Chef Josh Boutwood who recently opened Savage a few months ago (I wrote about that restaurant here), is at the helm once again of a unique and concept-based restaurant, one that is aptly called HELM.
Why Helm? In Chef Boutwood’s own words, “Helm is about moving forward. An evolutionary force driving me and my team to achieve what we believe dining can be.”
The fact that Helm is located just a few steps below Savage tells you how Boutwood can be a great multi-tasker. As of press time, he also just opened a burger joint at The Grid in Powerplant Mall, Rockwell. This is aside from his day job of being the executive corporate chef of the Bistro Group. So yes, you can say he is one chef who wears many hats!
Unlike Savage which is casual and rustic, the look of Helm is quite the opposite. Helm has an intimate 10-seater marble counter set with pretty linen napkins, wine glasses and gold flatware. It looks like a very sleek, modern and yet cozy kitchen with the most up-to-date equipment!
Designed with a minimalist eye in palettes of black, white and grey, Helm’s dining experience centers on Chef Boutwood’s multi-course tasting menu and the one-on-one interaction between the kitchen and the guest.
In one side of the restaurant, stands a collection of ingredients which Boutwood prominently displays for his guests to see. Here you will see a lot of herbs and spices, dried flowers and raw ingredients that have been cured, aged or reduced.
Part of the whole dining experience here is Chef Josh Boutwood himself explaining the dish that is being served. After all, Helm is an expression of this talented chef’s life experience and culinary training. His ever-evolving menu melds together his love of ingredients and his global perspective of gastronomy.
Here are some of the dishes we enjoyed that night :
Freshly baked sourdough bread with rendered pork fat butter
Blue crab fat and Malagos cheese with fennel flower
Kitayama wagyu beef tartare topped with egg yolk and mustard leaves served on thin pancake biscuit
Braised pork rib with a sauce made from pig trotters served with pineapple gelee
Chef Josh Boutwood at the helm of his new restaurant : very focused and hands-on!
48-hour cooked Kitayama short rib served with a mushroom paste made from seven different mushrooms
Charcoal grilled duck from a farm in Laguna cured with egg yolk served with lemongrass and ginger sauce and pickled coconuts
Chef Josh Boutwood preparing a surprise, off-the menu pre dessert complete with smoke and nitrogen!
Mangoes made with warm custard from duck egg yolk dusted in cashew nut powder paired with duck egg white meringue
Chocolate durian ice cream with burnt milk skin, burnt milk puree and palm tree sap syrup
Homemade yema with lime, tiny bit sized pieces of meringue with miso toffee in the center, and chocolate truffles with pili nut butter — served with a special blend of coffee barako
When asked about his inspiration for opening this kind of restaurant, Boutwood answers, “I have a deep connection with number three. It is this connection that fuels my fascination with triangles. When creating a dish, I imagine a blueprint in the form of a triangle. In some instances, the points of this triangle represent ingredients: a starch, a protein, or a vegetable. Sometimes, the points could be flavors such as salty, bitter, sweet. The points could even signify textures like soft, chewy and crunchy. My challenge is trying to find the equilibrium within a dish, a sense of balance between each point of the triangle. The process can be brutal in its simplicity but it is always elegant in its symmetry.”
Helm is open Tuesdays to Saturdays only
Seatings at 6 p.m. and 8:30 p.m
The Plaza, Arya Residences, McKinley Parkway, Bonifacio Global City
Contact number : 0906.234.1900