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A high-designed restaurant is bringing a hot kick of flavor to, Manila. By David Lloyd Buglar
5F CLIPP Center, corner of 39th St. and 11th Ave., Fort Bonifacio, Manila, Philippines

The Overview

Those familiar with one of Vask's (pronounced "Bask") key backers, Juan Carlo Calma, will know to expect something special from the restaurant's interior. One of Manila's most celebrated architects, designers and artists, he is renowned for his unconventional work, and the free reign he was allowed at this ultra-cool tapas joint has paid off.

Art enlivens the space in several playful ways, from the neon-skull lightbulbs, to the surrealist fork and knife sculptures that vie for attention with a view of downtown Makati, to the 20-seater Degustation Art Gallery.

With Vask's design credentials, it would be easy for the visual experience to overshadow the culinary, but chef Jose Luis Gonzalez is not one to be outdone. He joined Vask after working with such luminaries as Chef Mugaritz at his eponymous San Sebastian restaurant and Ferran Adrià at molecular gastronomy's now defunct epicenter, elBulli. The challenge for Gonzalez at Vask is producing the same level of food at what he described as "casual dining" prices. To help him achieve this, he is armed with an array of food-enhancing gadgets that would make Heston Blumenthal green.

Gonzalez focuses on the cuisine of his home country, specifically the Basque (er, "Bask") region, with the menu split equally between modern interpretations of regional staples and his creative ideas. Highlights include smoked foie gras with banana in espresso sauce and the calamaras à la plancha—baby squid with vacuumed onion essence. Both the owners and the chefs are having plenty of fun with Vask and we're more than happy to go along for the ride.

Tel: +63 2 217 6563



Published on Dec 17, 2013

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