The food scene in Manila is definitely on an upswing. So many wonderful young creative chefs are opening up charming and delicious restaurants all over the metropolis. I recently had the opportunity to try The Test Kitchen https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Test-Kitchen/81... By young and not to mention cute Chef Josh Boutwood. I first heard about this place through my friend Pinky Webb and then my Brother took his wife there for Valentines and were giving it their thumbs up. I knew I had to try it. So when my friends from Milan and Washington DC came to visit I immediately booked a table.
Located at the “darker’ side of Makati this wonderful little restaurant is bustling with creativity and talent. The flavour profile is robust and uses that special ingredient called “TIME” to make their dishes special. I personally loved the small unusual ingredients that open my mind to new details and flavours. These elements like the local raspberry’s sourced from Pangasinan or the Kale Flowers, the indian grain popped like a popcorn to echo the crunch of the pork crackling and even a leaf that looked like a clover but tasted on apple skin made me stand up and take notice of the food and the creativity of Josh.
My personal highlights were the cured meats that were all done in house. I thought that it was terrific. The beef dish was also quite excellent and for the price that he was charging us I thought that we were getting the best deal in Manila! My only drawbacks were the following; that the wine selection was small and slim (so maybe it would be good to take a bottle of what you love to drink to the restaurant). And the other set back was the end of the meal was a flourish of “breakfast” (perhaps a nod to Josh’s previous life as a chef consultant to DENNY’S that ubiquitous American fast food restaurant that I personally enjoy only after many many many copious drinks and as the sun rises LOL! Then totally regrets this the minute I wake up!!! ) which he served at the end. This was an oatmeal dish served with cold coffee. I felt that it wasn’t necessary and kind of felt like a denouement to an otherwise stellar meal. Personally I LOVED my first impression and experience so I want to come back and try more. I was so very pleased. I just want to congratulate Josh and everyone at the BISTRO group for a job well done!