Eats in Cebu: Carnivore

A five-course dinner and one extremely eager food writer, Michael Karlo Lim samples the extremely creative dishes that make up Carnivore’s special set dinners.

 

Carnivore's chef Barbra Sia-Famador (Photography: Maitina Borromeo, makeup: Bobbie Albert, hair: Carlos Conde/Originally published in Zee Lifestyle, November 2015)
Carnivore’s chef Barbra Sia-Famador (Photography: Maitina Borromeo, makeup: Bobbie Albert, hair: Carlos Conde/Originally published in Zee Lifestyle, November 2015)

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.

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 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.

 

 

Wild Cobia Sashimi

Wild Cobia Sashimi
WILD COBIA SASHIMI. Photography: Michael Karlo Lim (Originally published in Zee Lifestyle, December 2015)

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.

 

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 Taco with Gold Dust Woman Weitbeer

Photography: Michael Karlo Lim (Originally published in Zee Lifestyle, December 2015)
WILD COBIA TACO. Photography: Michael Karlo Lim (Originally published in Zee Lifestyle, December 2015)

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.

 

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.

 

Smoked Pork Jowl Steak with King Prawn and Dumaguete Dubbel

Smoked Pork Jowl Steak with King Prawn
SMOKED PORK JOWL STEAK WITH KING PRAWN. Photography: Michael Karlo Lim (Originally published in Zee Lifestyle, December 2015)

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 paired with a Chocolate Hills Porter

Photography: Michael Karlo Lim (Originally published in Zee Lifestyle, December 2015)
PEANUT BUTTER MOUSSE WITH DOUBLE-ROASTED COCOA SHERBET. Photography: Michael Karlo Lim (Originally published in Zee Lifestyle, December 2015)

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.

 

Carnivore
The Gallery
John Paul II Avenue, Mabolo

Zee Lifestyle's December-January 2016 Style Issue: Jennifer Helen Weigel-Sarmiento (Photography: Mark Philip Dales/Sittings Editor: Melo Esguerra/Production Manager: Shari Quimbo/Makeup: Ramil Solis/Hair: Ariel Tatoy/Locale: UVNS)text and photos by Michael Karlo Lim
Originally published in Zee Lifestyle, December-January 2016

For back issues, download the Magzter app on your mobile device and search for ‘Zee Lifestyle‘.

 

Michael Karlo Lim
Michael Karlo Lim

Michael Karlo Lim is a food creative and trade jack. Besides running Sugbo Mercado, he is a devoted dad to a grumble of three pugs. Follow Michael Karlo’s adventures on Instagram at @thehamburgero.

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