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.