Of Meats Done Your Way // The Butcher Shop & Pub

BGC has always been a place where we go on dates and just chill and go around. Despite having worked around the High Street Area, I never got tired of the place. It’s always been bright and maaliwalas for me, and the wide open spaces are just a good breather from the usual crowded malls or roads we have to go through. Both of us now work a good thirty to forty-five minute drive (on sane traffic days) from BGC, yet it continues to be one of the top of mind places where we go on dates at. The diversity of the food choices, the good shopping areas, and the generally manageable crowds are pretty much what drives us to come back.

After a particularly tiring work week, we went straight to BGC to try out The Butcher Shop & Pub. It’s located at the same building where 2nds is, right in front of the giant pineapple at the JY Campos Center. We passed by the place a few times before when we were looking around during some of the weekends, but we never got to try it out yet.

We were both particularly excited when we decided during the car ride to go for this restaurant since, hello — BUTCHER = MEAT. So we pretty much set the bar high in our minds as to what sort of meat we wanted to have that night.

Wonderfully, they did not disappoint.

How it goes is that you pick your meat, the type of spice combination for the rub, and the sauce that goes with it. I can compare it to an extent to some Mexican joints where you pick the meat, and whether you’d want it as a taco, as a quesadilla, or as a burrito, or whatever. At The Butcher Shop and Pub, you choose among different types of meat – there’s chicken, pork, fish, and of course, multiple grades and cuts of beef you can choose from.

Being steak-hungry that night, we both had 300g rib-eye cuts, mine medium-rare while his medium. To go with mine, I chose pasta, while he got fries with it.

Upon entering you’d notice their display fridge wonderfully stocked with the various meat options you have, along with other things on their menu like the sausages. In front of this is this set up where they have the different spice combinations placed in big jars, and you’d see their cooks actually doing the rubbing right then and there. Mine was rubbed with Cinnamon-Thyme, while his was rubbed in their Hungarian spice combination.

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Anyway, while we waited for our mains, we ordered in their specialty and best-selling starter, the Dumaguete Sisig. I wasn’t able to inquire much into why it was named Dumaguete though, so let’s assume it’s the style of sisig from the city of Dumaguete.

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I don’t really appreciate creamy sisig (those smothered in mayonnaise), but for the first time I actually liked one that did. Maybe it’s partly because I have a newfound liking for mayonnaise, and partly because their Dumaguete Sisig really was nothing like the usual creamy sisig. Just the right amount of saltiness, sourness, and -of course- spiciness to go with all that glorious fatty pork skin trimmings. The creaminess from the mayo was just right too, and it didn’t feel like you’re eating sisig-flavored sandwich spread. It went well with the ice-cold Hoegaarden we were having.

A few minutes after we cleared out the bowl of sisig, our steaks came!!

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Pure awesome meatiness! My medium-rare rib-eye had the right amount of spice flavor to it, with the meat almost fighting against the knife as I sliced, but still melting gloriously in my mouth when I took a bite. It’s still much thinner than what I would normally have and prefer (I like steaks which are at least about 1 inch thick), but this is one of the very few exceptions I have. It was cooked just right, and was in the right portion. We both had their mustard sauce on the side for the steak, though in general I don’t really use any sauce or gravy on my steaks. In terms of the meat, our expectations that night really was fulfilled.

One thing I realized though is that pasta doesn’t really go well with steak. Or at least for me. Steak should just have a plain starch or vegetable dish as a side, possibly like creamed spinach or mashed potato, because anything else will likely overpower the taste of the meat. I liked their Funghi el Melazone, but I felt that it didn’t really complement the steak. I’ll probably have it separately. It probably goes well though if you go for their grilled chicken or fish.

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There still are so many items in their menu that we’d love to try, particularly the sausages which looked so glorious as they hung inside their display freezer. The selection under their Smoke Room category of food items look particularly enticing too!

Will we be back? Yes, definitely. Location, ambiance, selection of food, and price = check, check, check, and check!

