You know they are serious or should I say more than serious about their signature ribs when they tell you on their menu that they’ve eaten at more than 100 pork rib restaurants before deciding that their BBQ ribs are worth sharing with the world. Then there’s how many ingredients in their recipe. You think the Colonel who introduced us to the world’s most famous fried chicken had a lot of spices in his secret recipe (altogether 11 spices)? Well, pork rib specialists and expert, Ticklish Ribs & ‘Wiches are set to conquer the world with 30 ingredients in their recipe.
Ticklish Ribs & ‘Wiches is a casual dining, self-service restaurant in the middle of bustling suburban SEA Park PJ. It’s surrounded by eateries but this restaurant really stands out just from the façade alone as there’s an illustration of a piggy head with a huge gaping mouth at the entrance (it’s the takeaway window) and that’s not the only piece of interesting piggy graffiti you will see at this piggy themed restaurant. Inside, on the wall next to the restaurant’s neighbour Maybank, is a big colured drawing of a burglar piggy who has just emerged from an empty safe, bag of cash and valuables in hand. You can tell just by looking around that a lot of thought has been given to decorating the place. Glance upwards and you will see traditional Chinese pig cages around the light bulbs.
It’s been years since I last explored SEA Park so when Nava K asked me to go along with her for this food review, I had to take a drive there a few days before we actually dined there. The restaurant may look like an American themed restaurant but what they serve is very much Asian flavours.
After you’ve finished your meal, you might want to take home a Ticklish Ribs & ‘Wiches memento in the form of a t-shirt. They have t-shirts for males and females. The menu is easy to read and understand. There aren’t pages and pages of it. However if you need assistance, the friendly staff will explain what their bestsellers are and what possible combinations you can have with your pork options.
Of course if you’ve stepped into Ticklish Ribs & ‘Wiches, you’ve got to have porky cravings and thee cravings can only be satisfied with a helping of their signature ribs which come in spicy and not so spicy. By the way, the spicy isn’t all that spicy. They come in full @ RM38 or half @ RM20. If you are dining with someone, there’s no way you are going to be satisfied with just a half serving as the ribs are outstanding.
The ribs are best eaten with hands, who needs cutlery when the ribs are indeed (to borrow a phrase) finger lickin’ good? You will definitely be licking all your fingers because the sauce is that good and although a pork sauce is served with the ribs, I thought the ribs were already superb without it. The meat just comes off the bone and it’s so tender that you don’t need to chew much. So crispy yet juicy and the scent is enough to make you want to order another portion.
The ribs aren’t even the main course. For mains, you choose your meat, e.g. Lazy Bones, You Braise Me Up, Pull Your Leg, Chewbakkwa, Once You Go Black, Hoilam Ting, Ssshock Sendiri and Got Balls. Then you pair these up with either rice, pasta or bread.
If you are unsure of what pairs best with what, the staff will help you along. For instance, You Braise Me Up and Pull Your Leg go well with bread, Hoilam Ting with rice and Chewbakkwa with pasta. Nevertheless, there is no right or wrong pairing. It’s all up to the customer.
Hoilam Ting and Ssshock Sendiri offer lean shoulder pork, Lazy Bones is ribs without the bones and You Braise Me Up is 3 layered pork. What you decide on really depends on what portion of the pig you’d most like to munch on. They’re all very tempting.
Why is the meat so juicy? It’s thanks to the premium local pork ribs which actually cost more than imported pork ribs and superior marbling of the meat. All the prep work is done at the restaurant’s central kitchen and this includes the seasoning of the meat.
Got Balls looks deceptively simple but this is surely a MUST-HAVE at Ticklish Ribs & ‘Wiches because the meatballs are so crunchy on the outside but so soft inside, the sauce is superb and they are generous with the pork skin crackling or “chee yau char” which doesn’t taste oily. I kid you not….if you are reading this, you MUST HAVE this and if you don’t think it is delicious, then your taste buds are paralysed. The meatballs are from Ticklish Ribs & ‘Wiches’ founder’s mother’s recipe and the founder informed us that he’s been eating these meatballs ever since he was a child. I said to him, “Lucky you”. These meatballs are incredible and even that is an understatement.
I like pulled pork but sometimes it can be a bit dry. This isn’t the case at Ticklish Ribs & ‘Wiches because the sandwich is drenched with sauce and they are generous with the onions in here. However after having the pork ribs and Got Balls, all I could think of were more pork ribs and Got Balls. Maybe I should have eaten this Pull Your Leg sandwich before the other two.
If you like your fries sloshed with pork sauce and minced pork, you have to order Sloshy Fries. Definitely better than eating fries with tomato sauce although with Sloshy Fries, you want to eat these fast otherwise the fries will go soggy. There is also cheese in here, to be precise melted Processed Cheddar Cheese. Is this rich or what? Goes so well with beer, not that I am a beer drinker.
Ticklish Ribs & ‘Wiches serves up excellent pork dishes which will appeal to porkaholics young and old. Vegetarians who accompany porkaholics here can have the salad but if I was a vegetarian, this place would be far too tempting and I am sure I wouldn’t be able to resist tasting one or two of the incredibly seasoned ribs and those meatballs are calling out to me. Ticklish Ribs & ‘Wiches is a crowd-funded restaurant brand and they intend to go global. With this kind of ribs and pork dishes, I am sure they will be successful wherever they open.
Ticklish Ribs & ‘Wiches @ 5, Jalan 21/11A, PJ
03- 7865 9126
Facebook @ticklish ribs