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'Cue Modern Barbecue at BHS The Fort: New Porch Menu and Cocktail Drinks Pairing

Friday, January 24, 2014
Whenever I ask some of my trusted and favorite food bloggers in Manila for their recommendations on best restaurants that serve downright good meat dishes, 'Cue Modern Barbecue located at Bonifacio High Street at BGC The Fort is always on top of the list. A lot of these foodies vouch for the goodness and the quality of food that 'Cue serves. After having tried some of their offerings recently, I could say that now, I am one of those who could recommend 'Cue Modern Barbecue in a heartbeat.

'Cue Modern Barbecue opened their doors to the hungry public couple of years back when an array of new restaurants at BGC, The Fort is starting to make waves in foodie radars. I couldn't count how many times have I let the opportunity to visit them passed. I think I kinda missed half of my life for that if I do say so myself. Then again, there's the whole stretch of a lifetime to make up for the lost times. So let's begin with their new porch menu and cocktail drinks pairing, shall we?

Delicious Dishes and Cocktail Drinks at 'Cue Modern Barbecue Restaurant at Bonifacio High Street, Bonifacio Global City, The Fort
Our visit happened during a busy week reeking of cool fresh breeze of the holiday season. It was a busy week alright, but just the sound of delectable dishes paired with cocktail drinks especially developed by Enzo Lim made all the moving of schedules well worth it. Enzo Lim as you may have known, is a bartender-turned-restaurateur, the same creative genius behind the famed restaurants Maharlika and Jeepney in New York City

The beautiful interior at 'Cue Modern Barbecue, BHS the Fort
Having not visited them prior to our luncheon, or should I say "pairing session" at 'Cue (cocktails at breezy 12noon y'all! what's not to love?) I don't have an idea how does their menu works before. I was told that they used to serve big portions only but the introduction of the porch menu paved way to the enjoyment of small plates best paired with their cocktail drinks or any other drinks for that matter. Think of tapas, appetizers, finger food, or let's say pulutan, that's what porch menu is all about.
Impressive food coupled with cozy ambiance at Cue Modern Barbecue BHS, The Fort
The pairing we sampled composed of four rounds of selected items on the porch menu plus cocktail drinks. Four rounds of blissful tango with flavors that playfully flirted with my palate. The cocktail drinks according to some of my friends were a tad strong for their taste, most of them nod in agreement. But at the little corner where I was seated, a smiling foodie satisfied with the parade of cocktail drinks holds the thought "these cocktail drinks couldn't get any better!" And then more gulped ensued after another.

'Cue Modern Barbecue Restaurant at The Fort Has New Porch Menu and Cocktail Drinks
The first round comprised of Bone Marrow & Steak Tacos (Php485) and Campfire-Style Skillet of Queso Fundido (Php190) paired with Patio Cooler (Php225) for a cocktail.

The Patio Cooler live up to its name that it is indeed a cooler, a refreshment of a drink brought about by the different fruits and vegetables the Beefeater Gin was concocted with. Drink it as it is and you will taste the hint of spices thrown in the mix for a good measure.

Bone Marrow & Steak Tacos, Campfire-Style Skillet of Queso Fundido, and Patio Cooler Cocktail Drink at 'Cue Restaurant
This same hint of spices on Patio Cooler I deem responsible for making The Bone Marrow and Steak Tacos all the more savory when paired with it.  Served with roasted corn salsa and sweet 'n spicy salsa verde, the savory composure of the tacos was what elevated with the cocktail.

When taken with the Patio Cooler, the chorizo becomes the spot light stealer on the skillet of Queso Fundido. The pairing enhanced the savory punch to an otherwise creamy-all-the-way cheese dish, and it was a good thing.

Bone Marrow & Steak Tacos and Campfire-Style Skillet of Queso Fundido
Second round of pairing was a heart attack waiting to happen. That is, if you take it everyday with reckless abandon. And we are not, so we feast our hearts out nonetheless. The cocktail drink is called Pitmaster's Pick (Php205) paired with dishes not for the faint of heart; Good Ol' Chicken Skins (Php145) and Hot Pork Belly Tips (Php245)

Pitmaster's Pick is made of Russian vodka or English gin martini, chili, olives, pickles, and Cue's house brine. The spicy taste of this cocktail drink is apparent but not overwhelmingly so. Of the four cocktail drinks we tried, this one I must say has the more spunk with distinct savory flavor to it, strong as they would say. 

