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Love is in the air! Valentine’s Day treats, date ideas to enjoy with your partner | #philippines | #philippinesscams | #lovescams | #datingscams | #love | #relationships | #scams | #pof | #match.com | #dating

MANILA, Philippines – It’s the szn of love once again! Whether you’re exclusively dating, in a situationship, long-term relationship, or are happily married, there’s no better way to show how much you care than with good food, sweet treats, and great memories.

Looking for something special to gift your equally special someone this year? Here’s a list of offerings from local brands and restaurants you can add to your romantic Valentine’s Day celebration!

Enjoy a 7-course Valentine’s Tasting Menu at Your Local

Nothing says “romantic” than a sit-down dinner date, so consider Legazpi Village staple Your Local this V-Day, serving Chef Patrick Go’s Asian-inspired 7-course tasting menu amid a warm, homey, and intimate ambiance. A favorite stand-out dish was the Tuna Saku – fresh sashimi-grade tuna loin, hand-cut into hefty cubes and marinated in a house-made Korean ssamjang sauce that’s the perfect balance of sweet, spicy, and savory. It’s topped with grated Grana Padano cheese for subtle saltiness, and then served on crunchy fried mantou toast that’s slightly sweet with paprika aioli on the side.

The Catch of the Day course – ala fish and chips – was also a fave, featuring moist, buttery white fish delicately fried in a sake-cerveza negra batter that was light but crispy. The creamy horseradish-mentaiko aioli had a wasabi-like punch, and the pickled radish relish on top provided a welcome sweet-sour zing to the dish.

STRIPLOIN. Photo by Steph Arnaldo/Rappler

The melt-in-your-mouth tender Grilled Beef Striploin was also memorable – super soft, medium-rare steak strips were marinated in a coffee-masala rub paste, served with smoked potato puree, garlic beef sauce, and charred crispy leeks. I also liked the kaffir lime Blue Crab starter.

There is also a Bak Kut Teh soup, Lamb Flakes with Laksa Risotto, and Avocado dessert, plus cocktails of your choice. Your Local has slots for February 10 to 15 for lunch or dinner service at P3,965 per head. You can reserve a table for 1, 2, 4, or 6 guests via Tasteless’ website. Your Local is located at 106 Esteban Street, Legazpi Village, Makati City.

Have your cake and eat it, too

Valentine’s season sees no shortage of beautiful cakes, and Sainte Anne’s Strawberry Heart Cake is here to deliver! The limited edition strawberry shortcake generously uses real fruits and all-natural ingredients to make this soft, pillowy, and light dessert. The creamy cake is topped with big, juicy, fresh Korean strawberries and delicate daisies. It’s freshly-made daily in small batches. You can order via Instagram.

If chocolate is more your thing, try out Moonchild’s Chocolate and Caramel Cakes – both decadent and rich, but not overly sweet nor heavy. Simple yet sinful, it’s perfect on its own or paired with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. You can order via website.

For light chiffon cake rolls, Scout’s Honor’s Mini Cake Rolls are the perfect partner to coffee or tea. These dessert or merienda rolls are soft and light, and are available in chocolate, caffe latte, pandan kaya, and red velvet flavors. The red velvet variant with a cream cheese filling is a Valentine’s exclusive (my personal favorite is the pandan kaya jam one). You can order for delivery online or via GrabFood. Pick-ups can be done from the Santolan Town Plaza or Vertis North branches.

If your partner goes crazy over anything baby pink, Butternut MNL’s Pink Velvet Cake is adorable to look at, and a good pick if you’re into cakes that are heavy on buttercream frosting! It doesn’t taste as strong as red velvet (hence, pink velvet), and is adorned by buttercream roses and cream cheese frosting. You can order via website.

Another pretty addition to your dessert feast are Leonisa’s Kitchen’s Valentine’s Cream Puffs and heart-shaped Ruby Chocolate Strawberry Tart! The beautiful cream puffs come in Almond Caramel and Ruby Chocolate Strawberry flavors, while the Chocolate Strawberry Tart features strawberry compote, ruby chocolate vanilla crémeux, strawberry mouse, and fresh strawberries. You can order via Instagram.

Bizu’s luxurious Valentine gifts this year include the Romance Cake – layers of dark chocolate ganache, crème brûlée, and caramel, topped with imported strawberries; the Valrhona Chocolate with Mixed Berries Macaron de Paris – macarons with chocolate ganache with berry filling, dipped in chocolate and praline; and the Strawberry Truffles (which look just like the fruit) – rich chocolate ganache with strawberry filling. For something savory, don’t forget the heart-shaped Mini Salmon Caviar Cake with crostini! You can order via website.

Who doesn’t love ice cream?

While you’re dining at Sunae Asian Cantina at Bonifacio Global City, why not try out the resto’s recent collaboration with Carmen’s Best? Carmen’s Best’s three new ice cream flavors are all Asian-inspired, refreshing, and true to their names! For your coffee-loving partner, the coffee-based Vietnamese Coffee (my personal fave) is smooth, strong yet sweet, made with Vietnamese coffee beans and condensed milk.

The Kakigori flavor features Japanese green tea’s strong taste and slight bitterness, tempered by sweet condensed milk and azuki beans for texture, while Real Macapuno features a sweet coconut-based ice cream made with coconut cream and chewy macapuno bits. The new flavors are available per scoop.

How about something richer? Merry Moo and Auro Chocolate’s latest collab is your best bet. Introducing the Nibbles Collection  – 64% Dark Chocolate with Nibs and the 42% Milk Chocolate with Nibs – which will get any chocoholic giddy! The indulgent ice cream is churned with roasted cacao nibs for some texture. You can order via website.

Donut underestimate your sweet tooth

Feel like you’re in a K-drama with Makati City bakery’s Poison Doughnuts’ new limited edition Korean street food-inspired donut line-up, served on two sticks for sharing. Using its signature sourdough donut dough, there’s the sweet-savory-spicy Dakgangjeong, a custard-filled donut hole with raspberry gochujang glaze, roasted sesame seeds, and white chocolate (it really tastes like gochujang)! The “tamer” and sweeter Patjuk Honey Butter features custard, honey butter glaze, and red beans, with potato chips on top, while the Jajangmyeon, inspired by Korea’s black bean noodles, is glazed with chunjang-dark chocolate sauce with nori flakes. You can order via website.

Krispy Kreme’s Hersheys Valentine Collection features pretty heart-shaped donuts like the Strawberry Kiss, filled with Hershey’s strawberry chocolate, dipped in pink chocolate, and topped with Hershey’s Kisses Milk Chocolate; the Mixed Berry Love, filled with Hershey’s Mix Berries Chocolate, dipped in red chocolate and strawberry, topped with mini heart sprinkles and Hershey’s Milk Chocolate bar; and Salted Caramel Filled Rose, filled with Hershey’s salted caramel, dipped in dark chocolate, and drizzled with dulce de leche. You can order for delivery online.

Red Ribbon’s Valentine Black Forest Cake combines chocolate and cherry in a heart-shaped cake, made of chocolate fudge cake, cherry-creamy icing, chocolate shavings, and topped with icing rosettes with cream cheese and sweet maraschino cherries. You can order for delivery online.

How about some chocolate? Sokola Cakes makes dreamy and creamy Nama Chocolates, carefully crafted cubes of indulgent chocolate that melts in your mouth easily. There are three flavors to choose from: Bittersweet, Bitter (if you love dark chocolate), and Champagne with a boozy kick; each one is decadent and rich. You can place your orders via Instagram.

Dylan’s Patisserie offers a Dylan Valentine Eclairs Box of Salted Caramel Peanut, Raspberry, Strawberry Vanilla, Hazelnut, Double Chocolate and Ube flavors, as well as a pretty Velvet Dream Cheesecake, a mousse version made with red velvet sponge, strawberry compote, and an edible peony fondant! You can also get curated gift boxes of Dylan’s signature cookies, Belgian chocolates, and sweet treats.

Overdoughs also has a few sweet treats up its sleeve, like the OD Valentine Special of a tin can of assorted OD Mini Chonkie Cookies (either regular or with walnuts), a mini bouquet of dried flowers, and a greeting card. You can order online.

In it for the experience

If quality time is more your love language, Valentine’s Day experiences are in no shortage this season. Visit Mitsukoshi Mall’s ongoing Nukumori Valentine’s Fair, hosted by the Japan External Trade Organization, until February 14. All sorts of sweet and savory goodies from Japan are offered here, including alcoholic beverages like the famous Little Kiss Coffee Shochu, a coffee-flavored liqueur made by Higashi Sake Brewery using coffee from Japan, Colombia, and Brazil, with Kome (Rice) Shochu.

In the mall, there is also a stall selling Mitsukoshi Fresh-exclusive Pocky Treats in curated gift boxes and bouquets! Each box or bouquet is customizable, and can include flowers from Flower Store, Estate Wines, Moscato, Bordeaux, and more romantic pairings.

What about a hotel staycation? Poblacion’s I’M Hotel has a variety of packages, depending on what you and your partner enjoy – there’s a Romanteacation with afternoon tea; Spacation with couples’ massage; Bespoke Valentine Spacation with a five-course dinner, massage, and gifts; or Love On Top with a romantic 5-course dinner at the Antidote Gastropub roof deck.

New World Makati Hotel is hosting different interactive couples’ experiences for Valentine’s, like the Cocktail-Making Class for Couples that comes with a complementary Love Cake and Deluxe Room.  The Lounge’s Afternoon Tea Set is also an option, as well as a Chinese feast at Jasmine or a romantic candlelit dinner at Cafe 1228.

Makati City’s Ramada Encore by Wyndham also has a romantic date-cation idea that comes with an overnight hotel stay, breakfast, and intimate dinner buffet, live music, and wine at the hotel’s roof deck with a city skyline view of Makati. – Rappler.com


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