Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Dinner at the VASK dining room

There are wishes that take a long time to come true, and then there are those that happen within minutes! For instance, I wish I could try out VASK and see if it's a restaurant I can bring my culture-buff parents over and if it could a pit stop for me and the museum-hoppers during our next history and culture adventure. 

Right after Kulinarya, Tita Nollie, Seher, and I ended up lounging at Gallery Vask!

Tita Nollie and Seher at the Gallery Vask lounge.

Imagine overlooking Bonifacio Global City and sipping red wine while surrounded by art pieces and illuminated by the glow of yellow light bulbs hanging from inverted white umbrellas. I've never been to a dining room that doubles as a gallery for modern art before. And I am not counting La Cocina de Tita Moning because, for me, eating there is like dining and breathing the old world charm of Manila... so more of a museum feel.

That table is reflecting the umbrellas hanging from the ceiling.

However, for dinner, we wanted to try out the Vask dining room to check out Spanish cuisine. It's funny, really, because the three of us all had food restrictions either due to allergies, religion, or taste preference. So just ordering what to eat for dinner was challenging but fun. We ended up getting a combination of dishes from the modern and the traditional selections. 

For starters, we got bakalao frito con piperrada y alioli, ensalada de queso de cabra y salmon ahumado, carpaccio de wagyu con helado de parmesano, and foie gras on mango toast. All of them, and I mean all of them, were so good! The foie gras balls were yummy, with the mango slices adding enough sourness and sweetness to contrast the richness of the liver. The salad... I just loved the contrast of tastes and textures from the goat cheese, the walnut, and the vegetable greens: a perfect background for the salmon flavors. The bakalao fish with bell peppers was also delicious, especially when dipped in that mayonnaise. It was my first time to try carpaccio and to taste wagyu beef so I wasn't sure what I was getting myself into. The thing I noted with the beef was that it was paper-thin almost! And that the beef had a lot of white streaks on it. I thought to myself: I have certainly gone a long way now from the day I first had filet mignon and had mistaken the name for fish fillet. Hahaha! 

Then we proceeded to eat the entrees. We ordered pollo al curry and salteado de portobello y trigueros con aceite de trufa. The chicken in the chicken curry was perfectly cooked, juicy and not stringy at all, while the rice was spicy. I liked the spiciness of the rice because it blended well with the chicken flavor. The rice felt hot in the throat; there was no burning sensation on the tongue. The portobello mushrooms, on the other hand, came on a black slab. I was a bit wary that the dish wasn't so delicious because these were vegetables and they all looked dark... but I was way off the mark. It's so flavorful that I was caught by surprise! I could eat those veggies all day, definitely.

To end our journey into Spanish cuisine, we closed our meal with quesos y texturas and leche frita y pistachio. Sweet goodness! The milk custard cubes were surrounded by pistachios and paired with chocolate ice cream... they weren't too sweet, mind you. I loved the softness of the custard contrasting the roughness of the ground pistachios. And that chocolate ice cream was yummy! The cheeses were a welcome change from the sweet stuff because this dessert was on the salty side but did come with honey.

That was one great dinner. It reflects the genius of the culinary team running the show. I am excited to have a meal there again! Definitely in my restaurant destinations list.