If there’s anything I look forward to, it’s a mid-week night out to make the rest of the work week feel like it’s going by faster. Hahaha! All the more if the night out is spent in the company of close family and friends, amidst good food and a cocktail or two :).
A couple of weeks ago (yes, this post is that late. Hahaha!), that is precisely what my cousins, the H and I, and my good friend M did. We finally tried VASK, one of the newest restaurants to hit the BGC food scene.
To describe VASK in a word, I would say it was unexpected.
I arrived, for example, thinking that we would be eating in a very chichi restaurant, but was surprised at how casual the dining area actually looked. Though the lights were dim, and the furniture modern and sleek, I could not help but feel like I was in a slightly upscale cafeteria. I think the Mickey Mouse-esque design of the ceiling had a lot to do with it. Hahaha!
I have to give props to VASK for the Darth Vader statue at the foyer, though. Again, unexpected, but a nice kind of unexpected :).
That night’s crowd was also a mixture of various types of people–expats, locals, a much older older crowd and some thirty-somethings. It was nice to know, however, we were neither the oldest nor the youngest guests of the evening :).
On to the food…
VASK had two different menus–a traditional tapas menu, and a selection of new basque cuisine dishes. We decided to get a selection from both.
For appetizers, we started with the Huevos, Hongos y Cebollas (62degrees sous vide egg, porcini mushrooms, garlic, breadcrumbs, port wine sauce, onion foam), the Pulpo a la Gallega (octopus, potato, olive oil, paprika), and the Salpicon de Marisco (prawns, octopus, mussels, olive oil, red wine vinegar, onions, marinated red bell peppers).
All were really good but the Huevos was the one that surprised and impressed us the most. When it arrived at our table, it pretty much just looked like foam. Hahaha! :) But when each one of us had a chance to try it, we all agreed that it was the best starter of the night :). The mix of the ingredients wonderfully worked together, producing the most flavorful and delicious dish. Proof that looks can definitely be deceiving! Hahahaha :).
For the main course, we had the house specialty Txuleton (US Angus Prime Ribeye, 28-day Dry Aged), the Scallops and Black Ink Risotto, and the Manitas y Callos a la Bizkaina con Chorizo (pork knuckles, tripe, chorizo, onion, dried pepper).
While the Callos was okay, both the Txuleton and Scallops were quite yummy! The Txuleton was cooked to medium doneness, and had a nice, crispy seared exterior. The meat was also very soft and tender. The serving was quite big though–it was enough for everyone in our party of seven to have a couple of bites each :)!
Scallops and risotto are a favorite combination of mine, and I’m glad that VASK’s version did not disappoint. In fact, our table was pleased with the size and “fatness” of the scallops. Obviously, this restaurant makes use of the choicest and freshest ingredients :).
For dessert, we decided to try everything on the menu, and split it 7 ways. Hahaha! We had the Arroz con Leche (rice, cinnamon, milk, caramel ice cream), Leche Frita (milk, cinnamon, chocolate rum ice cream), Torrija (brioche, milk, anise ice cream), and the Hot Chocolate Cake. According to our server, though, the Torrija and Chocolate Cake are the bestsellers.
My picks? Hands down, the Chocolate Cake and Leche Frita! Sadly, the Arroz con Leche was underwhelming, while the anise in the Torrija was too strong :(.
Speaking of strong, the cousins and I enjoyed VASK’s version of sangria a little too much that night. Hahaha! While it tasted a lot like juice, it sure packed a punch! On my second glass, I was already feeling a slight, but very nice buzz :).
And now for the verdict…
Despite the mixed feelings I have over its ambience (and you know how much this matters to me :)), I enjoyed our dining experience at VASK. I highly recommend all the appetizers we ordered, especially the Huevos, Hongos y Cebollas. Trust me, you will not be disappointed :).
For the mains, if you are in a group, try the Txuleton and pair it with a couple of orders of the Scallops. You are sure to enjoy a meal that is not only well-cooked, but also of high quality :).
Lastly, if you’re looking for a traditional spanish cocktail to enjoy your meal with, VASK’s sangria is yummy and buzz-worthy (pun intended). Hahaha!