Kurt & Barbs | Cereal Killers

My suspicions that Barbra Sia and Kurt Famador are psychopaths have always been there from the very first time I’ve met them. They are butchers to begin with and own an establishment primarily dedicated to the preparation and consumption of meat. The hallmarks are there: a fetish for knives, disregard for convention, interest in anatomical physicality, partialism (cheek and jowl are high on their list) and the fascination with fire.

It has been quite masochistic on my part to have returned time and again to Carnivore for their brand of pleasurable torture. Assortments of animals are cut and used from nose to tail. There are the exotics and the tame usual’s, the latter made like the former with extensive treatments before I am stuffed with these. Hansel was fed well for the intended oven. Here I am swallowing hook, line and sinker. Patty Hearst would have been proud. I am slayed every single time and am reborn wanting more.

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A year after I was drawn into this macabre affair, I was invited to join two feasts, on separate dates two weeks apart, with the rest of their submissives to mark their sordid beginning and our willing capture. They were joined by one of The Island’s founders of the cult of craft beer, The Cebruery, pairing sweet liquid poisons with the solids.

I.

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Sous Vide Dalupapa Noodles with Classic Berliner Weiss and Sour Girl Beers

Local Giant Squid, Dalupapa, swam their last twenty-four hours en sous-vide before these were precision-cut into ribbons of pasta, drizzled with a Pear-Miso dressing, sprinkled with Tobiko and garnished with shaved Cucumbers and Edible Mums. The illusion extended to the perfectly al dente texture of the proteinaceous flat noodles with the rest of the ingredients coming right in between pushing out the briny, fleshy flavor of squid and masking it altogether. The sours aided the natural salinity and sweetness while cleansing the palate of the seafoody taste.

Crispy Marrow with Uni on Brioche (2)

Crispy Bone Marrow with Uni on Brioche Toast with Boracay Blonde Ale

Rich by default Bone Marrow was made rich to a fault by a battered deep-fry. The sweet, briny flavor of Uni cut through the richness with the Brioche toasts holding back the possible cloy. The fats neutralized the hops in the Blonde making it an even easier drink to down.

Wild Cobia Sashimi

Wild Cobia Sashimi

Smoked Wild Cobia made its way into the menu as a surprise dish. Gravlax-like in simplicity, the salt comes in from a finishing blend than from a curing. Caper berries and Tobiko add a touch more saltiness bringing out the sweetness of the fish with the Mangoes, the herbals and a brightness from the Champagne Foam.

Intended as a palate cleanser in-between, The Cebruery’s There She Gose-Gose Beer was refreshingly on the sour side with a bit of sea salt.

Wild Cobia Sashimi

Wild Cobia Taco with Gold Dust Woman Weitbeer

A pan-fried fillet of Cobia rested on a disc of taco soil in their take on deconstruction. Mangoes, Cucumbers, Aromatics and their signature Edible Flowers made up the green component. Sours came from local cherry tomatoes all tied- in by the Butternut Crunch Pesto. Complementary grain flavors from the beer and the corn balance out the hops and keep it light enough for  the fish.

Smoked Pork Jowl Steak with King Prawn

Smoked Pork Jowl Steak with King Prawn and Dumaguete Dubbel

King Prawns were sous-vided into the consistency of a crustacean butter resting in its split half shell against a generous cut of Wild Boar Jowl. The expected gaminess of the boar was rendered almost lost in a day’s steeping in red wine and the subsequent hour long sous-vide in the same marinade. What was left was a tender, rich, almost beef-like, dark meat with an aromatic dimension from a two-hour, Whiskey-wood cold smoke. The darkly sweet Dubbel played like a red would to the pork while not at all in the way of the more delicate flavor of the prawn.

Peanut Butter Mousse with Double-Roasted Cocoa Sherbet

Peanut Butter Mousse with Double-Roasted Cocoa Sherbet paired with a Chocolate Hills Porter

In an homage to Reese’s, peanut butter was whipped into a smooth and light Mousse with a Dark Chocolate Fudge coating. The Double-Roasted Cocoa Sherbet seconded the fudge in a cold temperature flux with the chocolate and caramel malts from the Chocolate Hills Porter echoing the chocolate treatments.

