Before the opening of Rib Room, chef Mr Svajūnas Jarmala and his wife Inga worked for a long time in quite a traditional restaurant of the same Holiday Inn. He worked in the kitchen, and she – in the restaurant’s room. However, in 2012, when they went on an assignment of helping to open a new shareholders’ restaurant in London, they also found inspiration for Rib Room in Vilnius.
After they tried special ribs in the misty Albion, they understood that it is time for an excellent rib place in Vilnius, too. The shareholders approved the idea. Certainly, the beginning was not easy. People associated ribs with fatty and heavy food. However, special recipes of Svajūnas soon exposed this myth and word-of-mouth soon spread about delicious dishes cooked at Šeimyniškių St 1.
Everything started with 3 options of ribs, while currently the menu offers as many as 8 sophisticated rib recipes. For those who cannot choose, there is a rib mix – an ideal way to understand which ribs will become your favourites and will attract you to come back.
Even though this place is quite specialised, the menu of Rib Room is not limited to meat dishes. The customers also come back here because of an excellent tuna tartare, a salad with the duck breast or a snack of foie gras, which is prepared (burned) using the technique of creme brulee. By the way, in terms of desserts, it is worth mentioning that this restaurant employs two confectioners.
Even though on your first visit to this restaurant it is best to taste the said rib mix and find your favourite yourself, the chef opens up that Lithuanians like glazed ribs best (!); these ribs are inspired by the south-east Asian cuisine. Lithuanians also like the American option – a little burned, a little spicy and a little sweet.
The kitchen buys beef and pork from local farmers. According to Svajūnas, the quality of this meat in Lithuania is good and farmers can ensure uninterrupted supply of quality meat. While veal travels to the restaurant from Germany. As for seasonality, according to the chef, the seasons of the year do not have a big impact on the changes in the menu, however, the changes are most prominent in the garnishes.
Since there are a lot of offices located around Rib Room, business lunch offers here attract much attention. Svajūnas posts the lunch menu for the coming week on the restaurant’s website.
Svajūnas calls himself the absolute chef of hotel restaurants. He started his career in the kitchen at Radisson Blu Royal Astorija in 1997. His first and fundamental teacher was Jesper Franc Larsen, former personal cook of the Queen of Great Britain who worked at the hotel at the time. In 2002, the charismatic S. Jarmala was hired by Holiday Inn and has been working here since.
Certainly, if you serve good meat, you will also serve a wide choice of good red wine as well as craft beer. The wine list of Rib Room is composed with the help of Ms Jūratė Sprindžiūnaitė. She also trains the staff to be able to accurately choose drinks to go with dishes.
Svajūnas opened up and said that it takes him about 16 hours to prepare ribs. First, he cuts them out and around, then he vacuums them and circulates them for 12 hours. Subsequently, he cools them to the temperature of zero degrees and only then places them on a grill. Finally, he glazes them and serves them to a customer.