I know the building that Ribeye is in. Know it well. It used to be Pulperia; Aktar Islam’s tribute to the Asado steak houses of Argentina, which, whilst it was open, was the best place to get a Sunday lunch in Birmingham and the only place to get a steak. Not literally of course, there were other places to go for steak, just none mattered. Aktar closed Pulperia and Ribeye opened, though the interior is almost identical right down to the table tops and lights, and the WiFi still horrific. It’s their second site, the other being in Manchester.

Shall we get to the beef? Let’s do that. They have British, USDA, and Wagyu. The British stuff is dry aged, the American stuff wet aged. Prices for the beef range from £28 to £90 per serving, so if nothing else it’s ambitious. And crucially they know how to cook it. High heat and time away from the grill. We get a fillet from Scotland cooked exactly to the medium rare requested that’s buttery in texture and as deep in flavour as a cut with little intrinsic fat will get. If I was being ultra picky, it needed to rest for another two minutes, but that’s me comparing it to the best in steak cookery. Other than that, it’s top marks. Well done.

Equally so for the chicken breast, on a blitzed tomato and chilli base that most Italians would be proud of, though the herby butter would have worked better inside the bird as opposed to being fridge cold on top of it. Prior to that we had starters of bang bang chicken and dynamite prawns; the only one of those which sparked to life was the chicken which was more Indo-Chinese chilli chicken than than the honeyed heat of actual bang bang. I liked it regardless. Sides of chips and potato dauphinois are very good, whilst the mushrooms need a more gentle approach.

And now the elephant in the room. They don’t do booze because it’s a Muslim owned business. No byob either. I knew this and I was interested in it because it’s usually a huge factor in where I book. Did I miss a glass of wine with dinner? A little. Would it stop me going back? No. I liked Ribeye, more so because I’m desperate to have good steak in Birmingham and equally because Brindley is so woefully short of dinner options.


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