HELM by Chef Josh Boutwood: A Tribute to the Philippines’ Local Produce
Chef Josh Boutwood is not a stranger to the ears of those in the culinary scene in Manila. The Fil-Brit chef’s works has long been enjoyed by many who simply love to eat! Whether in a restaurant or a degustation set up, Chef Josh never fails to impress in flavor, quality and in excitement, so when I heard about his latest degustation resto, Helm, I quickly made a reservation.
Helm is a 10-seater restaurant and they’ve been fully booked the day I wanted to dine, but they accommodated my plea and added 1 seat to the table that night.
I didn’t know what to expect out of Helm, but walking in, you instantly get a feel of a cozy, homey vibe, where the staff greet with warm smiles and soft hello’s as they continue prep for dinner. Chef Josh walked in and I could not help but realize how talented he is with his craft, knowing all his achievements and his bulky resume as well. What an inspiration he is, not just to chefs all around but to those whose palates he excites and satisfies.
I approached him and he was unsurprisingly welcoming and warm, and then we started off with some snacks…
Crab Tart with crab fat Emulsion topped with Queso Rustico from Malagos Farms
Tuna from General Santos made into a tartar with mustard leaves paired with egg yolk puree and lactonaise atop a pink peppercorn pancake
Blood clam broth, pandan oil and cilantro oil
Bread is naturally leavened sourdough, sourdough lavash paired with rendered pork fat topped with pork scratchings
Set milk infused with smoked and dried local fish topped with pickled beetroots, carrots, singkamas and potato dusted with freeze dried scallop and dried seaweed
Hot smoked oyster with pickled cucumbers and fermented banana heart covered in a squid ink film dressed in Mulberry Vinegar from Quezon province
Roasted native corn fed chicken, annato oil and rice porridge topped with popped sorghum
Pork rib paired with a spiced pineapple gel topped with dehydrated blue ternate and fried pigs blood, sauce is made from pigs trotters
Hot smoked duck from Laguna with cured duck egg yolk and fried chili leaves paired with fermented heart of palm
Kitayama strip loin paired with a paste made of 7 varieties of mushrooms and braised beef cheeks with adlai porridge
Palate cleanser: Passion fruit and wood sorrel sorbet
72% dark chocolate from Davao & durian ice cream with palm sap syrup, milk puree and milk wafer
Petit fours: Meringue with Miso Caramel, Dark chocolate truffle with pili nut butter, Roasted Yema
Single origin coffee from Sagada was served right after.
The meal was nothing short of awesome. The taste, texture and visual presentation, were all in perfect harmony. And to think, most, if not all of the main ingredients used are from Philippine farms. Chef Josh truly knows how to put our local produce on a pedestal, like no other. Filipino food is no longer confined to just the classics because of talented Chefs like Chef Josh. Modern Filipino food with a twist is definitely something you should try to explore at Helm.
A sweet touch… A bar of Auro Chocolate and a letter from Chef Josh and his staff in Helm
Auro Chocolate: This is soo good and best of all, it’s proudly Pinoy made
For more information and for reservations, you can contact Helm at: