It’s a week to go before Valentine’s Day. If you haven’t made your date plans yet, you may want to check out this list of 14 Valentine’s-worthy restaurants that span from north to south. Most of them offer special menus that pull out all the stops to impress, but many also keep their à la carte menus in case you just want to relax with your favorite dishes. But you’ll need to hurry to make a reservation before it’s too late!
You may also like:
Talisay The Garden Café
1101 Maginhawa Street, Diliman, Quezon City, (02) 8293-9077, (0919) 877-6321
Chef Myke “Tatung” Sarthou’s new Filipino restaurant housed in a converted bungalow with a beautiful garden is his best one yet. It’s where you can be reunited with his old bestsellers like Cebu-style Adobo that’s more like a bagnet, and get introduced to some of his new creations like the to-die-for Cassava Cheesecake. On Valentine’s Day, he will have a special set menu available, along with limited à la carte selections.
90 Scout Dr. Lazcano Street, Quezon City, (02) 7960-6903, email [email protected]
This cozy neighborhood restaurant offers a five-course menu on Valentine’s Day, featuring dishes like the creamiest Burrata I’ve tried with tomato elements, charred corn, and herbs. La Spezia is owned by two 27-year-old college classmates, Sean Yuquimpo and up-and-coming chef Aaron Shiu, who recently competed as a regional finalist in the S.Pellegrino Young Chef competition in Tokyo. The Valentine’s menu goes for P5,000 for two persons, requiring prepayment before February 14.
Pandan Asian Café
76 Scout Limbaga, Quezon City, (0917) 774-8999
There is no stopping Chef Tatung Sarthou who, this time, deviates from his usual focus on Filipino cuisine. His latest project is this beautifully designed Asian restaurant located off Tomas Morato Avenue. Rather than offering a special set menu, he is sticking to his à la carte menu on Valentine’s Day. An early favorite is his squid dish called Sambal Sotong, as well as his Chicken Binakol. Please note that most dishes come in big portions enough for two people to share.
The Podium, ADB Avenue, Ortigas Center, Pasig City, (0917) 506-2668
The Mamou Group just opened the 4th branch of its standout restaurant, Mamou. Considered the flagship among the Mamou outlets, this cozy bi-level space reminds me of the Guggenheim Museum in New York. At this new branch, you can expect to enjoy old Mamou classics together with special dishes only available at Mamou Prime, including Wagyu T-bone Steak and Iberico Pork Chops with glazed orange kamote and baby carrots. Also new to this branch is a wine program that showcases wines from Premium Wine Exchange that you can buy at the restaurant at the same price the wines are sold at PWX.
Blackbird at the Nielson Tower
1229 Makati Avenue, Makati City, (02) 8828-4888, (0917) 889-2782
It is hard to find a more romantic spot in Manila than Chef Colin Mackay’s Blackbird. Still one of the busiest restaurants in town after so many years, it consistently serves quality Continental fare with Asian inflections. On February 14, Blackbird offers a four-course set menu for dinner only, including canapés and petit fours, for P4,250+ per person. Try to book a table at the cabin tower for the best experience.
Bolanos Street, Legazpi Village, Makati City, (0917) 147-3776
Fans of Chef Miko Calo’s modern take on French cuisine will be treated to a Valentine’s set menu available on February 12, 13 and 15, together with the ala carte menu. On February 14, only the special Valentine’s tasting menu will be offered, with two available seatings at 6 pm to 8:45 pm and 9 pm onwards. The menu requires a non-refundable P1,000 per person deposit to book.
Locsin Building, 6752 Makati Avenue, Makati City, (02) 7750-1555
Celebrating 21 years in the industry, Chef Colin Mackay’s Sala still impresses with its elegant intimate setting and sophisticated fare. The restaurant offers a five-course set menu on February 14, including canapés, petit fours, and a glass of Duval Leroy Extra Brut Champagne for P5,180 per person.
5887 Fermina Street corner Esguerra Street, Poblacion, Makati City (02) 7504-2977, (0917) 520-1880
This hip new Spanish restaurant in Poblacion showcases a five-course menu by Spanish executive chef Ruben Beltran Castellnou (formerly of Rambla Rockwell) on Valentine’s Day, with a wine and cocktail pairing for P2,500++ per person, inclusive of roses for the ladies.
Joya Lofts and Tower, Amorsolo Drive, Rockwell Center, Makati City, (0917) 183-6423, email [email protected]
Made Nice is adding new dishes to its menu just in time for Valentine’s Day, including a delish Scallops Pasta and Vongole Flatbread. They will also have a special treat for those who dine on Valentine’s Day and order Hendrick’s cocktails.
Salvatore Cuomo and Bar
Uptown Parade, 38th Street corner 9th Avenue, Bonifacio Global City, (02) 7946-3072
For Valentine’s Day, Chef Salvatore Cuomo prepares a set menu good for two, featuring mixed appetizers, Margherita Pizza, Truffle Fettucini, Wagyu Pizzaiola, and Strawberry Tiramisu. The special menu is available from February 10 to 23, priced at P4,000 per couple. Note that diners still have the option to order from the à la carte menu on February 14.
Arya Residences, McKinley Parkway, Bonifacio Global City, www.ticket2me.net or download Ticket2Me app
For this Valentine’s Day, Chef Josh Boutwood’s signature restaurant features his newest degustation menu that explores the different cultures that influence the Philippines’ culinary landscape, from a “lit” bread course to his fine dining take on the popular boodle fight.
Gallery by Chele
Clipp Center, 5th Avenue corner 39th Street, Bonifacio Global City, (0917) 546-1673, email [email protected]
It’s going to be tasting menu only on Valentine’s Day with a seven-course menu that includes one of my favorite dishes at Gallery by Chele: the Fired! Pulpo Octopus dish. The per head cost of P4,900 includes a welcome glass of Champagne and a rose for the ladies.
The Black Pig
Commercenter, Filinvest Avenue corner East Asia Drive, Alabang, (0917) 845-0744, email [email protected]
On Valentine’s Day, diners have the option to order à la carte or from a selection of tasting menus, including the best vegan tasting menu in Manila. The five-course Valentine’s Day menu includes an oyster appetizer with citrus, pickled ginger, and ikura, and your choice of Glazed Short Ribs, Salmon Confit, and Deboned Suckling Pig for the main course.
Barangay Neogan, Tagaytay City, (0917) 899-2866, (0918) 899-2866, email [email protected]
There’s a good reason to return to Tagaytay after the volcanic aftermath. Antonio’s Lanai Lounge has its annual A Night of Music and Love on February 14 from 5 pm to 9 pm. You can expect a special menu, while DJ Herbie Walton and saxophonist Alvin Cornista serenade diners all night long.
La Spezia, Pandan Café, Made Nice, Mamou Prime, Helm photos by Cyrene de la Rosa
Talisay The Garden Café photo by Paulo Valenzuela
Sala photo by Jar Concengco
Metronome photo by Patrick Mateo
Follow the author on Instagram and Twitter @cyrenedelarosa