IO – Beef ribs, one of the best cuts ofmeat. It has a unique flavor of its own, complete with that specific oomph and tenderness when chewing it. This was why Chef Afit D. Purwanto and his wife, Lucy Wiryono, opened The HolyRibs chain on 11 July 2015.
This was not their first restaurant chain. In 2010, they opened the first Holycow! Steakhouse by Chef Afit. In mid-2012, the Holycow! chain introduced ribs to its menu. However, Chef Afit eventually discovered that cooking ribs is a longer, more complicated process than ordinary grilling of steaks. Furthermore, ribs can be a standalone meal that has many sides that can be explored. Therefore, Chef Afit tried out many methods of cooking ribs and various mixtures of seasonings for several years.
Lucy Wiryono stated that the inspiration for The HolyRibs came from the fact that the couple wanted to serve ribs with a rich flavor and tender meat, at an affordable price range. The first branch opened on Panglima Polim, Kebayoran Baru, South Jakarta. Its target market was middle-class families. HolyRibs branches can be found at Pondok Indah Plaza 6, Pondok Indah, South Jakarta, and Lotte Shopping Avenue, Ciputra World, Karet Kuningan, South Jakarta. It has a more upscale ambience than the Holycow! chain.
As anyone can guess from the name, The HolyRibs serves a menu of beef ribs. These include dishes made of short ribs, back ribs, and fried ribs. The latter is crisp and savory on the outside, yet tender and moist inside. Like its sister chain The Holycow! The HolyRibs also
features steak in its menu offerings, including wagyu sirloin and Hokubee tenderloin steaks. Dessert offerings include comfort food such as decadent brownies, apple tart with gelato, and sausage rolls. “Like the Holycow! The HolyRibs focuses on the serving of quality food. Our facilities are obviously clean and comfortable food service sites,” Lucy said.
She went on to explain that the difference between the Holycow! and The HolyRibs is that Holycow! focuses on selling affordable wagyu steaks, while The HolyRibs specifically serves savory, strong-flavored rib dishes.
Rib meat sticks right on cattle rib bones or is located close to these bones and an exceptionally savory flavor. Unlike naturally tender prime cuts such as sirloin, tenderloin, or rib eye, ribs need extra effort to process. Chef Afit processed his ribs in such a way that the meat becomes so tender and melts off the bone by itself, and just about melts when it gets into your mouth. Not surprising. After all, they’ve been cooked for more than 10 hours. After he found the right cooking method, Chef Afit then mixed just the right BBQ seasoning for the ribs. You can only enjoy his special BBQ sauce at the Aft HolyRibs.
Lucy admits that an important part of BBQ sauce à la Chef Afit is the juice of the ribs that’s been cooking for 10 hours, generating its particular savory and meaty flavors. “Cooking dishes at The HolyRibs is a long process. It starts with the perfection of the recipes, followed by the use of the best ingredients and proper cooking time until they finally arrive at your table in suitable, belly-filling portions. That’s our idea of comfort food,” she said.
Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, The HolyRibs sells its ready to cook products on online marketplaces and serves takeaway orders from its parking lots. During normal, pre-pandemic condition, The HolyRibs served more than 100 diners a day. “Due to the pandemic, we serve a maximum of 20 diners a day. We have not let go of our plan to open more outlets in the future, but our current target is just to survive the pandemic first,” Lucy said. (Kartika Indah)