Chef Josh Boutwood’s The Test Kitchen is the only Filipino restaurant to make it to CNN Travel’s best new Asia-Pacific restaurants to try in 2020. CNN described Boutwood as “one of Manila’s most dynamic and progressive talents.” The Test Kitchen’s new Rockwell location exudes both familiarity and sophistication, as can be seen in their 42-seater space and their seasonal a la carte menu divided into four courses.
The second iteration of The Test Kitchen (the first one opened in 2017 but was forced to close down due to roadwork that affected vehicular traffic) comes in strong with its interior of subtle dark tones and wooden accents. The distinct taste and quality of their food remains, but now they give their customers the freedom to customize their own meals (contrary to the previous six- or eight-course tasting menus they had).
Upstairs, The Test Kitchen has an aging room for meats two, three, or six months. Their very own jamon is aged for three years. Fermented fruits and ingredients as well as special spices line the walls of the restaurant’s second floor. For Boutwood, the main guiding principle is to treat time as an ingredient. The Test Kitchen is in constant pursuit of techniques that bring out the true flavors of a dish, maintaining their focus on well-curated ingredients.
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