VASK Modern Tapas & Gastronomic Cuisine

foie gras on mango toast
Last year I went to Spain and had the best meals in San Sebastian. From our extravagant lunch at Michelin Starred Akelaŕe to pintxos bar hopping I loved it all. When I found out that Chef J. Luis Gonzalez of Vask had his culinary roots in San Sebastian I couldn’t wait to try his creations.

VASK Modern Tapas & Gastronomic Cuisine

VASK Modern Tapas & Gastronomic Cuisine-001

Just like in Spain the pintxos (tapas) were placed on top on the bar counter.
VASK Modern Tapas & Gastronomic Cuisine-004

VASK Modern Tapas & Gastronomic Cuisine-002

The dining area was much smaller than I expected.
VASK Modern Tapas & Gastronomic Cuisine-003

Chef J. Luis has worked at some of the world’s best restaurants. El Bulli (now defunct), El Celler de Can Roca (#1 restaurant in the world), and, two San Sebastian based restaurants which we really wanted to try but lacked time, Mugaritz (#4) and Arzak (#8).
VASK Modern Tapas & Gastronomic Cuisine- Chef J Luis Gonzalez
Chef J Luis Gonzalez

Rochelle treated Elisa and me for her birthday. What a generous friend!!!
VASK Modern Tapas & Gastronomic Cuisine-006

We all loved their signature cocktail made with basil and pepper infused rum, triple sec, apple liqueur and cider. It was sweet, spicy -yes hot spicy- and very refreshing. It’s definitely whetted our appetite. They had several unique cocktails that appealed to me.
Vask cocktail P250
✔ ✔ ✔  Vask cocktail P250

We tried one each of their bite sized bread based pintxos. My favorites were the jamon, salmon and tuna. I would have enjoyed these more except that some of the bread were stale and hard while others were nice and crisp.
Vask pintxos✔   pintxos P95 each

Another hit was the free chorizo and potato soup. The soup was a bit spicy and the chorizo deliciously salty. I would order a regular size soup if they ever decide to add this to the menu permanently.
chorizo potato soup
✔ ✔✔ chorizo potato soup

The otherwise ordinary salad was saved by the perfectly cooked and seasoned shrimp. The simple flavors brought out the freshness and natural goodness of the shrimp. Simple and amazing.
Santander salad-001
✔ ✔  Santander salad P395

There was nothing simple about this salad topped with foie gras chips and slices of jamon. Everything in this salad was perfect in my opinion. The jamon was smokey, mellow yet flavorful and soft. It was even better than some of the jamon I ate in Spain.
jamon salad P495
✔ ✔ ✔  jamon salad P495

The smoked octopus was highly recommended by our server. Check out the smoke trapped under the glass dome. There was mixed opinions about the octopus. I personally liked the super tender octopus with an earthy, smoked flavor. Rochelle preferred the Japanese style of octopus better.
pulpo a la Gallega
✔ ✔  pulpo a la Gallega P475

Our unanimous favorite was the foie gras mousse balls atop mango slices. I believe this dish is what VASK is all about and it’s something you won’t find in any other restaurant in Manila. Despite it’s light and airy texture the flavor was 100% foie gras. If you love foie gras go ahead and be greedy and eat a whole plate by  yourself.  I guarantee the these five tiny balls will bring you pure delight.
foie gras on mango toast-001
✔ ✔ ✔  foie gras on mango toast P695

The next three dishes were considered main course entrees yet they were like tapas in quantity so we shared it too.

The piquillo peppers stuffed with salted cod was the only dish I didn’t like.
pimientos rellenos de bakalao P450
✖ pimientos rellenos de bakalao P450

The bakalao or salted cod was mashed into a paste like substance and stuffed inside the soft peppers. I never cared for peppers and wasn’t too fond of the texture and the overall taste of the filling.
pimientos rellenos de bakalao P450-001

Cooking chicken or meat using the sous vide process calls for putting the meat in an air tight vacuum sealed plastic bag and immersed in a low temperature water bath and cooked for a long time. This ensures a juicier and full flavored meat. This chicken breast was very tender but not as moist as I expected. The flavor was quite good but we found ourselves looking for  some dipping sauce.
pollo en pepitoria P385
✔  pollo en pepitoria P385

Intense, intense, intense!!! No wimpy squid ink flavor here. One bite of the risotto will have your senses reeling in bewilderment, joy and amazement. The salty and briny rice was just perfect with the perfectly cooked succulent scallops. To add more happiness were the small Parmesan crisps tucked in between the scallops. This is another dish I recommend you NOT share with anybody.
scallops & black ink risotto P545
✔ ✔ ✔  scallops & black ink risotto P545

Because of a small incident, one of the owners,  Jean Fernando of the blog Trip or Treats treated us to her favorite desserts. I must say all the desserts were home runs. You won’t go wrong with any of these.

Make champorado without chocolate and add lots of milk, cinnamon and a scoop of caramel ice cream and that’s what you have here.
arroz con leche P210
✔ ✔ arroz con leche P210

I still don’t get how they made these wedges of fried milk coated with a generous amount of cinnamon and served with a sauce of softened chocolate rum ice cream. Think decadent French toast but without any bread.
leche frita P210
✔ ✔  leche frita P210

As much as I liked the two previous desserts my love, devotion and loyalty remains with chocolate. Their version of the lava cake is unlike any other. Super dark probably 72% chocolate was used and no ingredient was scrimped to make me sigh, groan and smile ridiculously. The sauce of melted vanilla orange ice cream just put the warm dessert over the top.
hot chocolate cake P210
✔ ✔ ✔  hot chocolate cake P210

Yes, it’s not cheap but quality comes at a price. Not that I know what I like at Vask I shall return for a meal of foie gras balls, squid ink risotto and hot chocolate cake. That’s my kind of meal – varying colors of brown and black. And no sharing this time!!! Oh I forgot – a glass or two of Vask cocktails too please.
Vask bill for 3

Vask menu-002
pintxos bar menu
Vask menu-003
cocktail menu
Vask menu-001 Vask menu

Note: Vask is in an office building called Clipp Center so there’s lots and lots of free parking at night.

✖ skip it
✔ not bad
✔ ✔ do order
✔ ✔ ✔ MUST order

VASK Modern Tapas & Gastronomic Cuisine
5th Floor, Clipp Center 
11th Avenue corner 39th Street, 
Bonifacio Global City, Taguig, Philippines
cellphone: 0915-507-7047

3 thoughts on “VASK Modern Tapas & Gastronomic Cuisine

  1. Ate here tonight. Vastly disappointing. Tapas that are bread- based left too long on the counter become soggy so obviousy ours were soggy. Add soggy to stale bread= disaster. Pulpos hard and with an “interesting taste” – and that’s not a compliment. Jamon salad flooded with too much dressing. Steak was not bad, the sides that came with it quite good. The squid risottor was a meal saver. Place too noisy. They did refill our water glasses quite efficiently. Overall rating- x – skip it.


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