Dining on romance

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Ilustrado Restaurant and Café in Intramuros, Manila has come up with a five-course Valentine meal — the amuse bouche is Beet and goat cheese arancini; a choice of three appetizers namely Mushroom duo, Jamon and melon, and Salmon mille-feuille; Roasted tomato soup; cucumber melon sorbet; entrée choices include Australian lamb ribs, Barramundi fillet, and US beef tenderloin; and for dessert either Chocolate Fantasy or Berry Bavarois. The Ilustrado Valentine offering is priced at P2,200+ and is available for ala carte lunch and dinner from Feb. 11 to 17. A musical duo will serenade guests for dinner on the 14th where the Valentine special will be offered exclusively as a set. For reservations call 527-3674, 527-2345, e-mail catering@ilustradorestaurant.com.ph, visit www.ilustradorestaurant.com.ph/ or www.facebook.com/ilustradorestaurant/.

Sofitel Philippine Plaza Manila presents a gastronomic feast centered on love and romance with Make Me Melt on Feb. 14. Spiral will present a feast of chocolate-infused dishes — the Japanese atelier will serve takoyaki balls served with chocolate mayonnaise sauce, while steamed chocolate pig buns will be found at the dimsum atelier, beef prime rib will be served with a balsamic chocolate sauce at the churrasco atelier, and Chicken Adobolate will be found at the Filipino atelier. There is much more chocolate at the buffet restaurant’s many ateliers, all for P3,000 net per person for lunch on Feb. 14, and P4,500 net per person for dinner. Over at the Sunset Bar, one can enjoy Love By Design, a four-course dinner for two with a bottle of Champagne, a bouquet of three roses, a box of pralines, and a live performance by a violinist at the bar’s private canopies, all for P20,000. Three days advanced reservation is recommended. The Sunset Bar will also have a Valentine’s Day dinner for P8,000 net per person which is inclusive of unlimited local beer, iced tea, special cocktails, and the Wine of the Month. Dine with a sunset view at Romance by the Bay on Valentine’s Day, with a dinner buffet for P3,588 nett per person. Le Bar offers a selection of chocolate-infused dishes in a set menu called Make Me Melt, including seared scallops with white chocolate panna cotta and chorizo crumble, cacao and herb-crusted lamb, and sous vide duck breast with chili chocolate sauce. The set menu starts at P3,500 nett. Over at Spiral 2 Go, declare your love with chocolate praline block letters that say “I Love You,” or a giant heart-shaped case filled with heart-shaped chocolates. For details and reservations call 573-5555 or e-mail H6308@sofitel.com.

New World Manila Bay Hotel sets the mood for love this Valentine’s Day with a host of romantic dinners. At The Fireplace, dine on a five-course set meal including a glass of Moët & Chandon champagne for the couple. This romantic gastronomic experience includes dishes such as shaved parma ham, smoked salmon, seared scallop, sustainable barramundi, king prawn or Jack’s Creek tenderloin finished with a sumptuous dessert paired with coffee or tea. Available for P4,500 nett per person. Over at the Pool Bar, one gets a complimentary glass of wine or berry mocktail when dining on the Valentine’s Day five-course set featuring jamón serrano, crab bisque poached lobster, grilled grain-fed ribeye, and foie gras custard. Priced at P6,888 nett per couple. On Feb. 14 and 15, Market Café says “That’s Amore” with a Valentine dinner buffet. Toast to a duo of complimentary Strawberry Mimosa cocktails before feasting on a buffet of local and international cuisine. Priced at P2,988 nett per person. Treat your love to a six-course Chinese set dinner for two at Li Li. Begin with scrumptious specialties such as deep fried squid with salted egg yolk, crispy Japanese tofu, pan-fried Angus beef short ribs, and braised abalone with foie gras. Rates start at P2,688 nett. For inquiries and reservations, call 252-6888 or e-mail dining.manilabay@newworldhotels.com.

Celebrate this romantic occasion in style at Okada Manila restaurants. Craving Japanese? Enbu’s Valentine’s Dinner set menu for Feb. 13 to 15 includes a choice of sushi, sashimi, or assorted appetizers, prawn and vegetable tempura, a special Enbu Valentine dessert, and a choice of main courses such as Australian Wagyu steak, Saikyo Yaki (miso-marinated black cod with rice), and Hitsumabushi (eel with rice). This dinner set is P2,200++ per guest. For a Korean kick, Goryeo has a Valentine’s Day set menu available for lunch and dinner on Feb. 14. For P3,888++ per diner, dine on silver cod porridge, sarcodon mushroom with duck dumplings, wrapped snow crab with vegetables and mustard sauce, mung bean pancake, Damyang province-style chargrilled beef with rice in lotus leaf, and Korean pear sorbet with red velvet cake. Enjoy a three-course Italian dinner at La Piazza Ristorante Italiano for P9,888++ for two on Valentine’s Day itself. It features a saffron risotto with red-wine braised beef cheek medallion, herb-buttered salmon fillet with potato gnocchi and seafood sauce, a chocolate dome and passionfruit slices for dessert, antipasti buffet, and free-flowing wine. Diners will be serenaded by the restaurant’s harpist. Over at the Fountain Deck, be entertained by the hotel’s dancing fountain while enjoying a special Valentine’s Dinner on Feb. 14. For P9,888+ for a table for two, enjoy a three-course dinner with free-flowing wine and refillable antipasti. Medley Buffet is offering A Love-Filled Feast for dinner on Feb. 14 and 15, which includes free-flowing beverages, and live entertainment for P3,000 for adults and P1,500 for children. For more information, visit www.okadamanila.com.