Good Ol' Chicken Skins, Hot Pork Belly Tips, and Pitmaster's Pick cocktail drink at 'Cue Restaurant
When paired with the crisp Good 'Ol Chicken skin, the already apparent chili taste of the drink becomes more pronounced but still, it does not overwhelms. Its flavor gave a soulful character to the red chili than have it as a mere decoration to the glass.  The chicken skin was served with two kinds of sauces; chili sauce and honey dips. The hardcore may opt for the chili sauce but for those who are not fond of burning sensation on the palate, sweet honey dipping sauce helps in tempering down the spunk.

The pork belly on the other hand when dipped on its dijon-honey sauce and paired with the Pitmaster's Pick cocktail gave off a balance flavor of savory, sweet, and tangy. When dipped with bourbon char siu BBQ sauce, smokey with a punch of chili radiates among the flavors. I also tried pairing the pork belly to the cocktail drink without having to dip it on its sauces, and I realized that it gave off a starchy flavor to the pork making the flavor a tad bland altogether. Hence, I prefer it with dipping sauces.

Good Ol' Chicken Skins, Hot Pork Belly Tips at 'Cue Restaurant The Fort
The third round introduced us to Bonifacio Sour (Php295) cocktail drink paired with Lil' Clams & Bacon Bits (Php210) and Buttermilk Wings (Php285). 

Bonifacio Sour is a concoction of Buffalo Trace bourbon, lemon, kalamansi, egg white and red wine float that holds a citrus flavor with just a hint of sweetness. The egg white that serves as a froth to the drink does not just adds flair to its aesthetics, but it lends a distinct nudge in flavor to the concoction as well.

Lil' Clams & Bacon Bits, Buttermilk Wings, and  Bonifacio Sour cocktail drink at 'Cue Restaurant BHS
Although generously topped with bits of crisp bacon, the seafood flavor becomes apparent when this clam dish was paired with the cocktail drink. No, it didn't kill the distinct taste of the bacon, it is still there nevertheless. Yet the cocktail drink helped in making the star of the dish shines through. It also goes perfectly well with the hint of curry which I almost even didn't noticed when I ate the dish as it is.

The wings which are coated with sweet maple-pepper glaze on the other hand is something I would happily devour with or without an accompaniment drink. It was good on its own, I must say. Yet, when paired with Bonifacio Sour, the citrus flavor brought about by the cocktail was easily tone down and the savory-sweetness shines through. It was the pair I enjoy the most. 

Lil' Clams & Bacon Bits and Buttermilk Wings at 'Cue Restaurant BHS
The fourth and final round was a combination of two seafood dishes; Crunchy Baby Squid (Php 225) and DIY Fish Tacos (Php245) paired with Sweet Soul Picnic (Php225) for a cocktail.

The Sweet Soul Picnic is a concoction of Sauza Tequila Gold, fresh watermelon, cardamom-agave,and fernet branca. Its innate fruity sweetness made it my favorite among the cocktail drinks we have tried.

Crunchy Baby Squid, DIY Fish Tacos, and Sweet Soul Picnic cocktail drink at Cue Restaurant The Fort
Just like the previous steak tacos, the fish tacos is the deconstructed type served with soft flour tortilla, roasted corn salsa, and the downright delicious cilantro-lime tartar on the side. Constructing one is as fun as eating a pocket or two. The sesame cornmeal-crusted white fish gave off an illusion of eating fried polenta, only more flavorful since it has fish on it. When paired with the cocktail, the freshness of the white fish flavor shines through.

The crisp squid which has a citrus flair to its flavor was taken a notch higher when paired with the cocktail. The refreshing citrusy flavor was very apparent but the sweetness was still there, just helping to strike a fine balance.

Crunchy Baby Squid and DIY Fish Tacos at Cue Restaurant The Fort
While I have not tried some of the famed meaty dishes at 'Cue Modern Barbecue, the dishes on their porch menu and the cocktails were pleasant enough for me to agree with some of my favorite food bloggers that indeed they are one of the best restaurants at Bonifacio Global City, The Fort, particularly the High Street area. The experience was delightful and the pairing was not just entertaining but an educational one for it opened my eyes to the detailed flavor profile one should expect when pairing food and drinks. So I guess that it is safe to say that I am seeing myself at 'Cue again sometime soon to try some of the items on their menu.

'Cue Modern Barbecue, one of the best restaurants at BHS Bonifacio Global City, The Fort
'Cue Modern Barbecue

7th Avenue corner 29th Street
L/G Floor Bonifacio High Street Central
East Superblock
Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City
Contact no.: (02) 621-4052
Facebook Page: /cuemodernbbq
Twitter: @cuemodernbbq
Instagram: @cuemodernbbq

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