BBQ Review

Fatty Cue

91 South 6th Street

Brooklyn, NY 11211

(718) 599-3090



category: Brooklyn BBQ, Fusion BBQ, Robbie Richter,

Zak Pelaccio, Fatty Crab






Visit Dates: (11/06/10)


Zak Pelaccio's smoky spinoff of his wildly successful Fatty Crab restaurants in Manhattan is a Southeast Asian take on barbecue, with influences from Malaysia, Indonesia and Viet Nam. It took me more than half a year to get there, but my first visit was worth the wait.


I could rattle off lists of ingredients from the Fatty Cue menu, attempt hyperbole, describe the architecture and comment on the coolness of the Fatty clientele, but that's all been done before and is certainly not necessary now that the restaurant is already well established. I'll let the photographs tell most of the story.


Did Fatty Cue live up to the hype? Absolutely.


Is it expensive: Yes, there's no getting around it. I'd argue that the quality justifies the pricing here, but I can see someone thinking the tab adds up more quickly than you can fill up.


Is it Asian? Yes. First and foremost, Fatty Cue is an Asian style restaurant.


Is it barbecue? Absolutely. Anybody who says otherwise is either crazy or just looking for attention.


Do you have to be a meat lover or barbecue lover to love Fatty Cue? No. The menu has some interesting seafood and vegetable dishes. But it certainly helps if you're coming in craving smoked meats.


What impressed me most was the freshness of each dish. All too often with barbecue, the long cooking times require guesswork and long holding times, if not outright cooling and reheating. This was far from the case at Fatty Cue, where just about everything tasted (and felt) like it came right out of the smoker.



New York Times review of Fatty Cue

New York Times recipe for Fatty Cue ribs

New York Magazine review of Fatty Cue

Yelp reviews of Fatty Cue

Urbanspoon reviews of Fatty Cue


Fatty 'Cue on Urbanspoon











































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































The images on that wall put an extra bounce in my step on the approach.


The typically Brooklyn hand painted sign.


Just past the entrance is the lively bar.


Garlic being prepared in the kitchen, viewed on the way to our table.


Peppers also being prepared for some experimentation later that night for a new menu offering.


There's plenty of wood out back, along with at least three different kinds of smokers.


Big Green Eggs on the patio.




An amuse from the kitchen: mushroom and young ginger, with smoky bone broth.


A full order of bone broth with tiny celery. The combination of the smokiness with intense meatiness (even though there's no meat) struck me as the overture before the main event. I'll probably order this every time.


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Coriander bacon with pullman toast and yellow curry custard. The toast isn't buttered; instead it's rubbed with a thin layer of master fat. The bacon was crisp, tasty and fatty. I didn't get much of the coriander flavor here, but it was enjoyable with or without the custard. This wound up being my least favorite dish of the meal.


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Lamb ribs. I like how they're cut into smaller pieces for sharing.


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Lamb ribs. I also really liked the contrast of crispy crust and juicy, tender interior. And of the balance of light sweetness, smokiness and gaminess of the meat. They were more than a little fatty, so less is more with these ribs.


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Smoked duck, with that same appealing contrast of exterior/interior textures, along with intensely flavorful meat.The dipping sauce (smoked curry) added some heat, but this duck was fine all by itself.


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Another view of the smoked duck. Very fresh.


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A third view of the smoked duck.


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A look at the inner duck meat. This photo doesn't do justice to the juiciness that's more obvious in the first photo.


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Meaty pork spare ribs, with a thin sweet and sour sauce underneath made from palm sugar, brown rice vinegar and fish sauce.


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A nice crust on those ribs from both the smoking process and a light glazing of the sauce. Before smoking, they're brined using another version of the sauce.


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A closer look at the ribs.


For the ribs I also added a spoonful or two of this addictive table condiment: yet another version of that sauce, only thicker, sweeter and hotter, with red chile peppers.


Another look at the table condiment.


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Brisket bao offers a new take on the barbecue classic. The softness of the bun is a nice foil for the brisket, and the Asian flavors (cilantro, pickled vegetables, chile jam) and aioli provide accent while letting the brisket shine brightest.


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New York Magazine once called Fatty Cue pitmaster Robbie Richter "the city's resident Texas brisket genius." The brisket bao may not be Texas, but Richter's brisket IQ is even higher now.


Celery is a nice vegetable dish to lighten the heaviness (okay, the fattiness) of the 'cue.


Cucumbers are another good foil for the meat.


Pie. It was anything but Asian, but it was outstanding.


Even the restrooms get a barbecue touch.


The highest of three restaurant levels. Each one is small and intimate.


A bit of history: a decade old Big Island Bar-B-Que sign from pitmaster Robbie Richter's catering company.


The famous Fatty Cue pig overlooks the proceedings in tywo of the dining areas.





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