Love is in the air at TWG Tea which has a tea-infused Valentine’s Day menu starting with a beef pastrami accompanied by marinated tomatoes and feta cheese infused with Lover’s Tea; a duck confit with Billet Doux Tea-infused Mexican mole sauce served with sautéed mushrooms and baby potatoes; and a beef with Red Chai-infused red wine sauce accompanied by a spinach and purple yam croquette. An accompaniment to this main course is the aromatic Mon Amour Tea, a black tea blended with yellow blossoms and sweet notes of quince. End the meal with choux pastries centered with Geisha Blossom Tea-infused raspberry cream on a shortcrust pastry. TWG Tea’s Valentine’s Day Menu with a starter, two main courses, choice of two teas and dessert is priced at P2,650 for two persons and is available at all TWG Tea Salons & Boutiques in the Philippines daily until Feb. 24.

Reserve a table for two at any of The Peninsula Manila’s restaurants for Valentine’s Day. The Lobby will have a Valentine’s Day Three-Course Dinner Menu available from 6:30 to 11 p.m. on Feb. 14. The meal, which is P3,800 per person, comes with a glass of Champagne (P3,200 without). Old Manila will serve a Valentine’s Day Four–course Dinner Menu from 6:30 to 11 p.m. for P5,200 with a glass of Champagne or P4,500 without (pre-payment is required for bookings). Escolta will have a Seafood Dinner Buffet on the 14th from 6:30 to 10 p.m. for P3,200 and P1,900 for children under 12 (pre-payment is required for reservations). And Salon de Ning will be serving Valentine Cocktails that day from 7 p.m. to 2 a.m.

Love bites at the Dusit Thani Manila, with Umu Japanese Garden offering a five-course set menu paired with Moet and Chandon Champagne. Dine surrounded by a lush koi pond garden for P10,000 nett for two. If a dinner with a view is more to your liking, there is the Club Lounge’s Gold Room and Siler Room where a five-course dinner menu paired with a bottle of Dom Perignon Champage is offered. The special dinner is P20,000 nett for two. At Benjarong, a five-course Thai dinner menu paired with a glass of Meot and Chandon champagne costs P4,800 nett for two. There will also be a special dinner buffet at The Pantry with free flowing sparkling wine, and a strawberry mimosa trolley, all served to the accompaniment of soothing music for P2,950 nett per person. For restaurant reservations call 238-8888 local 8430 or 8838.

M Bakery Desserts at Bonifacio Global City celebrates the season of love with a Valentine’s Cake — a 6” or 9” classic vanilla or chocolate cake with vanilla buttercream icing, decorated with piped hearts designs on which one can add a dedication. There are also Valentine’s Day Cupcakes in vanilla, chocolate, and red velvet flavors, with three cupcakes decorated with rose piping and the other three with special edible image messages; Red Velvet White Out Cupcakes topped with whipped vanilla icing and red velvet cake crumbs; a Valentine’s Day Confetti Cookie; individual Icebox Cakes sprinkled with red, pink; and a Red Velvet Whoopie Pie. M Bakery also offers customized cakes and cupcakes with edible printed images for a more personal touch. M Bakery is at the Lower Ground, Unit #23 5th Avenue corner 28th Street, One Bonifacio High Street Mall, Bonifacio Global City or call 847-9829 or 917-633-1718 to place advance orders.


Eastwood Richmonde Hotel’s Eastwood Café+Bar celebrates Valentine’s Day with L’amour, a special dinner buffet on Feb. 14, 6 to 9 p.m., featuring a spread of international fare highlighted by favorite carvings as the entrées — US ribeye, Australian leg of lamb, US turkey, and Chilean salmon, complemented by the paella Valenciana and paella negra, and much more. Valentine’s won’t be Valentine’s without chocolates. The feast’s pièce de résistance can be found at the dessert counter where an assortment of chocolate confectioneries is showcased, from candies to cakes & pastries. A pianist will provide the live musical entertainment. The L’amour Valentine’s Dinner Buffet is priced at P1,750 nett per person and comes with bottomless flavored mimosa. Children 10 years old and below get 50% discount and a toy. For inquiries and table reservations, call 570-7777.

Richmonde Hotel Ortgas’ Richmonde Café will be serving up the Viva Amore! Valentine’s Day Dinner, an Italian-inspired semi-buffet featuring plated entrée of grilled rib eye or pan-seared salmon, for P1,498 nett per person, inclusive of a glass of red or white wine. For inquiries and reservations, call 638-7777.