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The Butcher Shop & Pub
Ground Floor, Wumaco Building,
Lane P Corner 9th Avenue,
Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City

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Of Ribs and Roasts // Smokin’ Pig Legendary Rib Joint

Tipsy Pig, Black Pig, Flying Pig, Fancy Pig. For some reason there’s an influx of restaurants / gastropubs named after our favorite porky friend (I made the last one up though). However, if you want direct-to-the-point, juicy, meaty goodness, then Smokin’ Pig Legendary Rib Joint is the one for you. No frills, just good food you crave for cooked to its best, served with appetizers and sides which taste, I must say, more than what you would normally expect.

Tucked in one of the corners of Capitol Green Street right beside Capitol Golf (several hundred meters away from Celebrity Sports), you’d find Smokin’ Pig. It’s pretty straightforward – all the seats are at the veranda, which means everything’s al fresco. This probably adds to the rib-joint / roaster feel to it, and you’ll feel the fresh breeze while enjoying bird’s eye views of Marikina, Balara, and Loyola Heights. We went there for dinner, so the nighttime breeze was good, but I’m not too sure how this fares during lunch hour when it’s generally hotter. 

With the typical gastro-pub / beer-match feel to it all, they had nachos, chicken fingers, onion rings, and some sloppy fries as part of their appetizer selection. However, D and I have been always on the lookout for the best chicken wings we can possibly find, so we got the Smokin’ Pig Fire Wings.

Smokin' Pig Fire Wings

Smokin’ Pig Fire Wings

D and I agreed that this was one of the best chicken wings we’ve tried so far. Just the right amount of flavor to it – without it being too much of a fire bomb (i.e. too spicy). Well-cooked, juicy wings smothered in just the right amount of glaze. The chives in the sour cream also added to the savory taste. The taste was just right, and it’s such that it’ll make you want to get more without you getting tired or sawa from it.

14-Hour Slow Roasted Beef Belly

14-Hour Slow-Roasted Beef Belly

D got a plate of the 14-Hour Slow-Roasted Beef Belly. With the right red-wine taste and the slow-cook process, it was a hit. The meat was tender, flavorful, and oozing with juiciness with each bite. It came with a side of mashed potato and stir-fried beans, the taste of which really complemented the rich flavor of the beef belly.

Smokin' Pig's Signature Baby Back Ribs

Smokin’ Pig’s Signature Baby Back Ribs

Ahh, rib joint. I, of course, had to try their ribs. After all, I do enjoy a sinful serving of baby back ribs every so often (the last one I had months ago was at Casa Verde in UP Town Center, which proved to be very depressing). Their Ribs come in A La Carte, Plate with Sides, and Platter, which would suit your or your group’s appetite for ribs, depending on how many you are. Since D already got himself the Beef Belly, I opted for the Solo Plate which included 1/4 rack of rib and two upgraded sidings. They ask you whether you want it wet or dry, and being the traditionalist baby back rib-lover that I am, i just had to have it wet. Slobbery, better. 

As far as ribs go, I think Smokin’ Pig’s is one of the best-tasting and best value-for-money ribs around the metro. Tony Roma’s rank up higher in the taste and meat-quality aspect, but theirs also cost more so it should follow that they rank higher in those aspects. Smokin’ Pig’s, on the other hand, combines good quality meat with a really good recipe.   

Almond Almond Cookiezza

Almond Almond Cookiezza

Another surprise of the night was the dessert. The Cookiezza felt more like a chocolate cookie dough pie a la mode, but its taste wasn’t overpowering or too sweet. Just the right hints of sweetness to close the palate after all that savory goodness.  

The Legendary Rib Joint!

The Legendary Rib Joint!

 With its location being just a few minutes away from my house, and with me not having to go as far as BGC or Ortigas for good ribs, I have a feeling I’d be dragging D to Smokin’ Pig pretty often to address the occasional barbecue rib craving. I’m sure he wouldn’t mind, as he also loved everything, from his beef belly, to the side dishes. The Mac & Cheese was also a surprising find – I wasn’t able to take a closer photo, but it’s something I would come get again when we come back. All in all, definitely a good dining experience, as D and I agreed everything we tried tasted delicious! 

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Smokin’ Pig Legendary Rib Joint
Ground Floor, Capitol Greenstreet
Capitol Hills Drive, Matandang Balara
Quezon City
(+632)9043148

*address and contact details taken from MunchPunch