Awarded the Best Restaurant in Philippines 2017 by Asia’s 50 Best, Gallery Vask, helmed by chef Jose Luis ‘Chele’ González, brings Filipino flavours and ingredients to the fore. The dishes served here are mostly inspired by chef González’s travels, and often highlights unusual ingredients that he finds.
Signature plates include Adlai, a native cereal often used in the Philippine highlands instead of wheat and rice. The grain is teamed with bagoong paste made from fermented shrimp and aromatics, served with sea urchin and pigeon and finished with gotu kola hearts, an aromatic herb traditionally used for medicinal purposes. The establishment offers two tasting journeys: The ‘Alamat’ long version and the ‘Lakbay’ reducedcourse option. The latter offers 16 plates, from the signature sour ribs to the Buen Viaje dessert of sticky rice and mango. 5/F Clipp Center, 11th Avenue/ corner 39th Street, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig, 1634 Metro, Manila Tel: 63 917 546 1673; galleryvask.com
The latest winner of the “Miele One To Watch Award for Asia”, Toyo Eatery is helmed by chef Jordy Navarra. It serves heightened Filipino dishes using local ingredients, and is a reflection of Navarra’s heritage, memories, training and experience. The establishment’s name is Tagalog for soy sauce, a Filipino condiment that may be an everyday household ingredient, but is also complex and takes time and dexterity to create, much like the dishes served at Toyo.
Chef Navarra once made headlines for turning popular Tagalog children’s folk song Bahay Kubo into a dish—putting together all 18 vegetables mentioned in its lyrics in an atypical salad (there are no lettuce leaves here)—it was regarded by many as one of the most inventive Filipino dishes to date. 2316 Chino Roces Avenue, Makati, 1231 Metro Manila, Philippines Tel: 63 917 720 8630; facebook.com/toyoeatery