South London

Published on November 24th, 2015 | by Sophia Longhi


Hawkins Forge, Battersea

Hawkins Forge, Battersea Sophia Longhi

Summary: Hefty portions, good value for money, satisfying beer-food


Gastro BBQ

There is a counter-culture to the trend for poached eggs and porridge in south west London, and it’s the same thing that has appears to have enamoured the rest of the capital. Ladies and gents, BARBECUE has hit Battersea.

Fried chicken, sticky BBQ ribs, bursting to the brim burgers – we can’t get enough of that Southern soul food from across the pond. And while this trend is usually housed within an edgy US diner style set-up (leather banquettes, stylised decor), here, Hawkins Forge pretends to be nothing other than what it is: a pub that happens to serve up a fingerlickin’ly good menu, that, of course, goes exceptionally well with beer and sports.

With that said, it’s not about a theme or a vibe here – Hawkins Forge seems to be a good little hangout spot, which, now that they have this menu, you needn’t ever leave.

Fried Chicken

At a quick glance, the menu looks packed with all the barbecue style favourites – fried buttermilk chicken, racks of ribs, burgers, hotdogs, sweet potato fries, mac ‘n’ cheese… and it all looks like pretty good value, too. And when we see the portions for ourselves, we know it’s good value.

We begin by sharing the crispy mac ‘n’ cheese bites – a delicate starter for the avalanche of food that is about to come our way. This is a delicious little bar snack – great with a beer – and very, very moreish.

For our mains, we try the Fully Loaded burger and the two pieces of fried chicken, served with bourbon glazed baby back ribs, grilled pineapple, BBQ pit beans and sweet potato fries. While the burger was as gluttonous as you would expect a burger called ‘Fully Loaded’ to be, the latter should definitely be hailed as the star dish.

Hawkins Burgers

The menu description makes it sound like you might get a few ribs on the side of the chicken, but instead, the portion of ribs is superior (and the chicken portion is generous) and the whole thing is ‘barbecue food’ summed up on a plate. The chicken is crispy without being dry, the ribs are messy, sticky and dripping in glaze, the pineapple is nicely charred, the beans are flavoursome and the fries are there to mop it all up nicely.

We thought we could handle dessert, and with offerings as tempting as Banoffee Salted Caramel Sponge Pudding and the Cookie and Peanut Butter Tower served with Whiskey Ice-Cream, we almost did – both a sweet-tooth’s dream. Drinks-wise, Hawkins Forge serves a pleasing selection of lagers and ales, and I was more than happy with my wine selection of the juicy Sandbox South African Cabernet Sauvignon.

Pub first, barbecue joint second, the food at Hawkins Forge doesn’t bring anything revolutionary to our current fave cuisine, but it is an appealing and tasty take on pub grub. Hefty portions, good value for money, satisfying beer-food – come here with a group of mates and they’ll be no need to move all day. Not that you’d be able to, anyway.

Hawkins Forge, 110 Battersea Rise, SW11 1EJ

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About the Author

Lioneye Media lionesses, Sophia and Rebecca, can tweet with one hand whist sipping an espresso martini with the other. Dedicated food, wine and cocktail connoisseurs, they love nothing better than scoping out London for its best bars and restaurants. Follow their exploits and breakfast pics on Twitter @LioneyeMedia

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