Good tastings at Bom Gosto

Published August 10, 2022, 2:21 PM

by Philip Cu Unjieng

It was inevitable that, at some point in time, Chef Chele Gonzalez would collaborate with restaurateur Jackson Go. For these are two names that carry a lot of weight in our dining landscape, and play important roles in keeping our restaurant scene vibrant and alive.

Chef Chele arrived in the Philippines in 2013, and his bistronomy cuisine took off immediately. His Gallery VASK evolving to Gallery by Chele has been ranked as high as number 35 on Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants. His unpretentious fine dining, and tasting menus are wonderful culinary experiences. He also formed AdViChe F&B Solutions with Carlos Villaflor, and Pierre and Cyril Addison to share their expertise as a 360-degree consultancy and end to end solutions resource for the food and beverage scene of the hospitality industry.

Clockwise from front left, Steven Tan, Ian Mathay, Jackson Go, Stephen Lee, and Lorenzo Sy.

Jackson Go is the Managing Director behind Vikings, which opened its first branch at the Mall of Asia Complex in 2011. The concept of a high end buffet at affordable prices was an instant hit, and they’ve since branched out with concepts such as NIU by Vikings, Four Seasons Buffet and Hotpot, Tong Yang, and the Alley—all successful variations on the buffet concept, which put them firmly on the dining map. And it’s no surprise to find Jackson ready to diversify his food concepts, and partnering with Adviche to come up with Bom Gosto.

Bom Gosto is located on Level 3 of The Podium, and it boasts of Southern European Cuisine—a heady mix of Spanish, French, Portuguese and Italian dishes. On the grand opening night, Chef Chele came up with a sampling menu that showcased all the four cuisines, and it was a hit for all those dining.

The pass arounds were a pinxtos de Jamon from Spain, ham with green bell peppers and a quail egg, all on toast, and a polpette al sugo di pomodoro, Italian meatballs in tomato sauce. And the third pass around that I especially liked was the carpaccio di tonno con frutti di bosco—tuna carpaccio with delectable strawberry slices and swimming in virgin olive oil. The touch of strawberry was an inspired one, and gave this a taste dimension that I really enjoyed.

The Coquille Au Four.

The insalada di pomodori con consistenza di parmigiano.

For starters, we had the following: coquille au four from France, which was baked scallops with bechamel and gruyère cheese. Then there was the gambas al ajillo from Spain, followed by the lulas grehaldas of Portugal, grilled squid with olive oil, garlic, and lemon butter sauce. The Italian insalada di pomodori con consistenza di parmigiano was the salad winner! It’s fresh tomato salad with basil, and festooned with four different textures of parmigiano cheese—including one texture of crispy wafer.

The filet mignon

The herb-crusted fish

For the Mains, we had a French filet mignon a la bearnaise truffee et jus de boeuf. This meant that you had the choice of two sauces with which to enjoy the tenderloin slices that were paired with mashed potato. The arroz de pato from Portugal was a nice surprise, rice with duck slices and chorizo, with garlic, onion, lemon and coriander. And I was most impressed by the herb crusted fish with lemon butter sauce, as it was a whole fish that could easily be shared by three to four persons and had been expertly baked with an interesting herb crust. It was their brick oven really coming to plate with a dish that should be unique to Bom Gosto.

The desserts we were offered were a torrija de chocolate from Spain—a caramelized brioche, soaked in milk and sugar, topped with chocolate; and your classic Italian tiramisu of coffee flavored ladyfingers and mascarpone cheese.

Your author, with Chef Chele González and Jackson Go.

While Bom Gosto may be a departure in dining concept from the ones Jackson Go has been identified with, it is a welcome departure as it brings Chef Chele and AdViChe into Jackson’s orbit, with an accessible and fully enjoyable melange of these four renowned European cuisines. It’s a dining experience that deserves your attention and will be an especially welcome one for big groups who can’t decide on any particular cuisine on a particular night out. One can now head to Bom Gosto, and get the best of four culinary traditions, as interpreted by Chef Chele. Thank you, Jackson and Chele!