If steaks, homemade bacon and bone marrow tacos make you happy, ’Cue Modern Barbecue is the place for you.
’Cue is one of the casual-dining restaurants on Bonifacio High Street Central in Taguig, a bustling compound of novel food places. On weekends, meat lovers wait to be seated for their barbecue fix; on weekdays, yuppies from nearby offices dine in for a filling meal.
’Cue’s comfort food has also attracted its share of celebrities, including chef Margarita Fores, cager Chris Tiu, even President Aquino.
The idea is to enjoy good barbecue in a comfortable setting, said Abba Napa. Together with Jon Syjuco and SSS Commissioner Eliza Antonino, they established The Moment Group, the house that opened ’Cue earlier this year.
Here, you can go meat-on-meat-on-meat, such as baby-back ribs with bacon and lamb, like it’s nobody’s business. Each item is good for sharing and comes with house-made sides ranging from coleslaw to Buttered Corn Rice, and sauce of your choice.
Diners go for the steaks: pan-seared Angus Rib-eye cut from the slab, and flame-grilled Short Rib Steak. Another beef item is the dark ale-braised, mustard-crusted Beef Belly, served with roasted onions.
For pork, the bestseller is the slow-baked baby-back ribs that one can have dry (rubbed with spices) or wet (with glaze).
Also, bacon in ’Cue does not come in breakfast strips, but in solid slabs—a half-pound char-grilled slab, to be exact.
If choosing becomes tedious, get the Li’l Feast platter loaded with bacon slabs, beef belly, ribs and roasted chicken. At P1,785, this is a generous meat plate.
We dare you to try the Bone Marrow Steak Taco for appetizer (yes, appetizer)—a plate of cubed steak, marrow roasted on the bone, soft corn taco and salsa.
Napa showed us how to eat this rich treat: Take a taco, put a piece of beef, spread with some creamy marrow and top with salsa. Roll, enjoy and repeat.
Another popular starter is the Crunchy Baby Squid—battered deep-fried squid bits that you can just pop and pop in your mouth. Other starters are the chicken wings that come in Fried Buttermilk and Spicy varieties, and Home-Style Mac and Cheese.
’Cue takes pride in its all-beef burgers. Most customers order the House Burger that comes with two patties, cheddar and white cheese, lettuce, tomato, onions and ranch dressing.
The newest is the ’Cue Burger—a burger with 6-oz patty, mozzarella, smoked provolone, chorizo, arugula and red-wine barbecue sauce on a butter-grilled bun.
If you want to go easy on your arteries, there are lighter alternatives, such as Roasted Sardines and Fennel Pasta, Cajun Blackened Salmon Steak and Simply Grilled Cod.
Two dessert highlights are the Caramel Pecan Cheesecake and the Apple Pie with vanilla ice cream and butterscotch sauce.
Focus on barbecue
The Moment Group trio had a vision of putting up a homegrown true-blue barbecue place, and it took them six months to finalize the menu.
“Before ’Cue, there was hardly a restaurant that focused just on barbecue,” said Napa. “There are grills and steakhouses, but we wanted a barbecue place with an item for everybody.”
The team is familiar with the food business. Napa studied Restaurant Management and Culinary Techniques at the French Culinary Institute in New York. Antonino runs Masas, a Filipino restaurant in Greenbelt 2, Makati. Syjuco’s family is into the food-and-beverage business.
The interiors are easy on the eyes—mostly wood and warm lights, with cute touches such as small plants on discarded milk cans as table centerpieces.
“We want an informal setup with comfort food that appeals to everyone, from the ‘stroller crowd’ to foodies,” Napa said. The drinks are also varied, from fresh lemonade in industrial jars to wine and beer— whichever goes with your entrée of choice.
’Cue Modern Barbecue is at the Lower Ground Floor, Bonifacio High Street Central, Global City, Taguig. It seats 80; call 6214052, 0917-8992283 for reservations. E-mail cuemodernbbq @momentgroup.ph; visit CueModernBBQ on Facebook; follow @CueModernBBQ on Twitter.
PHOTOS BY ALANAH TORRALBA