FILIPINO-BRITISH chef Josh Boutwood, who brought his flair for flavors to Manila as the Bistro Group’s Executive Chef since 2012, has also established himself as a culinary maverick with his progressive concepts such as Helm, Savage, and The Test Kitchen serving up a different, more personalized take on tastes and textures.
His passion for creating innovative dishes that are both approachable and yet sophisticated has earned The Test Kitchen a nod from CNN Global’s Best New Restaurants in Asia list for 2020.
In the accompanying writeup, Mr. Boutwood is described as “one of Manila’s most dynamic and progressive talents” and The Test Kitchen is “A mix of informality and sophistication in both design and food.”
What makes The Test Kitchen a culinary destination is the dedication the chef has for bringing out the flavors and freshness of his chosen ingredients through different approaches. His success can be attributed to a guiding principle that follows the cooking philosophy that he has held throughout his stewardship of the restaurants under the Bistro Group and the restaurants that he created himself. For him, time is also an ingredient. At his own restaurants, he uses techniques that amplify the flavor and not hide it, he tells CNN.
The menu at The Test Kitchen is diverse and ever-changing, as the chef seeks out the best produce for the season to come up with a balanced lineup of dishes to be paired with fine wines and spirits. Dining at the restaurant is an experience for the senses as even the ambience of the 42-seater space is designed to offer a feeling of relaxed luxury suited to its new location in the upscale Rockwell area of Makati.
Having made it to the Asia’s Best New Restaurants list of CNN as the only Philippine entry puts The Test Kitchen at par with other eateries in the region such as Cantonese restaurant Mott 32 at Marina Bay Sands Singapore, Hong Kong’s Mono, Bali’s underwater dining venue Koral, Halapua and Kinu by Takagi in Thailand, and Chef Alain Ducasse’s Esterre in Tokyo.
The Test Kitchen Manila is located at One Rockwell, Rockwell Drive, Rockwell Center, Makati City.