around to take our order at 8 pm, and our food appeared in about 20 minutes.

There’s only one dish I ever order at Hurricane’s:

Hurricane's Grill, Brighton Le Sands, July 2015: Pork Ribs (Full Rack) w Baked Potato
Hurricane’s Grill, Brighton Le Sands, July 2015: Pork Ribs (Full Rack) with Baked Potato ($49.50)

Although you know something is horribly wrong if after one year, the same dish didn’t seem to have shrunk, but it no longer fills you up… surprised

The ribs ($49.50 for full rack; $38.50 for half) came with a side of either a baked potato with sour cream and chives, or a big serving of chips. Sauce (peri-peri, aioli, pepper, etc) is an extra $2.50 on the side, which is only necessary if you like to dip your chips. For a few dollars cheaper, you could also get other ribs like beef and lamb as a full dish or a half-half mix and match; but trust me, get the pork.

Other than the ginormous portion size of the full rack (other places claim to give you a full rack but they never come anywhere as close to this size), the best feature of the dish is still its sweet basting sauce. The ribs themselves still weren’t completely fall-off-the-bone as the limited special riblets I had at the Darling Harbour branch way back, but it’s tender enough for me to manage with only a fork and knife.

So far, Hurricane’s is still the most reliable franchise for pork ribs. Book ahead, though, because I think everyone agrees with me seeing how super busy the restaurants are even on weeknights!

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Hurricane’s Grill, Darling Harbour

Benny, one of the Indonesian friends currently living in Singapore whom I made from the amazing ski trip in Japan (confused yet? tongue ), visited Sydney for business. I’ve been dying to find an excuse to try Hurricane’s Grill, and seeing as they only had branches in Sydney, I decided to drag Benny there despite his super busy work schedule. It was a rainy night, too. Sorry, Benny! tongue

I originally booked our Darling Harbour table for two online for 6:30 pm one week ago, but we later thought 7 pm would be a smarter idea. I was able to cancel the first table the next night all on my own online and get another one for 7 pm. So far so good.

We got there on time and waited at reception. I remember walking by this restaurant on weekends and seeing massive queues out front. Tonight, a rainy Wednesday night, there wasn’t a queue outside, but the restaurant was almost full.

Despite booking a table ahead, it took a while before we were seated as if they had to figure out who was meant to serve us. We were finally led to a table in the balcony, away from most of the noise — it would have been impossible to chat if we had been seated in the middle of it all. Unfortunately, because it’s been raining, there wasn’t much of a view, especially not after they drew the blinds.

They were doing a limited time special riblets menu. I’ve heard great things about the ribs at Hurricane’s, so I was really tossing between the two. The waiter patiently explained the difference between the ribs and the riblets, something about the riblets coming from the shoulder instead of the back (I might have mixed this up). My main question was: Is the dish big enough to fill up a glutton like me? The waiter assured me the full rack would be about 800g, so a full rack of riblets it was!

I ordered the full rack of pork riblets with a baked potato ($38); Benny got a full rack of beef riblets with chips ($38) and extra sauce ($2.50), plus a cocktail ($17).

Hurricane's Grill, Darling Harbour with Benny
Hurricane’s Grill, Darling Harbour with Benny

The photo was thankfully taken before they made us wear a bib. tongue The riblets? Absolutely fantastic. Juicy. Tender. Fall-off-the-bone. I didn’t have to use my hands at all; the cutlery they provided was enough for me to get to all the meat. Yes, “fall off the bone” was literal; I thought it was all just hype at Hurricane’s.

Benny was stuffed and I was adequately satisfied. Under $100 for two bellies full of delicious riblets! It was a bit hard to get the waiter’s attention to get the bill, and I knew we got lucky with getting the balcony table this time, but I would not hesitate to go back again. Next time, I think I’ll try the normal ribs!

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