In Short: Hughes Barbecue & Craft Meats in Waterloo combines some of Sydney’s best authentic BBQ with welcoming service and a friendly, relaxed atmosphere. Tip: Try the 12 hour smoked brisket, it’s some of the very best in this or any hemisphere!
When us food bloggers get together for the Sydney Food Bloggers Christmas Party there’s a few things you can be sure of, there’ll be plenty of foodie gossip, plenty of photos, and, of course, plenty of amazing food. Picking a place that lives up to the scrutiny of the blogging community is a challenge in itself, but this year that challenge was met and surpassed by Hughes Barbecue & Craft Meats in Waterloo.
Anton Hughes, the brains behind this brisket bounty, has deep roots in the Sydney food scene that stretch back to his notable legacy with Vic’s Meats and Bovine & Swine. With such a meaty BBQ pedigree, you just know whatever comes from the grill at this new venture of Hughes BBQ & Crafts Meats is going to be a prime cut.
We owe a lot to fellow blogger and party organiser Susan from ChocolateSuze and Helen from Grab Your Fork for hooking us up with what turns out to be some of the very best BBQ we’ve tasted in this or any other hemisphere. That’s a big claim given that we’ve done our time in the BBQ heartland of the good ol’ US of A where BBQ is pretty much a religion in many parts of the south.
With the usual food blogger chin wagging out of the way, it’s time to put our lips to better use and wrap them around a rack of glorious pork ribs. The firm, juicy meat of each succulent rib is lightly glazed and pops with sweet, smokey goodness.
The ribs are just a starter as we dive head long into a plate piled high with brilliant 12 hour smoked brisket. It’s beyond delicious as the wood smoked beef gives up its rainbow of subtle yet distinct flavours. This brisket is clearly a showcase for Anton’s talents and demonstrates what quality, craft, and skill can produce in a slice of meat.
With so much decadent meaty goodness on tap, putting it on a bun seems only logical. The burgers at Hughes BBQ & Craft Meats elevate the humble patty to new heights with these peak cuts perched atop a fluffy milk bun. Anton pulls out the stops with his burger bonanza. Choices of brisket, pork, lamb, sausage, and even jackfruit for the vegos, make for a burger lover’s dream.
Each burger has a side of the signature Hughes BBQ slaw and chips riding shotgun, so a rhythm of burger bite, slaw slop, and chippy chomp is de rigueur.
Speaking of sides, creamy mac ‘n cheese the comfort food of all comfort foods, fits into this menu like pulling a warm doona over your head on a chilly winters morning. It’s so cheesy and creamily cosy.
To really add to the authentic taste of “merican” BBQ, onion rings chime in with a light, golden coating that’s not greasy as it enrobes the naturally sweet circles.
Back to the mains, and where there’s burgers and BBQ you can be pretty sure that a sausage is on the sizzle. The snags in this case are super snappy and subtly smokey Louisiana style Andouille pork sausage. These puppies are seriously juicy and are complemented perfectly by the bite from a sidekick pickle.
One last trick up Anton’s sleeve comes in the shape of fall off the bone wings in a glistening glaze of tangy perfection. To be exact, it’s a Jack Daniels sauce that plays off the smoked and fried wings like a banjo on the old bayou.
It’s clear that it’s been another great Sydney Food Bloggers Christmas Party at Hughes BBQ & Craft Meats just from the frenzied phone fumbling every time a plate hits the table. The bloggers have bonded over brisket and burgers, and are ready to face another year of countless cafes, relentless restaurant rounds, and more than a few calluses from the old keyboard.
We couldn’t have found a more relaxed atmosphere to indulge in simply great food and great company than Hughes BBQ & Craft Meats. That combination of welcoming service and world-class BBQ is sure to see Anton’s newest creation become a mecca for any serious BBQ boffin and really ups the stakes (pun intended) in the Sydney grilling game.