I met a couple of fabulous new people at the NYC Food Film Festival, and we made plans to try Fatty ‘Cue. After trying their bacon and seeing Liza de Guia’s documentary on the restaurant, we were all anxious for an in-person visit. Fatty ‘Cue doesn’t take reservations and the seating is somewhat limited, so we arrived before 6:30PM on Friday evening and managed to land one of the last four-tops available indoors.
To start, we ordered the ‘Cue Coriander Bacon, which included two large thick strips of bacon cut into smaller segments and were paired with a steamed yellow curry custard. The bacon was as amazing as it as at the Film Festival. They especially focus on their smoking process, the excellence of which shines through in this selection. We found the curry custard so flavorful we wished there more of it with the dish for us to use throughout the meal as a condiment. We also ordered their cucumber appetizer, which was prepared with smoked chili, brown rice vinegar, and toasted sesame seeds. While the cool nature of the dish was refreshing this warm evening, we found this dish to be underseasoned in spite of the interesting mix of ingredients in its preparation. Of our three choices, I was most surprised by the final choice, Smoked Eggplant Nam Prik. I really enjoy eggplant, but usually it is not so flavorful. Here the mix of chili, scallion, green mango, bok choy were outstanding. Combine it with house-made chicharrones, and you have a must have option in the line-up.
We chose four different mains and shared them among the group. We tried the Ikan Bakar, which was whole mackerel, turmeric salt, smoked and seared in a banana leaf, chili-garlic-lime sauce.I’d never had mackerel, but knew it was one of the more fishy fishes out there. While I didn’t find the taste overwhelming, also did not feel this dish was the strongest of the options. This is another example where the intriguing mix of the ingredients did not quite transfer over to the dish itself. However, after we finished the fish, the staff took the fish away and then brought it back shortly to the table. I’d never seen this done before, but understand many restaurants do this. They took the bones, quick fried them, and brought them back to us to eat. Very interesting! They were lightly crispy and I must say this part was more enjoyable than the meat itself! Very well done.
My selection was the Hand Pulled Lamb Shoulder, served with goat yogurt with garlic and Vietnamese mint, house pita. The lamb was cooked perfectly – tender yet not too chewy. The Vietnamese mint added a soft mint essence to the dish, but allowed the power of the yogurt and garlic to shine through. The house pita was nicely chared – fluffy yet slightly crispy. Definitely some of the best lamb preparation I’ve ever had the pleasure of trying. Highly recommend.
The Fazio Farm Red Curry Duck was probably my least favorite of the four selections. Paired with sweet pickled daikon, smoked red curry, the meat was tough and lacked a strong flavor. The accompanying sauces weren’t able to save this dish. The Brandt Farm Beef Brisket, however, was quite good, served with chili jam, aioli, bao, red onion, bone broth. The meat was tender and I especially loved the spicy chili jam.
After so much food, we all were hesitant on dessert, but had heard such glowing reviews of the smores pie, which was on the menu for the day. The pie was a light not-to-sweet chocolate mousse on a graham cracker crumb pie base, topped off by charred marshmallows and paired with fresh cream. It literally tasted like smores in a lightened version (and in cake form). Absolutely delicious. And a spontaneous addition was the chocolate pretzel peanut butter pie, which actually managed to slightly trump the smores pie. The peanut butter mousse was extremely light and fluffy. The crunchy chocolate top layer most reminded all of us of Magic Shell – if it were significantly thicker, that is. The crust was actually crumbled pretzels, which made this dessert the perfect balance of salty and sweet. I could come back, sit at the bar and eat the bacon and the chocolate pretzel peanut butter pie and be content. Amazing. Highly recommend all around.
Fatty ‘Cue – 91 South 6th Street (between Bedford & Berry), Williamsburg – 718.599.3090
Reservations Not Accepted