CHECK IT OUT: Livestock at Sgt. Esguerra Avenue, Quezon City
The crispy pata is so tender, you can slice it with a popsicle stick.
Livestock Restaurant and Bar
34 Sergeant Esguerra Avenue, Quezon City
Tel. No. 332-0409
Open daily from 11 a.m. to 2 a.m.
(SPOT.ph) A trip to Livestock is a love affair with pork: a hearty, heavy, sinful tryst where everything from the nose to the tail is lovingly enjoyed. After, as you crawl out and look back at the two-storey building, there's this unsettling feeling-something between remorse and satisfaction-but you know for sure you'll come back for more.
Bacon and Egg Pizza (P420)
Spiced pig tails
Sometimes it's the comfort of the chicken wings that you look for. Underneath the fiery Buffalo-red paint, long, thick strips of bacon hug large slices of chicken, rechristening them Pig Wings (P320/three pieces; P440/five pieces) and soliciting warm fuzzy feels that translate like a real embrace. Other times, the craving leads to something more exotic: Spiced Pig Tails (P280). Next to chicharon and bacon croquettes, the tails are novel, but owners and chefs Cecilia Magdangal Uy and her husband, Mico, have a way of making things relatable. The dish is presented almost like spare ribs, with a powdery pelt of salt and pepper.
The skin sings a different tune with every dish. In the tails, it's thick and deep-fried to ensure a crunch that echoes loudly inside your mouth. The golden brown crust of the Crackling (P290/300 grams; P490/500 grams; P895/kilo), on the other hand, rips apart like wrapping paper revealing the herb-stuffed, rolled-up soft belly of the Pinoy-style porchetta.
Pork-stuffed Squid with Arugula (P280)
In the Crispy Pata (P590), Livestock’s piece de resistance, the crisp, bubbling tan coat covers pork so melt-in-your-mouth that it disappears like it’s part of a magic trick as soon as you take a bite. The popsicle stick used as a knife is a testament to its tenderness. It took months to perfect, and the special method is confidential, says Chef Cecilia, giggling like she’s keeping a secret she wants to but can’t share. Now we understand why magicians like to keep their mystery.
Their family has a pig farm in Bulacan-a convenience that works well with the couple's love for pork. "It grows other things as well," says Chef Cecilia, gesturing at the Kangkong Sambal (P260). Chopped-up lechon kawali is spread over sautéed water spinach; each crunchy spoonful muffled by the moist and flavorful greens. Pair it with the Mushroom Pilaf Rice (P130 to P348), which is like the constant friend that you can take on any adventure.
Bacon ice cream and toast
For the love of free-flowing arteries, not everything on the menu has pork and that wonderful skin. Delightful heat fills the Seafood Laksa (P290). Scrape to the bottom of the bowl to get those generous heaps of shrimp, squid, clams, and mussels. Still, Chef Cecilia tosses in bacon with the ice cream and puts up a dessert version of French toast.
She just can’t help herself.
The standalone building is a huge two-story space with a bar and restaurant.
More seating as well as a private party setup is available on the second floor.
Livestock is an unapologetic place of indulgence. In this delicious love affair, cheating is allowed in so far as you only cheat your diet. Or forget it completely.