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Goodbye Vask, Welcome Gallery By Chele

After a four-month long renovation that started in mid-January 2018, the former Gallery Vask and Vask Tapas finally reopened last May 22, 2018 with a single modern restaurant concept now collectively called Gallery by Chele.

The newly renovated space, which now features a bar, lounge, and dining room, continues to embody Spanish born chef Chele Gonzalez’s mantra of “modern cuisine, local ingredients.” This mantra is strengthened further by the newly-forged Team Gallery with Chefs Chele and Carlos Villaflor in the kitchen, together with their other business endeavors, including a research-focused Studio Lab or test kitchen currently still under construction.]

 

Chefs Chele Gonzalez and Carlos Villaflor

 

What to expect?

Diners can expect to be welcomed by more casual yet polished interiors, filled with floor-to-ceiling wooden touches that evoke a very warm and welcoming vibe. The space was designed by partner-owner and architect Carlo Calma to look like a barn house inside a building in the city. This concept is further linked to other comforting elements from nature, like the rainforest-inspired furniture and décor specially handcrafted for the restaurant by internationally recognized Filipino designer Kenneth Cobonpue. All of these elements serve as a perfect backdrop to the cool, bespoke stoneware and ceramics, mostly designed by Chef Chele himself, used to present their culinary creations.

 

Fired! Pulpo or octopus with chicken jus and papaya, paired with cocktails

 

At Gallery by Chele, you are now in full control of your dining experience. Unlike the old degustation-only Gallery Vask, the new restaurant now offers different approaches to enjoying your evening. Chef Chele explains, “You are free to walk in and just order small bites or pica-pica, or perhaps a 6 Bites Omakase.” If you are not very hungry, you can opt for drinks at the bar where you can explore beverages that highlight local ingredients, created by Kalel Demetrio, a.k.a. the Liquido Maestro, who is the first guest mixologist in a series of collaborations that Gallery by Chele is planning to stage this year.

 

Gin ‘N Herbs with melon, elder flower, and lemon

 

You can opt to dine in the main dining room and order à la carte for your fill of a handful of best-selling, classic signature dishes retained on the menu, together with small and bigger plates of a range of new dishes to try.

 

The signature Wagyu Sour Ribs

 

There are also tasting menus available, with a choice of either three, five, or eight courses, including set menus for vegetarians and vegans. There’s also an option to supplement these menus with either a wine or cocktail pairing for an additional cost. Complementing these new options are the much welcomed “friendlier” price points, ranging from P1,000 to P2,900 for the tasting menus and P350 for the 6 Bites Omakase.

 

Empanaditas

 

With this new mindset, Chef Chele shares that the new gallery will focus more on what the guest wants or prefers versus presenting a set way of enjoying their food and understanding their vision or philosophy. And his team cannot wait to welcome diners into this new chapter of their culinary journey.

 

Meringue de Sal filled with chicken and soy mousse

 

Black Crisp with uni mousse, corn, and celery

 

What to order?

Recommended dishes after three visits include, for small bites, the chicken and soy mousse-infused Meringue de Sal; the fish, green chili, emulsion-filled crispy Empanaditas; the Breakfast longanisa with pickles and quail egg; and the Black Crisp topped with dots of uni, corn, and celery mousse. Among the starters, there’s the Fired! Pulpo or perfectly cooked tender octopus in an inasal-like sauce; and the Spanish-Filipino take on squid cooked in its own ink called Dual Citizen. For mains, the Silly Too Na is a simple, perfectly Josper-grilled tuna belly served with a bowl of red wine cherry tomatoes with malunggay pesto and white cheese. Also worth ordering are the Holy Mole chicken dish and the classic Wagyu Sour Ribs. For dessert, try the jackfruit, pomelo, kaffir lime Coco-Nuts or the Pintos or corn tamales composed of corn mousse, grilled corn, and burnt milk ice cream.

 

Holy Mole or chicken with sorghum and chocolate

 

Coco-Nuts with jackfruit ice cream, pomelo, and kaffir lime

 

Gallery by Chele can now accommodate up to 60 guests, 10 to 15 at the bar lounge area, and 45 in the main dining area. The restaurant and bar are open Tuesdays to Saturdays from 5pm to 1am, and are closed on Sundays and Mondays.

 

5/F Clipp Center, 11th Avenue corner 39th Street, Bonifacio Global City, Call or text (0917) 546 1673 or (02)218-3895, Instagram @gallerybychele

 

Photos by Cyrene de la Rosa

Follow the author on Instagram and Twitter @cyrenedelarosa