Meaty Delights at Rib Nights – Cafe Opus

I previously went to Rib Nights at The Church Inn back in my pre-blogging days of November last year. It was a great experience and I looked forward to the next one, so when I heard it was returning at Cafe Opus, I booked in straightaway.

Cafe Opus took over the space in the Ikon Gallery back in February 2013, and  part of its profits goes towards the gallery. It’s one of Wifey and I’s favourite brunch spots, especially with the view of cherry blossom over Oozells Square in late spring.

For those who haven’t heard of Rib Nights, the premise is 2 BBQ Teams cook off head-to-head in a blind tasting set-up, with all your traditional trimmings of fries, ‘slaw, and bread. After devouring the ribs, it’s onto voting and crowning the winner. There’s a judging panel and all diners get to vote too; this event’s panel included Sanjeeta Bains (Birmingham Mail), Aktar Islam (Lasan Group) and Nathan Eades (Simpsons Restaurant).

We also got a Pickleback shot, cocktails, and a live DJ to keep things moving along.

The teams were Smoke & Spice BBQ who’ve been building up over the past year, and Crackerjack BBQ who’ve been going for 17 years, and toured over 32 countries in the past 3 years.

This event was in association with Sailor Jerry, who provided some funky cups and swapped the usual whisky for rum in the Pickleback:


The Pickleback actually worked smoother with a rum, with the pickle brine complementing it and reducing the burn of the alcohol.


I also managed to work my way through the cocktail menu (mainly so I could collect the cups!) My favourite was the Cuba Libre which worked very well with a spicy rum, balancing out the sweetness of the cola.

Anyway onto the main event: Meaty meaty ribs!


Team A was a smoky, almost ‘paprika-ry’ taste with a slightly sticky rib. An underlying sweet peppery sauce worked great with the smokiness of the meat.

Team B was smothered in a sticky, sweet, citrus sauce which reminded me vaguely of HP Fruity! It left a zing on the tongue but was just too much sauce for me, as the meat got lost behind the flavour.

Rib Aftermath
Rib Aftermath

My vote went towards Team A as I loved the smokiness of the meat. Team B was the overall winner for the evening, who were revealed to be Crackerjack BBQ.

Saying that, our table may have enjoyed the cocktails slightly more than the meat!


It was a great evening with tasty food and good cocktails. It’s just a shame there’s only going to be one more!

If you want to experience the last Rib Nights, at the time of writing there’s only 9 tickets left for their final ever event, available here.

When: 13/09/2015

Where: Cafe Opus, The ikon Gallery, Oozells Square, Birmingham

Who: Rib Nights, Smoke and Spice BBQ, Crackerjack BBQ

One thought on “Meaty Delights at Rib Nights – Cafe Opus

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.