CHECK IT OUT: Vask at Bonifacio Global City
Basque cuisine makes an entrance in Manila’s dining scene
5th Floor, Clipps Center,
11th Avenue corner 39th Street, Bonifacio Global City,
Tel. no.: (0920) 918-5326
Operating Hours: 11 a.m. to 2 a.m.
(SPOT.ph) This concept restaurant has been amassing hype weeks before it opened its doors on March 13. The buzz is that it will give us a taste of Basque-inspired molecular gastronomy, and making that possible is Spanish chef Luis Gonzalez who has worked in the kitchens of some of the world's best restaurants, including El Bulli, Arzak, and Noma. It holds so much promise and if its initial offering, a seven-course degustacion, is any indication of the things to come, then we definitely have good times and good eats ahead of us.
VASK is divided into three sections. The gallery, which has a more private and intimate setting, for guests who want to sample the degustacion. The main dining area, reserved for those who prefer to order ala carte, offers access to all the action and aroma from the open kitchen. Those who want to drink while soaking up the city skyline can hang out at the Deck. Highly recommended is the Vask, a cocktail similar to a mojito but with a peppery finish.
For the restaurant's very first degustacion dinner, the menu showcased an impressive mix of flavors and textures, just like the mango ball that sat on a mound of foie gras mousse surrounded with a sprinkling of sweet cracker crumbs, and the palette-perplexing creamy sea urchin topped with beer foam and foie gras that has been pulverized into grainy bits.
VASK's version of meat and potatoes was the unanimous favorite at my table-a tender block of Wagyu, seasoned and sautéed Porcinis and a generous smear of mashed potatoes were beautifully set on a warm tile.
Personally though, the 62-degree sous vide egg swimming in a pool of Port wine sauce and garnished with garlic crumbs and onion foam was the standout. The poached egg was akin to jelly, and the yolk was rich and velvety. It's light in the mouth yet heavy in earthy flavors. Chef Luis's playful food will definitely have you taking time in relishing, savoring and figuring out the thought process behind each dish.
As noteworthy as the trendy food is the impeccable service, one which I've never had in any other restaurant in Manila before. The dishes came out in a hot/cold plate and all were laid down on the table at the same time. Utensils were replaced with new ones for each course and the table is brushed of crumbs every so often. I didn't even have to call the waiter's attention to get a water refill. It's these little things that make a huge difference and it seems that VASK has pulled out all the stops to leave an impression, not just with the modern food but the whole dining experience.