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Saturday, December 02, 2017

Hughes Barbecue at The George Hotel, Waterloo

Pitt boss Anton Hughes rubbing root beer glaze onto smoked pork ribs at Hughes Barbecue in Waterloo Sydney

"We live two streets from here but we've never visited until now!" That's the refrain most commonly exclaimed by customers at Hughes Barbecue, the American barbecue takeover now in its sixth week at The George Hotel.

Pit master Anton Hughes is now the master of his own domain, opening Hughes Barbecue with partner Tanya Lumley after stints at Vic's Meat Market and Bovine & Swine (formerly co-owned and now sold).

Dining room at Hughes Barbecue in Waterloo Sydney
Dining room at The George Hotel

The George Hotel, once an old school blokey pub, might be one of the last bastions of working class Waterloo. The new family friendly dining venue is bringing in a new crowd of young professionals since Hughes Barbecue moved in.

Hughes Barbecue menu at The George Hotel in Waterloo Sydney
Hughes Barbecue menu

The menu is significantly broader in range than that offered at Bovine and Swine. In addition to the usual meat-plate-and-sides or smoked sandwich options, punters can add on chicken wingettes, maple cornbread, onion rings and fried pickles.

Don't feel like barbecue? There's a smoked wagyu cheese burger too. And I reckon the classic schnitzel is a concession to all the old-timers who still rock up here.

Hughes Barbecue Sunday Specials menu at The George Hotel in Waterloo Sydney
Sunday Specials

Daily specials are handwritten on the kitchen side-door. On the Sunday we visit it's crocodile, available as a tail fillet or in a burger.

Food blogger taking burger photo at Hughes Barbecue at The George Hotel in Waterloo Sydney
Camera eats first (hai Simon)

We're a swarm of cameras today, gathered for the ninth annual Sydney Food Bloggers Christmas Party co-hosted by Chocolatesuze and I. It's an ideal venue for groups - people can order and pay for their own food as they go, including cheap drinks from the front bar.

Smoking barbecue at Hughes Barbecue at The George Hotel in Waterloo Sydney
Smoking barbecue

It's a hot day but we're under cover and out of the sun's direct glare. The smoking barbecues in the courtyard add to the heat but pitt boss Anton Hughes barely raises a sweat as he checks on the smokers.

Pitt boss Anton Hughes checking the brisket at Hughes Barbecue at The George Hotel in Waterloo Sydney
Pit boss Anton Hughes checking the barbecue beef briskets

Pitt boss Anton Hughes and the meat smoker at Hughes Barbecue at The George Hotel in Waterloo Sydney
Carnivore heaven

Smoked ribs and brisket at Hughes Barbecue at The George Hotel in Waterloo Sydney
Ribs and brisket in the barbecue

Pork ribs with root beer glaze at Hughes Barbecue at The George Hotel in Waterloo Sydney
Pork ribs with root beer glaze

Fried pickles with blue cheese sauce at Hughes Barbecue at The George Hotel in Waterloo Sydney
Fried pickles with blue cheese sauce $6

We start with fried pickles, which turn out to be one of the best versions I've had. Each pickle slice is impressively crunchy on the outside whilst still retaining its juiciness within. The blue cheese sauce doesn't have much of a blue cheese tang but it doesn't matter here - I could have easily polished off three serves of these pickles on my own.

12 hour smoked brisket and Andouille sausage at Hughes Barbecue at The George Hotel in Waterloo Sydney
Two meat plate and one side $35
12-hour smoked brisket and Andouille sausage 

The brisket is smoked for twelve hours over a mix of ironbark and applewood. We score two succulently fatty slices, marked with a noticeable smoke ring around the edges. The meat is lusciously tender and smoky.

Andouille sausage at Hughes Barbecue at The George Hotel in Waterloo Sydney
Andouille sausage 

Andouille sausage is another highlight, firm and juicy with a satisfying bite.

Coleslaw at Hughes Barbecue at The George Hotel in Waterloo Sydney
Coleslaw 
(our choice of side with the two meat plate)

The coleslaw side is relatively small in portion but it makes for a refreshing palate cleanser between mouthfuls of meat.

Smoked beef short rib at Hughes Barbecue at The George Hotel in Waterloo Sydney
Beef short rib plate (2 large ribs) with one side $40

We have to wait a little while for the beef short rib to be ready but it's worth it, a slab of perfectly rendered meat that slides right off the bone. The smoke ring is textbook. It's super rich and smoky but oh so gruntworthy.

Mac 'n' cheese at Hughes Barbecue at The George Hotel in Waterloo Sydney
Mac 'n' cheese 
(our choice of side with the beef short rib)

Our other side is the mac 'n' cheese, a comforting scoop of pasta swaddled in a gently cheesy sauce.

Steak cut chips at Hughes Barbecue at The George Hotel in Waterloo Sydney
Steak cut chips $6

And because you can never have enough carbs, we get the steak cut chips too. The self-serve station includes as much tomato, barbecue, mustard and hot sauce as you can handle.

Barbecue tri-tip at Hughes Barbecue at The George Hotel in Waterloo Sydney
Barbecue tri-tip

Hughes generously sends out a couple of plates of barbecue tri-tip for the table. It's one of my favourite cuts, transformed here into a smoky steak cooked to a juicy medium rare. The flavour of tri-tip is always a treat.

Smoked wagyu cheeseburger with fries at Hughes Barbecue at The George Hotel in Waterloo Sydney
Smoked wagyu cheeseburger with fries $18

There's an assortment of dishes ordered across the table, and of course everyone consents to having their food photographed. The smoked wagyu cheeseburger comes with bacon and a molten layer of melted American cheese.

