A car­ni­vore’s new par­adise

Spice and Cleaver is rais­ing the bar for lo­cal deli meats with its hand­crafted sausages


There will be times in our daily lives when we find sal­ads and all sorts of healthy food will sim­ply not sat­isfy our crav­ings. Some­times, we will feel the need to hun­ker down, give in to our baser, more pri­mal urges, and just have meat. And while there are many places that have popped up around the metro that serve this need, you’ll even­tu­ally ex­haust your usual haunts. Soon enough, you’ll want some­thing else. Some­thing you don’t usu­ally con­sider.

You most likely don’t think about hav­ing hand­crafted sausages, the rai­son d’etre of Spice and Cleaver at Es­tan­cia Mall. “Spice and Cleaver is a haven for car­ni­vores,” says chef Miguel Gianan as we talk in front of a puff-dough pizza—a puffizza—and dish af­ter dish of sausages set on the ta­ble. Chef Migs, as ev­ery­one around calls him, is a young dude who runs his res­tau­rant with the drive and play­ful­ness of a guy in a pickup game of ball on a Satur­day af­ter­noon. While he tells his chefs what to do and ex­actly how to do them like a play­maker, he treats the whole thing as pure fun.

“Pi­noys are car­ni­vores, ba­si­cally. We don’t usu­ally eat veg­eta­bles,” Gianan jokes. “Our most pop­u­lar veg­etable is the potato!”

Gianan, the prod­uct of late Ger­man butcher Michael Beck of the old Mickey’s Del­i­catessen in Makati, has cre­ated sausages full of lo­cal fa­vorites, such as a pizza sausage, a Mex­i­can sausage inspired by tacos and bur­ri­tos, and a sisig sausage, among oth­ers. “When they closed down, I was crav­ing sausages, re­ally good sausages,” he re­counts. “I said, why not re­build or search about sausages and do it my­self? Based from mem­ory and a lit­tle bit of re­search, it was trial and er­ror un­til I per­fected the craft.”

It’s pretty clear, from the mo­ment we set foot at the res­tau­rant, that Gianan and his part­ners’—the tit­u­lar Jose broth­ers of Broth­ers Burger—goof­ball, mas­cu­line sense of hu­mor de­fines its spirit. The place looks and feels like a man­cave. The col­ors are dark and solid. There’s a faux boar head hang­ing on the wall. There are piz­zas, steaks, ribs, pork chops, chicken, pasta. There are cock­tails. There’s spe­cial beer that they’re re­ally proud of, from Wei­hen­stephaner, the old­est brew­ery in the world. It’s ev­ery­thing a man, or any­one just look­ing for this stuff, would ever want to re­treat into.

And well, okay. There are veg­eta­bles and sal­ads, too, if you re­ally must have a salad.

Spice and Cleaver refers to the essen­tials of sausage-mak­ing.

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