Gallery by Chele & Carlo: Flavor-Forward and Fine Casual Vask

Update 12/21/2018: As featured in 10 Best New Restaurants in Manila (2019 Homegrown Edition)! https://youtu.be/_kcuzDk4OeA Gallery by Chele is a new restaurant concept by Chef Chele Gonzales and Carlo Villaflor based on the learnings from Vask Gallery and Tapas Bar. It’s flavor-forward; celebrating local ingredients in the Philippines refined by Spanish culinary techniques. I like the casual, open ambiance with inviting wood and nature-inspired interiors. You can order a la carte and even dine in the bar area even without a reservation. Best of all, the tasting menus are priced reasonably.   Gallery by Chele 5F Clipp Center, Bonifacio Global City, Manila, Philippines Operating Hours: 5 pm to 1 am, Tuesday to Saturday (Dinner seatings begin at 6 pm with last call at 10:30 pm.) Telephone: +63 2 218-3895 Mobile: +63 917 546-1673 Emailreservations@gallerybychele.com Facebook@gallerybychele Instagram@gallerybychele Websitegallerybychele.com Related Blog Post: Chefs Digest: Gallery By Chele First Things First https://flic.kr/p/24FY99w Go early if you can, to catch the beautiful vantage point of the Manila sunset.   https://flic.kr/p/27nojgQ You can hang out in the Japanese-inspired bar or the lounge while you wait for your group to arrive. They are featuring different Mixologists opening with Liquid Maestro, Kalel Demetrio with this Mixology Menu.   https://flic.kr/p/24FVmgJ Gin ‘N Herbs, ₱395. Melon • Elder Flower • Lemon I like this Melon-flavored, gin-based drink to stimulate your appetite and kick off the discussions.   https://flic.kr/p/24Hg8zf (Clockwise from top) Guava Mojito, ₱375. Guava • Tarragon • Homemade Spirits Butter Ball, ₱495. Pink Pepper Corn • Cinnamon • Rosemary Pomelo Whiskey Sour, ₱595. Green Tea Kaffir • Pomelo • Celery • Bourbon Rosa de Amor, ₱495. Pomelo • Green Tea • Parachute Leave • Juniper Rache, on the other hand, loved their signature Guava Mojito with hints of mango. You can also order the Pomelo Whiskey Sour to pair with the bites or starter dishes.   https://flic.kr/p/KiBPPj Gallery by Chele Menu • Tasting Menu Most of the dishes are new, with a few carryovers from Vask labeled as classics. The ala carte prices range from ₱300-₱550 while the 3-5 course tasting menu starts at ₱1,500 -₱3,000.   Bites https://flic.kr/p/HMLEVM (clockwise from top) Moringa Toast, ₱380. Brioche • Cone Marrow • Corn Meringue de Sal, ₱160. Chicken • Soy • Mousse Breakfast, ₱200. Longganisa • Pickles • Quail Egg Tomato Mochi, ₱260. Cheese • Basil The bites are small (good for 1 bite), but bursting with flavor and play with different textures.   https://flic.kr/p/26kMKrA To start the meal, they have an Ube Focaccia and Pickled Beans to open your appetite. https://flic.kr/p/27rvUwe If you are a big group, make sure to reserve the long community table at the back.   Vegetarian https://flic.kr/p/27rwBvZ “La Guava”, ₱320. Tomato • Tofu • Ginger I like how they cater to and include vegetarian preferences. https://flic.kr/p/HMzHiK Stem, ₱340. Eggplant • Kaffir • Mung Bean Emulsion This is an unusual flavor combination for an eggplant dish; but it works. https://flic.kr/p/27noPQu Green Elixir, ₱280. Cucumber • Lemon • Basil • Rosemary This is the best non-alcoholic drink, where you get to enjoy the pure flavor of the ingredients.   Starters https://flic.kr/p/HMzpZg Tropical Crab, ₱420. Pomelo • Cucumber • Lime Most of the dishes are seafood-based, like this crab, partnered with kale and carefully-crafted sauces. https://flic.kr/p/26kNkkC Fired! Pulpo, ₱550. Octopus • Chicken Jus • Papaya The Spanish know how to cook their octopus. https://flic.kr/p/HMA3c6 Pearls and Clams, ₱495. River Prawn • Moringa • Seaweed This is the best-seller, with chunks of prawn and mini-sago, resembling a risotto dish. https://flic.kr/p/264Ruua Grey Wacke Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc New Zealand 2015 For wine pairing, start with this Sauv Blanc from Grey Wacke with a nice, crisp finish.   Mains https://flic.kr/p/26kNv8U Mahi – Iberico, ₱850.  Dorado • Peas • Callos Looks can be deceiving for this fish dish, finished with crisp slices of Iberico. https://flic.kr/p/24FWUrJ Holy Mole, ₱550. Chicken • Sorghum • Chocolate The chicken itself is white, bland meat, made special with our Filipino version of the mole. https://flic.kr/p/27npvTq Beef Curry, ₱650. Sweet Potato • 100g of Beef • Spices My favorite; a chunk of beef, coated with curry, partnered with mashed kamote. https://flic.kr/p/27npDkj The curry sauce is thick and full of flavor, complementing the color of the sweet potato.   https://flic.kr/p/264RTNK Bana-Lu. Lobster • Eggplant • Okra If you order the 7-course tasting menu, it features the signature lobster-okra creation. https://flic.kr/p/HMA9xT 12 Lunas Tempranillo Order this Tempranillo to cut through the rich flavor of the sauces.   Desserts https://flic.kr/p/KiDfys Ube Torrija, ₱350. Coconut • Rum • Brioche Your favorite Spanish torrija with flavors of ube, coco custard, Don Papa; served with coco ice cream on the side. https://flic.kr/p/264Su9t Coco – Nuts, ₱295. Jackfruit • Pomelo • Kaffir Lime Langka ice cream with coco chips and pomelo accents. https://flic.kr/p/26kP8m5 Ending with a petit four version of Langka mochi and pastillas.   Final Thoughts https://flic.kr/p/KiEpFy I love this new gallery restaurant because of the thoughtful fusion of flavors and textures, at the same time, removing the white linens and fine dining snobbishness. The new bar concept and cocktails are worth a visit and you are not forced to do the tasting menu. https://flic.kr/p/264ThGZ It’s a cool place to celebrate a special occasion or reunion; or to showcase what Manila has to offer. Start with the Tropical Crab or Pearls and Clams. Order the Beef Curry or Mahi-Iberico for your mains. End with Ube Torrija and the Coco-Nuts.  Budget about ₱1,500/head + drinks for a dinner date for two. But, I must admit, I miss the pintxos and the dessert sungka of the old Vask. Congratulations to Chef Chele and Chef Carlo for the successful launch of Gallery by Chele!   Gallery by Chele 5F Clipp Center, Bonifacio Global City, Manila, Philippines Operating Hours: 5 pm to 1 am, Tuesday to Saturday (Dinner seatings begin at 6 pm with last call at 10:30 pm.) Telephone: +63 2 218-3895 Mobile: +63 917 546-1673 Emailreservations@gallerybychele.com Facebook@gallerybychele Instagram@gallerybychele Websitegallerybychele.com Related Blog Post: Chefs Digest: Gallery By Chele   Live an Awesome Life, Anton Founder, www.OurAwesomePlanet.com  Disclosure: Our experience was courtesy of Chef Chele.  I wrote this article with my biases, opinions, and insights. P.S. Can’t wait to try out the new experiments they are cooking up in their new laboratory beside the resto. You can also rent this for a private Chef’s Table-like setting for confidential meetings. https://flic.kr/p/KiEkBm        

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