G/F The Plaza, Arya Residences, McKinley Parkway, Bonifacio Global City
Open from 5:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. (Monday to Thursday); 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. to 11 p.m. (Friday to Saturday); and 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. (Sunday)
(SPOT.ph) As chef-owner of two restaurants and corporate chef of The Bistro Group, Chef Josh Boutwood has a lot on his plate. And yet, he does not veer away from this world even in his downtime, as he considers Savage—his pre-industrial restaurant—as his go-to spot for some me-time, or for when he wants to share a meal with his family.
“The concept of Savage was created because I wanted a place to eat when I wasn’t working,” says Chef Josh Boutwood. It's understandable, considering Savage is located on the quieter side of BGC and the interiors have a casual-meets-industrial design that gives the restaurant a relaxing, welcoming vibe. It's no wonder people would want to spend time here—just take one look at the wall near the bar where you would see scribbles by diners raving about their dining experience.
Savage is known for pre-industrial cooking—using wood and charcoal instead of gas or electricity—since they opened their doors in April 2018. This time around, they've added new items on the menu that both regulars and newbies would enjoy.
Start off with a drink from Savage Signature Cocktails. The Hey George (P530) is an homage to the ape drawn on the corner wall in the back, underneath all the graffiti. If you are in search of the perfect strong sipper, this smoky and citrusy drink with mezcal and whiskey garnished with a pretty dehydrated pineapple will hit your sweet spot.
The Rosemary Tea (P530) sounds innocent enough until you take a sip and realize it’s Savage’s take on the classic whiskey sour with muddled cucumber tossed in for a refreshing mix. Meanwhile, the 121 (P530) was inspired by a song that played one time on the house speakers. One of the more potent cocktails on the new menu, it combines the smooth and spicy honeyed taste of Drambuie with the herbal liqueur, Chartreuse for a full tasting drink, tempered with the familiar taste of pandan for a sweet and mellow finish. For those who prefer their cocktails tart and fruity, get the Red Bastard (P530), with a red-wine base and Stolichnaya blended with a raspberry puree for a sweet sip every time.
The cocktails pair best with Savage’s new line of small plates. Go ahead and use your hands to dive into the platter of Crispy Pigs Ears (P310). The tang from the accompanying chive sour cream cuts through the richness of the crackling pork—the pickled vegetable on the side helps, too.
The Smashed Potato (P480) may just be the prettiest carb dish on the new menu, with the potatoes on the bottom of crispy arugula, fresh cheese, tomatoes, and smoked bacon for that extra oomph of flavor.
A heftier new item is the Beef Short Ribs (P1,900), cooked over oak wood for that distinctive smoky flavor and basted with a sauce made from kiwi, pears, and wild Palawan honey. The Korean-inspired, fruity flavors of kiwi and pears suit the house-fermented red and white kimchi on the side, as well as kampot peppers from a batch Chef Josh has been fermenting since 2017. Each bite of the perfectly charred, sweet-smoky beef paired with kimchi and a kampot pepper produces an explosion of umami flavors that seem to hit all your taste receptors all at once.
There is a sensuous decadence to each bite of the Duck Breast (P2,250)—if you know Chef Josh and his preparation process well, it would be a good guess that these plump duck breasts have been hanging around his kitchen, patiently smoking for a while now. A blackberry glaze with ginger ale seductively covers the duck skin and grilling transforms it into a caramelized dark golden crust with succulent pink flesh underneath. Each bite is a fatty, carnal delight—after having as much duck as you can, just when you think it’s a bit too heavy to take in all at once, have a bite of the onion puree and pickled shallots on the side as a pick-me-up and to prepare your whole palate for another decadent bite.
Even after more than a year, Savage still shows that they still take grilling seriously—and their new line-up of tasty plates are just more proof of that fact.
Photos by Vincent Coscolluela