Another day, another old post finding the light of day. Although, it appears to be Hang Fire Southern Kitchen’s birthday, according to Instagram. So happy birthday Hangfire, and here is my belated review. Better late than not at all.
Going to Hang Fire Southern Kitchen in Barry for a BBQ feast seemed the perfect way to end my Veganuary earlier in the year… all that time ago… when we could still eat restaurants. The original plans to go on the 30 January were scuppered, so the meat-feast was delayed until the feast day of St Valentine.
It seems most people didn’t feel that Hang Fire was the ideal way to spend Valentine’s Day because there was a surprising amount of last minute availability. What is more romantic than meat sweats and bloated bellies?
I hadn’t been to Hang Fire Southern Kitchen since the first month it opened. That first meal was fantastic. I can still taste those fried chicken and waffles to this day. Fingers crossed for a repeat performance.
I checked the menu before arriving and was disappointed to see that my chicken and waffles had shrunk. Gone was the gravy and sweet potato wedges, in was maple syrup. It still sounds delicious but I was after the BBQ this time round.
I am a bloody nightmare trying to order from a menu due to a crippling (but I feel perfectly rational) fear of missing out. I often study a menu for days or weeks before eating out, such is my anxiety. Trying to combine all the barbecue into one meal was a logistical nightmare. I knew I wanted the brisket & burnt ends, but I also wanted some pulled pork, some Texas sausage and some ribs. The extremely helpful waitress helped us work out our priorities (burnt ends) and we worked backwards from there. I could have the brisket & burnt ends (£18), add on the sausage (£2) and the pulled pork (£5). We had created our near-perfect barbecue platter for £25. The only drawback, we couldn’t have ribs.. this time at least.
Go Hard or Go Home
With the hard choices out of the way, it was time to go heavy on the starters. Piggybacks (£4.75) were a sort of pork crackling/ prawn cracker hybrid topped with pulled pork. Very tasty, but not strictly essential to have pulled pork starter and main. Hush Puppies (£4.75) were sweetcorn, cheddar and onion cornbread doughnuts. These were very tasty indeed – great texture. If I was nitpicky, I wish they had a more punchy, cheesy hit. Saving the best for last, the freckles (£4.75) were battered dill pickles chips and they were a revelation. I could eat these every day for the rest of my life. Perfect batter, perfect pickle, perfect fry sauce drizzle and a perfectly generous portion.
The brisket and burnt ends were fantastic. Very glad I chose to get the burnt ends. The crispy edges and melting fatty interior are so delicious. It came with Texas Toast and ‘smoked Au Jus’ gravy. I couldn’t discern any gravy, apparently the meat was glazed with it, but I had expected an identifiable sauce. The Texas smoked sausage was also a worthy addition, and a definite improvement on the Linda McCartney sausages I’d been eating all month. The chips and Texas toast were also good, but the real star of the show was the coleslaw. Call me basic, but it was just so well seasoned, and fresh. I wish I checked whether the recipe was in the Hang Fire cookbook. The only disappointment for me was the pulled pork – not that it was bad, but Nigella’s Barbecuey Pork Butt is just so good, that I have high expectations. The Hang Fire pulled pork was comparable to Nigella’s but didn’t surpass it. Although I enjoyed not having to cook it for 18 hours myself.
The meal ended on a sugar high with the S’Mores. I’d seen these on instagram a few days prior so I was glad to see them on the menu. They were mouth superglueing levels of sticky. Also chocolatey and crunchy. Entirely unnecessary after such a huge meal but so glad I ordered it.
Although it wasn’t a cheap meal. It was excellent value given the quality and the generous portions. I took home nearly half of the meat which made a very welcome club sandwich the next day.
I can’t wait to till I can eat those Frickles again and I’d maybe explore the veggie/vegan menu too.
Hang Fire Southern Kitchen, The Pumphouse, Hood Rd, Barry, CF62 5BE