Rib Shakk, the Corn Exchange, Leeds

Eating out
Rib Shakk, in the Corn Exchange, Leeds, part of the Anthony’s group of restaurants.

What do they serve, then?

Clue’s in the name. Ribs…beef or pork, in various different incarnations, with various different sauces, all Southern US style along with other things like chicken wings, rib meat burgers and a token salad bar.

Who is it aimed at?

Rib Shakk is quite relaxed. It’s great for families, and isn’t at all formal. Rib eating can never be formal. It’s a messy business.

The model is similar to that other famous high street barbecued chicken place you may have been to. Our waiter asked if we’d been before, and then explained that we should have a look at the menu, then order at the till, “just like in….” and he tailed off there. “Nando’s?”, I suggested. “Yes, but we’re not meant to say that…”

The method of ordering is about the only similarity between the two, thank the Lord.

Rib Shakk is a part of the Anthony’s empire, and it shares the bottom floor of the Corn Exchange with the Piazza restaurant, a champagne bar and an upmarket patisserie. It looks like the odd cousin on paper, but the way the space has been arranged is clever, with Rib Shakk cleverly shielded at the side of the Piazza, slightly away from the other, posher restaurants, without feeling like the odd one out.

Any good?


Absolutely amazing.

Really, words fail me. I had some beef ribs with a Texas style ‘red-eye’ sauce. What arrived was a huge chunk of tender beef laid across half a dozen beef ribs, smothered in a spicy, sticky glaze. It was a proper piece of beef…beef is a big flavoured meat, and this is how cuts like this should be served – in massive, enormous, almost comically large chunks that fall apart under the slightest pressure from a knife.

One of the kids had some chicken wings from the children’s menu, took one look at them and declared them, with some authority, to be ‘too spicy’. After some gentle coaxing, a wing was sampled. Then another. And another. Later, a piece of my grilled sweetcorn was snaffled and described in awe-struck five year old tones as “delicious…the best corn on the cob I’ve ever had”, and she’s had a lot of corn on the cob.

The other kid is at that stage where he reckons he can eat from the normal menu, so he had a pork rib meat burger with seasoned fries. It disappeared easily, salad and all.


He ate the lot. This is unprecedented.

Must be expensive…

No, fairly reasonable. About £31 for three of us.

Are you going back?

Yes, quite possibly next weekend, and many weekends after that,

Well, they gave me a loyalty card, so it’d be rude not to try to fill it, and there’s something called the Wall of Flames Challenge to conquer, which they claim is ‘one of the hottest things you will ever attempt to eat in your life”. Completion sees your picture added to a collage of fellow foolhardy diners and your meal comped.

Challenge accepted.