Root beer glazed pork ribs and beef brisket at Hughes Barbecue at The George Hotel in Waterloo Sydney
Root beer glazed pork ribs and beef brisket $35 with one side

The pork ribs are glazed with root beer, cooked dry-style so the meat still grips the bone, just the way Hughes likes it.

Brisket sandwich with chips at Hughes Barbecue at The George Hotel in Waterloo Sydney
Brisket sandwich with chips $16

If you're ordering for one, the brisket sandwich is a winner, allowing you to savour that fatty smoky brisket in a milk bun with a side of chips.

Beef brisket with root beer glazed pork ribs and chopped pork at Hughes Barbecue at The George Hotel in Waterloo Sydney
Beef brisket, root beer glaze pork ribs and chopped pork $50 with two sides
Maple cornbread with cinnamon butter $5

Chopped pork is also a worthwhile temptation, best dipped in barbecue sauce for maximum satisfaction. You can round out the Southern feast with maple cornbread too, served with a scoop of cinnamon butter.

Pulled jackfruit at Hughes Barbecue at The George Hotel in Waterloo Sydney
Pulled jackfruit $10 for 100g

Vegetarians can join the party too. The pulled jackfruit looks remarkably like pulled pork although it doesn't quite have the texture of meat. Hughes plans to expand the vegetarian menu soon, with hopes to bring in a separate smoker just for vegan options.

Rolled crocodiile tail on the barbecue at Hughes Barbecue at The George Hotel in Waterloo Sydney
Rolled crocodile tail on the barbecue

Our visit coincides with their first ever offering of crocodile, the tail deboned by Hughes himself and then rolled, smoked and glazed with pineapple and coconut. The meat comes from farmed crocodile in the Northern Territory.

Rolled crocodiile tail smoked and glazed with pineapple and coconut at Hughes Barbecue at The George Hotel in Waterloo Sydney
Crocodile tail smoked and glazed with pineapple and coconut $10 per 100g

I've eaten crocodile before but it's my first time eating crocodile tail fillet. It tastes just like, yes, chicken, although it has a slightly drier texture.

Crocodiile tail flesh and fat at Hughes Barbecue at The George Hotel in Waterloo Sydney
Crocodile flesh and fat

What's most fascinating is the thick layer of fat attached to the flesh. It's not as greasy as pork fat but it still has a noticeable richness, like tendon set firm with agar. The pineapple and coconut glaze is a clever tropical touch.

Don't expect Hughes to sit on his laurels. He's been experimenting with duck and quail and there's talk there may be barbecued desserts on the menu soon too. Schmmmmmoking!

Hughes Barbecue at The George Hotel in Waterloo Sydney


Hughes Barbecue -  George Hotel Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Hughes Barbecue at The George Hotel (Facebook)
760 Elizabeth Street, Waterloo, Sydney
Tel: +61 (02) 9698 1320

Opening hours
Tuesday to Wednesday 12pm-2pm and 5pm-8.30pm

Thursday 12pm-2.30pm and 5.30pm-8.30pm
Friday to Saturday 12pm-3pm and 5pm-9pm
Sunday 12pm-3pm and 5pm-8.30pm


Related Grab Your Fork posts
American barbecue - Bovine and Swine, Enmore
American barbecue - Oxford Tavern, Petersham
American barbecue - Papi Chulo, Manly
American barbecue - Surly's, Surry Hills
American barbecue - Vic's Meats at Sydney Fish Market, Pyrmont
Smoke - Firedoor, Surry Hills
Smoke - LP's Quality Meats, Chippendale

Kansas City barbecue: Gates, Oklahoma Joe's and Arthur Bryant's
Texas barbecue - Franklin, Ruby's, Green Mesquite, Salt Lick and La Barbecue
9 comments - Add some comment love

posted by Helen (Grab Your Fork) on 12/02/2017 02:50:00 am


9 Comments:

  • At 12/02/2017 2:26 pm, Blogger gaby @ lateraleating said…

    This looks amazing! I love all things barbecue and will definitely plan a visit soon.

     
  • At 12/03/2017 1:43 pm, OpenID nessyeater said…

    Ahh shame I had to miss out. Everything looks so meat-lious and the price looks reasonably for what you get.

    Congratulations on the 9th annual Sydney Food Bloggers Christmas Party!!! OH MY! next year it's two digits :D

     
  • At 12/04/2017 11:12 am, Anonymous Meatlover said…

    Finger lickin' good!

     
  • At 12/04/2017 11:26 am, Anonymous Bianca@forfoodssake said…

    The food looks great! I've yet to have any BBQ in Sydney that compares to anything in Texas. The Short rib and Brisket look like the stand-outs!

     
  • At 12/04/2017 11:53 am, Blogger Ramen Raff said…

    Them fried pickles are so damn good! The short ribs, tri top and brisket are amazing as expected. Thanks for organising Helen and Suze!

     
  • At 12/05/2017 1:59 pm, Anonymous MIck said…

    I think I just gained a few pounds from looking at those pics! You just got me super excited planning my trip to Sydney! !!

    Thanks for sharing!

    Mick

     
  • At 12/06/2017 10:56 pm, Anonymous Sara | belly rumbles said…

    Wow what a feast we had. The beef brisket was the winner for me, and I really need to get back there to try the short ribs.

    Thank you to both you and Suze for organising, once again, an amazing Sydney food bloggers Xmas meet up. 9 years, woo hoo!

     
  • At 12/07/2017 10:24 am, Anonymous Lee Tran Lam said…

    Wow, what a run-through of the menu! Glad you guys had a good time. I think you might be full until the next year's meet-up!

    And that's so interesting about them considering a dedicated vegan smoker ... I'm definitely going to keep my eye out for that development. Thanks for such a thorough and fascinating post!

     
  • At 12/11/2017 10:51 pm, Anonymous chocolatesuze said…

    yasss ALL the meats!

     

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