From Basque Country with Love
When considering J. Luis Gonzalez’s CV, you’d be forgiven for thinking you’d mistakenly stumbled onto the World’s 50 Best Restaurants list, given his stints at El Celler de Can Roca (#1), Noma (#2), Mugaritz (#4) and Arzak (#8), not to mention at the now-closed molecular icon El Bulli.
Few chefs in the world can boast such an impressive resumé, and it’s fair to say that of those who can, none have been based in Manila – until now. In what is certain to be the hottest restaurant opening in the Philippine capital this year, Gonzalez debuted his ode to Basque Country cuisine, VASK, in March, and needless to say, the bright, modern dining room has been packed ever since.
Pale woods, dappled Carrara marble counters, circular ceiling cutouts and an open show kitchen set the contemporary scene, while bite-sized pintxos like jamon with parmesan mousse, salmon and crab tartare, and eggplant with quail egg line the bar, whetting the appetite for the feast to come.
Arrive early and swish up to the rooftop deck for sunset cocktails (try the namesake blend with basil and pepper infused rum, triple sec, apple liqueur and cider), then take your seat downstairs for chorizo potato soup, foie gras balls on mango toast, pollo en pepitoria (sous vide chicken in pepitoria sauce), scallops with black ink risotto, and a standout hot chocolate cake to finish.
VASK are you vaiting for?