There is nothing I love more on a hot summer's day than a good family BBQ, a jug full of Pimms and a couple of chilled ciders with my favourite people. A freezing cold winter Sunday afternoon in the north east of Scotland is not the ideal conditions to get stuck into BBQ food. Until now...
Cue Barbecue is the brainchild of enterprising duo Chris Tonner (Eat Beetroot) and Scott Fraser (Angus & Oink) and aims to bring authentic Southern flavours to the people of Aberdeen. They were inspired by a trip to Grillstock BBQ festival and time spent in the southern and latin Americas and have successfully transferred the traditional dirty, meat market style of eating to their restaurant tables with passion. You can feel that passion from pitmaster Scott as he talks us through the menu and how it all happened. It's the sort of soul food that really brings people together. The smokey aroma from the kitchen welcomes you with open arms and you can't wait to get stuck in to a big juicy plateful!
The restaurant has been completely transformed from it's Courtyard days. Gone is the fancy fine dining atmosphere. It's been replaced by funky artwork, long wooden benches and fire engine red stools, Animal skulls and axes hang from the walls. Keep an eye out for Cue's mascot, Unihog! The Old Hickory smoker upstairs was transported all the way from America and is one of only two in the whole of Scotland. (It's so big they had to hire a forklift to get it in through an upstairs window!) There's a proper old school Texan feel, with a family atmosphere. The tables are well stocked with napkins and all the other essentials - etch-a-sketch and rubik's cubes obviously!
We kicked off with some tasty cocktails (the dangerous kind that taste just like juice!) and a portion of fried chicken wings. There's a full line up of Angus & Oink hot sauces ready and waiting at the table. I recommend the Rampant Angus and the fiery Voodoo Mango, which should come with a warning!
We basically worked our way through the entire menu, sampling pulled pork and brisket rolls, Louisiana muddy gumbo and a tray full of pulled pork, ribs, brisket and various types of sausage. Cue has been working closely with John Davidson butchers, who provide all their meat, and have even crafted their very own spicy black pudding, made with chorizo and fennel. The pulled pork was my favourite from the selection, closely followed by the jalapeno and cheese sausage. These meats can all be ordered by weight, meaning you can mix and match to tuck into a range of foods from the menu! An unusual concept that works well for the indecisive diner.
It's not all about the carnivores though. Vegetarians are also well catered for at Cue with everything from Big Mamma's mac n cheese to Texan rootin tootin vegetable chilli. The roots manouvre tacos were full of flavour and the monster mushroom burger looked impressive too! Sides of seasoned fries, moonshine onion rings, a very popular potato salad and a rainbow of different slaws and pickles were devoured by all. The sweet corn bread muffins were a particular highlight for me and would be delicious soaked in the juices from the succulent Mr Rubba Rubba pork shoulder!
Even after all that, we managed to squeeze in a taste of dessert! Key lime cheesecake, pecan pie and the ridiculously moreish banoffee pie were all a big hit.
Cue is an exciting new addition to Aberdeen's restaurant scene, guaranteed to satisfy the city's foodies. You will roll out with a full belly and a happy heart! My next visit is already planned for less than 2 weeks time and I'll hopefully make the pilgrimage to try their brunch soon too - buttermilk pancakes with crispy smoked bacon and maple? Yes please!
Find Cue at 1 Alford Lane, Aberdeen. Booking details here.
(Under fives eat free!)
*I was invited by Julia on Cue's behalf to sample their menu. As always the views expressed here are all my own and 100% genuine.