Located 5 minutes walk from the Ely train station, next to a free car park, and just across the road from the beautiful riverside jubilee park, Inferno BBQ is perfectly located for locals, visitors and tourists alike.
It’s also easy to get to, sandwiched between everything you’d want to visit in Ely, and offers a unique experience in the Ely food scene which has been desperately missing for some time.
Upon entering you notice that the place is bigger than you first think. From the outside it looks small but as you walk through you realise there are lots of little rooms in the back which give it enough capacity to seat small parties. I really liked the booths which made it a more cosy and intimate experience.
The interior decorating was authentic but basic, yet still had a few nice touches, such as the copper pipe lights and a lovely wooden bar. It’s early days in the restaurant’s rebirth since its closure last year, so it was understandable to have a few things left to tweak. The lighting was quite dim which added a nice warmth to the restaurant but unfortunately made it hard to take good photos.
I was really impressed with the menu. It has a lot of varied choices which stay true to the BBQ theme. Burgers, steak, smokey dogs, loaded fries, mac & cheese, and ribs. You name it! There was even a kids menu offering a set menu for £5.49 which makes it accessible for families.
There was also a selection of milkshakes and “freak shakes” (which are basically milkshakes on steroids). Naturally my son couldn’t resist the temptation of the freak shakes so one had to be ordered.
There was a great drinks menu too. One of the things which caught my eye was the selection of cocktails going for 2 for £10. There was a selection of bourbon ranging from Jack Daniels to Bulleit Bourbon, rum and gin, as well as draft beer available too.
One thing I noticed was the pricing on the menu. Everything was competitively priced yet they didn’t scrimp on the details which a lot of people would consider important in their food. The buns are baked locally, the burgers are made in house, and the beef is sourced from Norfolk (they even have their own recipe sausage!). I felt that this is a place of great value which would be perfect to bring the family or meet up for dinner before going on a night out without fear of breaking the bank.
The caramel freak shake was a sight to behold. My boy is generally a bottomless pit with no end to his appetite but even he had to admit that it was very filling. He gave it two thumbs up!
The staff here were excellent. A young team of 4 who were as attentive as they were chatty. We asked them to show us the best of what the restaurant has to offer so they brought out a selection of personal favourites of theirs which did not disappoint.
The first example was corn bread, which I had never had before. This stuff was one of the highlights of the evening for us. It was almost like a savory cake. It was served with a side of butter which was universally popular across the table. (Sean was very impressed with how moist it was, as he makes his own from time to time). We highly recommend this for anyone looking for something a little different.
The pulled pork nachos were another good choice. For £7 was a great option for sharing between friends. The pulled pork is not going to beat the quality of Pigcasso but for £6.99 and on nachos was enough to compliment the starters well. Sean felt the guacamole could use some improvement as it was quite runny, but overall the only mild criticism would be the portion sizes of the sauces.
We decided to order a wide selection of dishes to get an idea of what Inferno BBQ has to offer. The waitress was happy to share some of her personal recommendations which induced loaded fries, slow cooked BBQ ribs, and pulled pork burger.
Everything came out in good time. Nothing was rushed out like it was sat in the back under a heat lamp but we weren’t sat there wondering where our food was either. The restaurant started to fill up with a lot of different groups popping in and a lot of talk behind the bar about people ordering deliveries. We got a chance to chat with Steve (the restaurant owner) who was very busy but still managed to come and say hello. He mentioned that Inferno BBQ was on Just Eat, Deliveroo, and Uber Eats.
The pulled pork burger was a popular addition at the table. What I liked about the pulled pork here is that it’s very succulent which made the burger very juicy. It was served with crispy chips, which had a lovely, almost dirty feel to them, like they were cooked in properly seasoned oil. They worked really well and really suited the theme of the BBQ smoke house style restaurant.
My son’s Mac and cheese with pulled pork went down like a lightning bolt. The garlic bread was grilled which made it quite dry with little charcoal bits. This is not to my personal taste but it didn’t seem to bother my son.
The waitress recommended the Cherry Bourbon BBQ ribs which is one of her personal favourites. These were slow cooked and served with a giant spiced sausage. The sausage being their own recipe was absolutely killer and was one of my favourite parts of the entire meal. The ribs were a little fatty which is something Sean really liked but was not to my personal taste. That said, I would still highly recommend it as the ribs were well cooked and fell off the bone. The portions were terrific.
My Texas Hot Rack of ribs (with chips topped with steak in a peppercorn sauce) was a generous portion which added an exciting fiery addition to the meal.
I’m a real hot head and love my spicy food. The ribs were excellent and had a bit of a kick to them, which should be enough to challenge the average Joe.
Steve was kind enough to send out some extra spicy sauce as he knows my tastes, which was another addition I would highly recommend. It was a sauce which went well with everything else we had this evening but also was not one of those cheap chemically hot sauces which substitutes heat for flavour. This was a very carefully balanced sauce which I really respected the restaurant for using.
We also noticed Cambridge made Dips Sauce being sold at the bar which is something we always welcome at the Cambridge Foodies! Not only do they sell the sauce but they use it in their chicken wings which was something we simply had to try!
The wings were crisp and incredibly tender. These were a perfect balance of sweet and spice which makes a refreshing change from the usual hot wings you normally see. The 10 we ordered didn’t last long on the table at all, these would make a great starter or side with the Smokey Smashburger. We also liked them presented in the cage which gave it that really BBQ feel.
Everyone was truly defeated after their meal. This is a restaurant of not only great value but also large portions which gives places like The Hungry Horse a run for their money, with the quality being significantly better, mind.
The waitress brought out the dessert menu which was met with groans of pain and suffering. My son felt like he might be able to fit a dessert in for a few seconds but that soon passed. We decided to pass on dessert mainly due to the risk of our stomachs splitting!
We want to thank the team at Inferno BBQ for the wonderful meal. It was great finally being able to visit and see what all the hype was about.
It is exciting to see another restaurant back open in Ely which adds more diversity to our foodie scene. Inferno BBQ offered great value and enough quality to please all levels. It’s accessible for families but also die hard foodies. If you aren’t from Ely it’s still easy to get to from Cambridge being near the train station and also accessible by car. You’ve really got no excuse!
Highlights for us were the corn bread, spicy sausage, and ribs. Make sure you check them out!
Thanks for reading.