Words by John Peter Himor
Photos by Maxine Lim
In this day and age, we’re so accustomed to modern styles of cooking. Different cooking techniques we now utilize have made our dining experiences more sophisticated and a bit more “processed”. But what if I told you that there is a restaurant that lets you experience the rawness and primitivity of earlier times, and you can find it right at the heart of the metro?
Savage is an open-fire restaurant that markets itself as a “pre-industrial cuisine restaurant” where all of their dishes are cooked with a grill at some point or another, even their desserts! Savage is the brainchild of Chef Josh Boutwood, the corporate chef of The Bistro Group which brought us culinary favorites such as the all-American TGI Fridays and the Korean BBQ restaurant, Bulgogi Brothers. But Savage is unlike any of those other restaurants. Rather than bringing us to a place, it brings us to a certain time—a time before the invention of stoves and when hearth was the focus of the kitchen.
Savage is located in Arya Plaza in BGC.
We visited Savage which is located in Arya Plaza, an alfresco dining destination hidden away from the busyness of Bonifacio Global City. The rustic feel of Savage is a deep contrast with the modernity of Arya Plaza, what with the restaurant’s chopped oak and concrete walls and floors. The customized grill in the open kitchen is the highlight of Savage, where they cook practically everything on the menu. They also use oak wood for the hearth of the grill, which gives a completely unique and different flavor profile to the dishes they offer.
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Savage uses oak wood for the hearth of their grill.
The crude and rich flavors start with Savage’s appetizers. We first tried their take on deviled eggs, a smooth and creamy way of starting your meal. Savage incorporates some smokiness and a taste of the grill by topping their deviled eggs with smoked oil and some onion ash. Truly a unique and exciting take on this classic appetizer!
Deviled eggs, smoked oil, and ash (P 260)
For the heavy hitters, we tried their barramundi—exquisitely grilled and coupled with arugula, preserved lemon, and olives for a fresh and zesty flavor. This was the dish I loved the most from their menu being an avid fan of fish, and what I assume will be bringing me back to Savage very soon.
Barramundi, arugula, preserved lemon, and olives (P 1,200)
Another main course that we tried was their pork belly with cola and a peanut garnish and paired with a pineapple chutney. The pork belly was especially tender and juicy and was complemented well with the tanginess of the pineapple. This is another great example of how Savage does away with unnecessary sophistication and instead focuses on bringing out the flavor in all of their dishes.
Pork belly, cola, and pineapple chutney
For the chocoholics out there, you have to try Savage’s kladdkaka (translates literally as “sticky cake”), a Swedish dessert that is a cross between a chocolate cake and a brownie. How hard it is to spell won’t matter once you start digging into the kladdkaka’s soft and gooey center, suitably ending your meal with a rich and bold flavor. If I could smuggle a whole cake of this out of the restaurant, I definitely would!
Kladdkaka (P 190)
Stripped down and primal, Savage forgets about the complexities of cooking and instead focuses on the most important thing: the FLAVOR. With the dishes we’ve tried, I dare say there is nothing quite as deliciously Savage as this restaurant.
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If you find yourself at Savage, don’t forget to explore the other curated restaurants that Arya Plaza has to offer. If you want a modern take on traditional Japanese cuisine, try Fukudaya Japanese Dining. If you want Australian flavor with Filipino flair, visit Martin Place Social. Listen to live music while enjoying a casual meal at The Red Piano RestoLounge. For a classic and more romantic dining experience, try Lemuria Restaurant and Wine Bar for their French Mediterranean cuisine.
The Plaza, G/F Arya Residences, McKinley Parkway, 8th Avenue, Bonifacio Global City
Contact Number: +639153339546
Monday to Sunday 11 AM to 3 PM, 6 PM to 10 PM