All the New Dishes You Have to Try at Josh Boutwood's Savage
Tucked away in a high-rise condominium in Fort Bonifacio is Savage, chef Josh Boutwood’s “primitive” food joint that only uses the pre-industrial method of open-fire cooking.
For those who have not visited the restaurant yet, the interiors are modern, save for some wooden furnishings. It overlooks a panorama of the busy district. Such an urban ambiance, however, is punctured the moment you get a taste of chef Boutwood’s hearty dishes that are unified by a distinct smoky texture—a Savage signature—bringing you back to a time when fire was the only way to cook.
Recently, its menu made some space for new dishes that not only amplify the restaurant’s unique flavors but highlights Boutwood’s culinary genius. Check out a few of his new offerings that are equal parts comfort food and sophisticated fare:
During the media launch of Savage’s exciting new lineup, the lunch menu started with a popular starter, the Bread Program, a bread basket taken up a notch with burnt butter and seaweed butter. The warm heftiness of the bread was followed by the fresh, tangy flavors of the Tuna Tartare that comes with fresh wasabi roots and a sesame emulsion for creaminess. This is served with thin slices of bread, giving you the option to eat it as if it were an open-faced sandwich.
Let’s face it, one would never call a cucumber exciting. Boutwood, however, will change your opinion on the humble vegetable with grilled cucumber marinated with distilled vinegar. Charred on the outside and crunchy with every bite, this simple yet delectable dish includes a crab fat emulsion—to be consumed with caution, especially for those watching their cholesterol levels, the chef joked.
After serving the surprisingly delicious cucumber (followed by Savage’s classic Burrata), a generous serving of duck followed. The juicy duck was glazed with blackberry and ginger ale that lent a touch of sweetness. On the side, a dollop of miso onion purée was topped with pickled onions and parsley.
Whole Lamb Leg
At one point during the lunch, people started crowding around the well-lit “photo corner” that was used to take good photos of the dishes. It was then that Boutwood unveiled a beautiful lamb dish.
The lamb leg was the centerpiece of the entire ‘primal feast,’ and for good reason. Not everyone can order it on the spot—it has to be ordered in advance, as it takes 36 hours to cook, wherein it is marinated with paprika, onion, garlic, salt, pepper, a little sugar, and rosemary. This is served with asparagus to temper the savory profile.
The lamb was coupled with a plate of ribeye steak, one of the restaurant’s most popular dishes. In fact, it was impossible for Boutwood to remove it from the menu. The protein-filled main course was capped with the veal, which was cooked for 30 minutes and served with pine nut, sunflower seed, parsley, lemon, capers, and a generous sprinkle of gremolata. It is then paired with an interesting emulsion of onions and bone marrow that adds a creamy touch to the hefty veal.
Although protein-heavy plates are typically paired with a side of carbohydrates, Boutwood’s side dish of smashed potatoes deserved its own podium. It’s the ultimate comfort food. The dish is a grown-up, sophisticated version of your run-of-the-mill mashed potatoes, and is paired with a garlic emulsion, fresh arugula, and heavy doses of feta cheese and bacon.
To balance the overwhelming wave of flavors was a plate of leeks that looked too simple to be true, but, yet again, Boutwood surprised us all. One bite of the leeks brings an explosion of flavors that were at once spicy, smoky, and sweet. One would think that a complex mix of ingredients was key to this success, but it was the burnt butter that did the trick.
What provided a sweet ending to this hearty feast was the bevy of desserts that will surely be a mainstay in the menu in the future. The lineup was led by the classic Meringue Strawberries & Vanilla—tarty and sweet—followed by a warm and gooey Sticky Toffee Pudding that came with Bourbon ice cream. It was hard to resist the third chocolatey plate of Kladdkaka.
The desserts were every inch the sugary version of Boutwood’s rich, honest-to-goodness meals that don’t scrimp on flavor.
Boutwood once again proved that using fire and smoke as the sole catalyst for cooking meals is far from ‘primitive.’ It is precisely this method that gives the food its unique, sophisticated touch that leaves customers coming back for more.
Savage is located at the G/F The Plaza, Arya Residences, McKinley Parkway, Taguig. Follow Savage on Instagram, @savageMNL.