Celebrity chef Josh Boutwood (left) dressing his restaurant's Australian Wagyu Striploin
The Test Kitchen/Released
Filipino restaurant named one of world's best by CNN
(Philstar.com) - January 27, 2020 - 4:11pm

MANILA, Philippines — From being a culinary wunderkind who brought Manila his flair for flavors as the Bistro Group’s Executive Chef since 2012, Chef Josh Boutwood 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 concept a nod from CNN Global’s Best New Restaurants in Asia list for 2020. In the accompanying writeup, 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 restaurant a culinary destination among the different new restaurants in Asia is the dedication that Filipino-British 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 homegrown concepts that he created himself. For him, time is also an ingredient. At his concepts, he says that he uses techniques that amplify the flavor and not hide it, he tells CNN.

The menu is diverse and ever-changing, as the chef seeks out the best produce for the season to come up with a well-curated, well-balanced lineup of gustatory delights 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 well 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 restaurant at par with other exciting concepts 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 legendary Chef Alain Ducasse’s Esterre in Tokyo. 

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