Bury St Edmunds' big Bangs theory

Richard Bryson finds sausage, mash and brash at a new Bury restaurant

The big Bangs theory

People can be a bit sniffy about the humble sausage. It’s partly because of the ingredients and how they are made. Here is a little reminder.Traditionally, sausage-makers put to use tissues and organs which, while perfectly edible and nutritious, are not particularly appealing. We are talking scraps, organ meats, blood, and fat. They are then salted and stuffed into a tubular casing made from the cleaned and turned inside-out intestine of a pig, producing the characteristic cylindrical shape.Yet even after typing, and digesting, the above explanation it can’t put me off. Nor can the comment of a colleague who, after mentioning we were off to try a new restaurant in Bury St Edmunds that celebrates the great British banger, scoffed: “How difficult is it to cook sausages and mash?”I suppose he is right but Bang Bangs in Hatter Street doesn’t just offer this dish in its most basic form. The owners are inviting you to try 29 types of sausage including ostrich and kangaroo, 12 kinds of mash and nine varieties of gravy. Furthermore they are sitting you down in one of the town’s more outlandish dining out venues.Is it a pub, a restaurant or a bordello? The leopardskin and black interiors, chandeliers and ornate silver mirrors might hint at the latter but you suspect the owners are deliberately going over the top. Whatever you think of the food you’ll remember the venue and the staff are willing to go along with the ironic interior design. As our cheerful waiter, dressed in black with waistcoat and undone bow-tie, commented: “It may look a bit different but it works.” Hmmmm.

Perhaps the thinking was to marry outlandish interiors with (aesthetically-speaking) fairly plain food. But they need not have worried as the sausages, or at least the ones we tried, were truly meaty and delicious. We had the pork and apple, and Newmarket selections mixed with bubble and squeak, sweet potato and bacon mash. The gravy (ours was beef, red wine and red pepper) was hot and full of flavour, albeit a little more like a sauce than gravy.Portion sizes come as diddy (one sausage) �4.50, dainty (two) �8.50 and hearty (three) �10.50, which some might perceive as a little expensive for such simple fayre.My wife had quite a tasty risotto and we shared out some desserts (�4.50 each) in the form of a baked cheesecake, a very good bread and butter pudding and chocolate ice cream. Throw in some drinks (mainly of the non-alcoholic variety) and our bill for five came to �62.We liked it and hope it succeeds in a part of Bury rather over-populated with chain restaurants. Oh, and the diners aren’t all males, we saw several women on our visit a few weeks back.Just one thought. While this is the kind of comfort food ideal for the colder months, I wonder whether Bang Bangs will be busy in the height of the summer. Sausage salad anyone?

Bang, Bangs, 19 Hatter Street, Bury St Edmunds IP33 INE. Tel: 01284 703343.

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