Philippine’s dining scene has been getting a lot of buzz thanks to its passionate and creative chefs and its penchant for rich flavours. This month, get a first-hand taste of what all the hype is about as two of Manila’s hottest restaurants host pop-up nights in Hong Kong.
First up is Gallery VASK, the highest-ranked restaurant in the Philippines on San Pellegrino’s Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants list. Led by executive chef Chele Gonzalez, Gallery VASK is presenting a multi-course menu ($1,980 per person) on February 23-24 in collaboration with Hong Kong’s very own HAKU. Expect gussied up versions of popular Pinoy dishes, including ukoy fritters – made here with corn, shiso and uni – and tuna tartare served with purple rice crackers and lardo. The menu also features modern Japanese creations, courtesy of HAKU’s chef Agustin Balbi.
If you want the hipster version of Filipino fare then there’s Hey Handsome’s two-night pop-up at Mrs Pound on February 28 and March 1. Headed by chef Nicco Santos, Hey Handsome does a mash-up of bold, Southeast Asian flavours. At this Sheung Wan pop-up, Santos is dishing out up heart-stopping creations such as eggplant with chicharón and salted egg ($88), and blue crab with lemongrass and cottonfruit ($178). Seats are available on a walk-in basis only, so get there early if you want a table.