The Oxford Tavern, Petersham

My old man has plenty of regrets in his life but one decision that haunts him is still the purchase of a BBQ that we only ever used once.

My old man has a very small circle of friends that consists of my mother and me. My mother doesn’t like BBQ and I don’t trust his cooking (we’re both awful in the kitchen) so he never really gets to bust out the barbie. It was an impulse purchase.

I’m not even sure he’s had BBQ since that one ill-fated BBQ that got less than stellar reviews (even iFat would’ve chosen to not write about it).

This is why I decided to go to The Oxford Tavern. For my father….and for my stomach.


One of the Drink n Dine group’s chain of pubs/restaurants, the Oxford Tavern used to be a sleazy strip club filled with dudes hungry for *CENSORED*

Now it’s just filled with dudes (along with some of the best Sydney food bloggers in the game the sweet Chocolatesuze, the noodle king Ramen Raff and the never satisfied I’m Still Hungry) hungry for high quality pub food as well as their Black Betty BBQ.

Food bloggers in the wild
Food bloggers in the wild

Hold on, let me rock out a little before we break down all the food we had:

Whoa, Black Betty (bam-ba-lam)
Whoa, Black Betty (bam-ba-lam)
Black Betty had a child (bam-ba-lam)
The damn thing gone wild (bam-ba-lam)
She said “I’m worryin’ outta mind” (bam-ba-lam)
The damn thing gone blind (bam-ba-lam)
I said Oh, Black Betty (bam-ba-lam)
Whoa, Black Betty (bam-ba-lam)

…sorry. Let’s take a look at the black betty platter we got (bam-ba-lam)

From top left (clockwise): pork ribs, lamb ribs, dino ribs, smoked mega snag, chicken and beef brisket
From top left (clockwise): pork ribs, lamb ribs, dino ribs, smoked mega snag, chicken and beef brisket

I’m going to zoom through some of the components of our platter so I can spend way too many words waxing poetical about some vegetarian nightmares:

– I loved the sauce the ribs were basted in, the pork wasn’t as tender as I would’ve liked (not course or gamey but still).

– Lamb ribs were surprisingly more tender than their pork counterparts and were awesome. It won’t convert people that dislike lamb’s natural taste but fans of lamb will be lamb-enting their poor decision-making skills if they choose to let it pass them by.

– The chicken looked the part. Holy sh*t, I haven’t seen more aesthetically pleasing chicken since

– The snag was a tad chewy but the flavours were great and I had absolutely no regrets about snagging it off the menu.

Ok, let’s get to the meat of the review (heh)

Yeah, we got a second platter.
Yeah, we got a second platter consisting of more brisket and more dinosaur ribs
Dino ribs (beef short ribs)
Dino ribs (beef short ribs)

I haven’t had this much fun at a meat-up since back when I used to play Magic the Gathering and consistently made top 8 at tournaments. I can say these nerdy things now because I’ve given up on the prospect on finding a wife who shares the same geeky interests.

The dinosaur ribs fat to meat ratio was absolutely staggering. I’m far from a mathematician but I think it worked out for the best. I consumed one portion that had more fat in it than iFat in twelve years. The blend of soft meat with deliciously oily fats had my head spinning like a beyblade (tangent: the first MP3 I ever downloaded was the Beyblade theme song. I may or may not have spent a solid hour rocking out to it last weekend. It’s an awesome song).

Close up of the brisket
Close up of the brisket

I never considered adulthood an age thing. I don’t care if you’re 13 or 67, you’re an adult as soon as you go from relying on people to being able to be relied upon. That’s the difference. You’re a child if you still need your parent’s permission to use the blender and you’re an adult as soon as you’re lending your blender to a homie that couldn’t get permission from their Mother to make a smoothie.

This brisket is an adult because it doesn’t need a saucy adult for flavour. I think brisket might be my favourite section of beef and the offering at Oxford solidified my love for the cut. The layer of fat turned into liquid kilojoules upon making contact with my tongue and the meat was softer than me when my nephew, Martin laughs at one of my jokes.

It was so good that Raff immediately bought a whole box full to take away before we were even half way through our second serving:

oxford tavern beef brisket
You do not want to come between my homie, Raff and brisket

Here’s the TL;DR for my Mama who always wanted me to make it to Oxford someday:

– One more time: bam-ba-lam

– Black Betty barbecue only available Saturdays and Sundays from 12pm until sold out. Please don’t go on a weekday and proceed to send me angry emails. Actually, please do, I’m so lonely.

– Everything is worth trying but get as much of the brisket and dino ribs as humanly possible

– Seriously, just brisk-et on like Kirsten Dunst in a cheerleading movie.


The Oxford Tavern, Petersham

1 Canterbury Road, Petersham

Opening hours:
Monday to Thursday 12pm – 12am
Friday and Saturday 12pm – 3am
Sunday 12pm – 10pm

The Oxford Tavern on Urbanspoon

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