You’d be forgiven for thinking that the Oxford Tavern is a seedy pub, seeing as up until last year, the main drawcards were the topless waitresses, jelly wrestling and the “live hot girls”. But since the Drink ‘n’ Dine group’s revamp of the inner west pub, the pokies area has been changed to a beer garden, “jelly wrestling” now refers to a dessert on the menu, and instead of girls, you can now get “live hot BBQ”!
Live hot BBQ sounds like something right up my alley, so we went to check out The Oxford Tavern’s new Black Betty BBQ. It’s an impressive beast of an outdoor smoker that has been operating for the past couple of months, churning out smoked meats cooked low and slow on the weekends until sold out.
There’s a range of smoked goodies on the menu, generally sold by weight. You can also see the prepared meats in the glass cabinet at the counter, and they all look amazing. Executive Chef of the Drink ‘n’ Dine group, Jamie Thomas, is there to serve up the meat himself, and he slices up a little bit of everything for us to try.
We end up with a huge platter of meaty goodness featuring all the menu items on the standard Black Betty BBQ menu, as well as the specials for the day.
The smoked chicken is the only poultry item on the Black Betty menu, and it has an amazingly smoky flavour and is succulent and juicy.
You can’t really go wrong with beef brisket. Jamie smokes a big chunk of wagyu beef brisket, injects it with beef broth and seasons it with a coffee rub, which makes the slices of beef brisket super tender and flavoursome.
There is a small pile of pulled pork on the platter and I take the opportunity to stuff this inside the soft, fluffy buns along with some creamy slaw. It’s a winning combination and I would be happy to eat this by itself!
The lamb ribs fall off the bone and there’s a nice ribbon of fat against the meat which makes it extra tasty.
The menu isn’t kidding when it talks about smoked pork snag. The sausage is incredibly smoky and the flavour just permeates through the meat.
We’ve saved some of the best for last. One of the day’s specials is the pork ribs with honey Jack Daniels, black treacle and American mustard. There’s a sweet and tangy flavour to the ribs and these ribs are great for gnawing on the bone to get every last bit of meat off it.
Our hands down favourite is the beef shortrib. The pieces are cut from the bone at the counter and carefully laid on top of the shortrib bone on the platter. On each piece, there’s clear ribbons of fat throughout the meat which makes it unbelievably tender and juicy.
There’s still more! Jamie generously provided us with sides to try as well. The burnt end beans have the burnt pointy bits of the brisket mixed in which makes the beans taste extra meaty.
And just to offset all the meat, there’s a kale and edamame salad as well. Coz, you know, you gotta eat your greens too!
The Black Betty BBQ at the Oxford Tavern is on every weekend from 12pm until sold out and if you’re a meat lover, you’d be crazy not to go. Grab a bunch of friends and share a meat platter with a bit of everything so you don’t go into a meat coma like we did. It was totally worth it though!
Penguin says Feed Me dined courtesy of the Drink ‘n’ Dine group
The Oxford Tavern
1 Canterbury Road
Petersham NSW 2049
Ph: +61 2 8019 9351
Open Monday to Thursday 12pm – 12am, Friday and Saturday 12pm – 3am, and Sunday 12pm – 10pm