II.

Beet Carpaccio and Liepzig-Style Gose

Beet Carpaccio and Liepzig-Style Gose

The second installment began with veg to ease us into another five-courser. Beets were oven-roasted soft, stewed in orange juice, peel, ginger, vinegar and select herbs. These were served in thin slices with Feta, Navel Orange Supremes, Edible Mums and flowers and dressed with a reduction of the stew. The more vegetal tastes were drowned out with the oranges playing up the sweetness and its tang coming up to that of the Feta. The tartness of the Gose brought out the sweet earthiness of the dish.

Whiskey-Smoked Bone Marrow with Uni served with Toasted Baguette Slices

Whiskey-Smoked Bone Marrow with Uni served with Toasted Baguette Slices

The first surprise dish  came by a roasted, split-bone, in-bone Marrow finished with a cold smoke of Whiskey wood. Uni and toast came into play with this dish as in the first dinner. The prezo included a popsicle stick embedded in the fatty bone tissue as a butter knife of sorts.

Slow-cooked Octopus

Slow-cooked Octopus and Classic Berliner Weiss

In another day-long treatment, Octopus was slow-cooked to a near scallopine softness. The luxuriously meaty texture rested on flavor contrast alternates of salty local Chorizo slices and the blank canvas of New Potatoes married by the Butter Crunch Pesto. Again, the Weiss comes in to bring out the sweetness of the seafood  with its contrast of sours.

Brown-eyed Girl, an Oud Bruin

Beef Shortrib with Demi-glace and a Deep-Fried Goat Testicle

The Cebruery’s Brown-eyed Girl, an Oud Bruin, came in as an in-between with the second surprise dish of Beef Shortrib with a nine-hour Demi-glace and a Deep-Fried Goat Testicle. The shortrib was savory and their usual sous-vide soft. That offal piece wasn’t at all awful and only more strange to the thought than it was to the tongue with a texture more dense than but not too unlike a scallop crossed with a boiled jackfruit seed and a taste along that same approximation. Frying made it golden. The malty and sweet flavors of the Brown Ale are enriched by the beef while its dark and roasty character cut through the more exotic taste.

Water Buffalo Sliders with Pale Ale

Water Buffalo Sliders with People Power Pale Ale

I expected a more gamey taste and a bit more than the usual chew with the unusual meat choice of Water Buffalo but was surprised with a flavor most comparable to an intense Angus. Local Buffalo Cheese lent a more exotic tang and mouthfeel than the usual processed cheese in the Ciabattini slider. Stark without the addition of any sauces and vegetables, the meat and cheese took center stage with myself wanting an encore. The rather hoppy ale helped balance out the intense flavor.

Slow-cooked Goat Leg with Striploin

Slow-cooked Goat Leg with Striploin in Curry with New Revolution Double IPA

Sous-vide made the huge difference as goat striploin came up yielding and even light in flavor and color with nary the usual strong goat smell. A potent Curry Sauce gave it good heat and spice flavor that well with the subdued goat flavor. The beer catches the caramelization’s of the meat and boosts the umami. While the hops cool the heat from the spice the alcohol content reins in the effect to keep the bite distinct.

Dark Chocolate and Banana Cake with Kahlua Ice Cream2

Dark Chocolate and Banana Cake with Kahlua Ice Cream

Two surprise dishes brought the advertised five-course to seven which pushed dessert to the edge of needless but who were we to say no. Chocolate and banana is always a winner and here it’s more an adult ala mode dessert with the more intense dark chocolate and the liqueur. All the alcohol in Kahlua may have cooked off but the flavors lingered in the creamy concoction. The Fat Bottomed Girl-Wee Heavy Scotch Ale extends the caramel, chocolate and coffee notes.

I write this in the state of food coma. I am still reeling from those sensational experiences and wallowing in the individual memories of each of my tastebuds. My suspicions that Barbra Sia and Kurt Famador are psychopaths have always been there from the very first time I’ve met them. If death be this delicious then let me die a thousand deaths by their hands.

