In the last episode of Modern Living TV Season 5 (MLTV), host Bianca Gonzalez-Intal visited Backyard Kitchen and Brew at the UP Town Center in Katipunan. The lovely host was glad to have finally experienced the food haven that her social media friends have been gushing about. Bianca sat down with co-owner, Sam YG, to find out more about Manila’s hottest kitchen and brew.
Bianca: I know that people visit you mainly because of positive word-of-mouth and good social media reviews, are you aware of this?
Sam: Well, you really need to have “Instagrammable food” these days. That really is a big factor.
From a vision of creative people from different fields, how did Backyard come into fruition?
Our team is really a well-rounded mix of people from various industries; we have Rico Blanco, Jugs Jugueta, Kelvin from the band Itchyworms, Slick Rick, CJ the DJ, coach Chappy Callanta, and Rando Rufino our finance guy. Because we’re such a diverse mix, we used to clash a lot during the planning stage, but eventually we came up with a concept that is simple yet very realistic, especially to us men. “Saan ba tumatambay ang mga guys? Sa backyard. Come as you are, no frills, just have some good time and good food.”
Indeed, a quick scan of the place shows functional objects that were fashioned from stuff that you can find in everyone’s backyard.
Did you think of this while you guys were drinking and having your usual boys’ night out?
Actually, this is something that we have always wanted to do, but we just didn’t know when to do it and how to do it until we met the amazing chef Ed Bugia, who is now our master chef.
Now let’s get to know more about the crowd and the people who continue to find their way back to this place.
Initially, we were thinking of students from Ateneo, Miriam, and UP. And indeed, we get frequented a lot by students, but now we also have families and friends from nearby villages and yuppies coming to us especially on Sundays. The wide variety of food we serve has already attracted diners from different walks of life.
Aside from the great food and the homey ambiance, it is also interesting to note that Backyard Kitchen and Brew practices the farm-to-table concept; tell us more about this.
So farm-to-table basically is taking out the middleman. Normally when you want chicken you will go to the market or grocery, what we do is we eliminate that step; what is being harvested goes straight to us. This system helps increase the income of the local farmers by getting rid of some costs and unnecessary expenses. This process also benefits our customers because what they get is fresh; there really is a glaring difference in taste when you use the freshest ingredients.
The best way to understand the difference that the farm-to-table concept brings to the dishes is to try them out.
So what are your best sellers? Please name some.
Of course, we have the waffled fried chicken and our Backyard burger.
How about your best-selling desserts?
Our superstar dessert is the Pizookie. It’s basically fresh-baked cookie, topped with drizzled chocolate and then ice cream; it’s good for 2 to 3 people. It’s basically pizza na cookie.
What do you want your customers to feel when they walk out the door?
We actually want them to stay; we want them to be comfortable, chill, and drink. The Backyard is really more than just the food, the drinks, and the music; it’s really about that great holistic experience na talagang very barkada or very homey. We want you to feel that it’s your backyard — come as you are and enjoy.