Listen up, meat fiends in Sydney, it’s time to cross the Harbour Bridge to get your meat fix at Papi Chulo. PRONTO!
I won’t make you take the long 30 minutes ferry ride or fight your way through the crazy traffic on Military Road, if the meat wasn’t worth a trip all the way to Manly on the north side of Sydney. Papi Chulo is the newest addition to the Merivale’s empire; a American-style smokehouse and grill right on the Manly Wharf with the million dollar harbour view. This huge space has been transformed into a slick beachside bistro with a touch of Havana’s Cuban sexiness of wicker chairs and bar stools.
Papi Chulo’s head chefs Christopher ‘pretty boy’ Hogarth (ex-El Loco) and Patrick ‘hot daddy’ Friesen (ex-Ms. G’s) know a thing or two about meat. This is not your typical sunday Aussie BBQ on a hot grill, but the classic Southern American hot-smoked, dry-rubbed “meat sex” using wood fire over low heat for a long period of time. If you’ve been to USA, then you’ll know what I’m talkin’ about!
Lunch on midweek here is less busy, grab yourself a seat by the window and ready for some meat sweat. We are served by waitstaff who is possibly an international backpacker working part time to make a dime as we can tell English is not her first language. She is confused when I request to have pork served in separate tray (one of my dining companion is Muslim), but eventually she gets it right and the order comes out without a hitch.
The Papi Chulo BBQ Platter ($86) which suggested to share between two to four hungry mouths is a meat haven of half rack pork ribs, 150gm each of wagyu brisket, chopped pork and pork belly, comes with pickles and soft bread to offset the meat load. The ribs are fall-off-the-bone tender smothered in smokey BBQ sauce (my favourite), the wagyu brisket is so meltingly soft with marbling fat throughout, you can almost swallow the whole thing without having to chew (but please do chew to avoid choking hazard). I am not too fuss about the chopped pork, which seems a little dry, and I think there is a fine line between fatty goodness and just fatty fat fat on the pork belly, unfortunately is the latter one and a little unpleasant to just chew meat jelly. I don’t care curly fries ($9.00) is frozen and not hand cut, I like them just as much as those at Hog’s Breath. We are advised to order one extra side to go with all the meat, and recommended the Vietnamese coleslaw ($8.00), a refreshing and tangy mix of shredded red cabbage, wombok and mint leaves. The dessert menu is very limited with the choice of banana split, chocolate chip cookie or Tres leches cake. We settled with an old school banana split to share, it is sheer sweet indulgent of peanut butter and banana ice cream, coated in chocolate fudge and peanut praline, then a dollop of whipped cream and a cherry on top, all sandwiched between two banana halves, and served in a long banana shaped glass bowl of course.
The meal is a little on the pricey side (over $50 per head); so I’d suggest go as a group and share the meat love.
Manly NSW 2095 P: 02 9240 3000 Opening Hours
Monday to Friday
Lunch: 12:00pm – 3:00pm
Dinner: 5:30pm – 10.30pm
Reduced menu available 3:00pm – 5.30pmSaturday 11.30am – 10.30pm
Sunday 11:30am – 9.00pm