Carnivore is located at The Gallery, John Paul II Avenue,  Mabolo, Cebu City.

Photos by Toni Marie Despojo

foodpanda

“A panda walks into a café. He orders a sandwich, eats it, then draws a gun and fires two shots in the air. “Why?” asks the confused waiter, as the panda makes towards the exit. The panda produces a badly punctuated wildlife annual and tosses it over his shoulder. “I’m a panda,” he says, at the door. “Look it up.” The waiter turns to the relevant entry and, sure enough, finds an explanation.

Panda. Large black-and-white bear-like mammal, native to China. Eats, [sic no comma] shoots and leaves.”

— Lynne Truss, Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation

A misplaced comma can be potentially hazardous. The same applies to unsatisfied hunger. My parallels with the misinterpreted animal above is in how I am almost barely in one place and, most of the time, just “eats, shoots and leaves.” While I live in serviced comfort and love our cook’s default dish of Chicken & Chilies, I am one for variety and get bored with routine rather easily. Moreover, my everyday scenario plays out with one hand to my mouth to chug a cup of black with a protein shake on the other and a foot still jamming into a shoe while halfway out the door. The rest of my day would usually be spent in cafes and restaurants in apparent squatter settlement but lights still go blinking endlessly and at light speed in my head. On the very rare occasion that I come across a lazy Sunday, all systems involuntarily shut down and lethargy takes over. All or nothing. Busy or not, I’d rather not flex any culinary muscle and prefer the convenience of prepared meals. Eating is what I do, after all.

Among our collection of books, one of our family’s favorites is the No-Cook Book — a collection of restaurant takeaway or delivery menu cards and pamphlets compiled in a clear book file. Computers, the internet and smart phone technology take that up a notch higher with food delivery websites and apps. Enter foodpanda. Convenience plus, plus.

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Why foodpanda? My reasons are as easy as what we could even gather from the steps in using the service.

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One, foodpanda helps you narrow down your restaurant choices to those that deliver to your entered address. Granted a multitude of choices nowadays, the picky, the indecisive or the plain got-too-much-to-think-about would just be overwhelmed by all those and then crushed to find out their current location is out of their choice restaurant’s delivery limits. Foodpanda shows only restaurants that cover your zone.

If you’re one for exploration, the service may even allow you to discover one you have never tried before. While personal taste is the ultimate test, fail-safety is somehow guaranteed by the restaurant ratings and reviews that you can check out before making choices.

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Two, you get to browse through all the menus to find the food item of your liking. You can make this even easier by filtering restaurant availabilities under preordering possibilities, those with existing promos, those that are currently open, and even for your preference for healthy or vegetarian-friendly food. Cuisines and food types, too. With over thirty choices on foodpanda, you can take a food trip around the world on a meal’s allowance and all in the comfort of your delivery location.

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Third, payment is fast, easy and securely completed online. Just like buying anything on your favorite dot coms, transactions can be completed without the hassle of having to rummage for loose change. As cash on delivery is also a popular option, you may enter your available cash amount on hand so the delivery guy comes ready with the exact change, if there would be any.

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Fourth, food is prepared fresh and delivered right to your doorstep. One of  the foodpanda taglines go: “Hungry? Lazy?” Yup. Yup. Panda-spot on.

Fifth, you can do all of the above in a few clicks and keep busy while waiting for your delivery. A man who wears quite a few hats — and all at the same time — my octopus arms are frequently in a tangled tango and I am best described as the poster boy for Brownian Motion.

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On top of all those, foodpanda is absolutely free to use. Discounts, promotions and even free delivery services are available for subscribers. Each order also helps children and families in need as foodpanda will donate Php 1.00 to Stop Hunger Now Philippines. That’s an international hunger relief agency that provides and distributes meal packs to children and families throughout the country. Stop your hunger and stop some other’s, so to speak.

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Now all you have to do next is just eat, shoot and leave. Or in this age of Instagram: shoot, eat and leave. Download the foodpanda app for ios, Android or from the Windows Store  or simply go to www.foodpanda.com.ph, now.

 

 

 

All photos grabbed from the foodpanda website and elsewhere online.