The polls are closed, the votes have been counted, and we have our winner. While plenty of dishes put up a strong fight, only one can be victorious – and it might not be what you expected. Amsterdam's Braai is the restaurant with the winning meal. Their Full Rack Ribs is officially the most-ordered dish in the Netherlands, so it's the perfect time to see what all the hype is about.
People have been eating ribs for thousands and thousands of years – still on the bone, as an entire rack. Pork and beef ribs are most common, but people also enjoy sides of goat, buffalo or even llama depending on the livestock around.
Barbecue dates back centuries too. Haitians were grilling meat over hot fires since at least 1492, and they're responsible for the word 'barbecue' itself. But nobody's sure when people first started smoking ribs, covering them in sauce, and pulling them apart for a sticky feast. Having the bone still in while you cook changes the texture, making the meat so much moister than boneless cuts.
When you think barbecue, you probably imagine American food as the standard – all Texans standing in the blazing sun, covering the grill in endless amounts of fuel. But Braai's barbecue bar has a distinctly different bent – a South African one. And their name comes from an Afrikaans word for grilling meat over an open fire. So you know this place are serious about their barbecue.
The restaurant started life as a shack near the water in Vondelpark, Amsterdam, first opening in July 2005. During the warm months, you can sit on the terrace and soak up some sun with your meat, but from November to February they're a delivery-only outlet. Braai has expanded though, and now has two other locations across Amsterdam – each ready to deliver you their famous ribs.
How do you make your dish stand out in Amsterdam's busy foodie scene? Easy – you just need to make every element extra special. Braai cook their ribs for six hours, slowly grilling them over a chemical-free charcoal-fired grill. The meat comes from sustainable farms across the Netherlands and Germany, and is always certified to either 'beter leven' – or in Germany, tierwohl – standard.
Then, it's all about the flavour. Ribs are marinated and rubbed in a unique blend of spices – no additives added. The full rack gives you 12 ribs, and a huge amount of juicy, succulent meat to savour. Move over, American barbecue – South African style reigns here.
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