Review: Rib ‘N’ Reef

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Rib ‘N’ Reef, situated at the bottom of Silver Street next to Framwellgate bridge, is one of Durham’s newest hotspots for a sophisticated dining experience and excellent food, specialising in steak and seafood. Its central location right by the river means that I have walked past it countless times whilst it has been under construction for the past few months, so curiosity naturally got the better of me and I had to go and give it a try as soon as it was open.  

I had high expectations for Rib ‘N’ Reef before my visit, due to its high-end décor and upmarket appearance. However, it is safe to say I was not disappointed! The service was excellent as soon as we walked through the door – my friend and I did not have a booking, but despite it being busy they managed to accommodate us and we were shown to a lovely spot. 

… they managed to accommodate us and
we were shown to a lovely spot.

The drinks menu was great – they serve frozen cocktails which my friend and I both ordered. The Strawberry Daiquiri and Blue Reef cocktail were both lovely, especially the Blue Reef which I would highly recommend. We also tried the mocktail versions of the same drinks which were equally delicious. These, therefore, make for a great non-alcoholic drink option, especially as the price point was significantly lower – £3.95 in comparison to £8.95 for its alcoholic counterpart!

They had a great selection of starters, mains, and desserts on the menu – not a huge amount of vegan and vegetarian dishes, but definitely enough to comfortably accommodate. I had the smoked haddock chowder for starters which was absolutely delicious, and my friend got the pork belly which he also said was lovely. We were both impressed with our mains too – the beef burger and grilled chicken burger were both really nice, but not necessarily the best chicken burger I’ve ever had.  However, I would assume that their steak and seafood dishes, in which they specialise, would rival alternatives elsewhere. The food comes in very generous portion sizes which is one thing to bear in mind, so we opted to skip dessert – although the dark chocolate brownie did sound very tempting. Overall, the experience was very pleasant and the service was efficient and friendly, but not too overbearing throughout. 

This being said, one thing to bear in mind upon visiting is that the menu is quite pricey – expect to be paying upwards of £30 per person, especially if you’re looking to try some of their premium steak or seafood, or to have multiple courses. My chicken burger was £11 including fries which I personally find quite reasonable, but most of the other mains were considerably more expensive, and the cheapest starter was £6-£7. Nonetheless, for the quality of the food and service, I would say that it is well worth the price.

… for the quality of the food and service I would
say that it is well worth the price.

Overall, I would highly recommend Rib ‘N’ Reef, especially as a date night location or for a special occasion due to its more upmarket feel and higher price point. The Sunday lunch menu also looked excellent, and I believe was around £20 for three courses, which is quite reasonable for Sunday lunch in comparison to other places. The interior of the restaurant is beautiful and spans across two floors, so there is plenty of space and the top floor is wheelchair accessible. Nevertheless, I would recommend booking, especially at busy times such as evenings and weekends as we were lucky to get a table. Hopefully, this is a sign of the popularity of the restaurant, which I believe is well deserved at its opening. 

Image: Emphyrio via Pixabay

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