Swan Street Richmond is a hot address for a restaurant in the past year. Without mentioning the many openings, Swan Street now boasts (in no particular order) Fonda, Demitri’s Feast, Meatball, Union Dining, Noir, Botherambo, and so many others.
One of the restaurants that started the trend towards Swan Street is Meatmother. Replacing a Middle Eastern style cafe that was on its last legs despite very nice owners and quite good food, Meatmother was planned in intimate detail, turning a dilapidated two storey into a good looking, sleek bar and restaurant that is dark and inviting.
From day one the script was great quality slow cooked meats, and a top range selection of bourbon. Reading between the lines, part of the script was also affordability to the locals who at first were lining up to try the indulgent offerings. These days affordability has slipped as a result of economic forces I like to call demand and supply! It seems the restaurant is simply too small and busy to continue to charge about $20 for a tray of meat and a side. Today it is more like $26 which is not as competitive.
While it will be interesting to see the impact the higher prices have on the restaurant, I have to write about it on its merits and price is only a small part of the equation. My spare ribs and side of mac and cheese are excellent. The barbeque sauce stands out for flavour on the ribs, really adding some spice and depth. The ribs are tender. Easy to eat (you definitely need to pick them up!) and a great amount. The mac and cheese is a guilty favourite that I rarely can go past. One of my friends has the chargrilled flank steak, which I don’t recommend, more because this is a restaurant where slow cooking is king, so a minute steak is the complete opposite. My other friend has the pasture-fed beef short rib which falls off the bone showing incredible tenderness. He enjoys his meal, but doesn’t rave about it. Trying the meat for myself the distribution of fat throughout is beautiful and the tenderness is compelling.
Meatmother has eager staff who know they are working in a trending restaurant. They take an interest in explaining the meats on offer and the good selection of drinks including several boutique beers. It is the whole package and has developed a large following, showing the majority of punters enjoy what they receive.