February 14. Those in a relationship look forward to this date, planning in advance just to make sure their significant other feels a little more special and loved. Singles unite and enjoy themselves, too, with high hopes that next year will finally be one for the books.
If you’re not the type to sulk or sleep through this day, allow us to get your hearts beating with these gastronomic delights.
OGAWA TRADITIONAL JAPANESE RESTAURANT
Just in case you weren’t able to book that trip to Japan, you can always take the love of your life to Ogawa Traditional Japanese Restaurant for authentic Japanese cuisine.
Opened in October 2015, the restaurant’s interior and food transport you to the Land of the Rising Sun in a heartbeat. They have teppanyaki, robatayaki, and sushi counters which give you a view of the food preparations. For more intimate conversations while savouring your meals, you may choose from five (5) VIP rooms.
You may want to try these to finally get your dream girl say aishite imasu to you:
• CHAWANMUSHI (P180; not found on the menu but you may ask the attendants for it) – Egg custard with shiitake mushroom and fish
• CRAZY MAKI (P580) – Seven (7) big sushi rolls with prawn tempura, crabstick, and cucumber
• TEPPAN GOZEN (P760) – Appetizer, salad, salmon, prawns, U.S. Rib Eye Steak 120g, fried rice, miso soup and dessert (fruit)
• KAKI TEPPAN (P480) – Four (4) pieces of buttered Japanese Hiroshima oysters
Depending on the ingredients outsourced from Japan twice or thrice a week, the restaurant also offers dishes which cannot be found on the menu. But the attentive staff will make sure they inform you of their specials.
The restaurant gets filled easily. Just so there’s more time to fall in love than fall in line, give them a call for reservations.
Ogawa Traditional Japanese Restaurant is located at 2nd Floor The Fort Entertainment Complex, The Fort Strip, 5th Avenue corner 28th Street, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City. Prices are subject to 12% VAT and 10% service charge.
Tucked in the once untraveled Bayani Road is Patricio’s Cevicheria. The restaurant is a first of its kind in Manila, taking pride in their ceviche. It’s a South American native dish which uses citrus instead of vinegar. Think kinilaw except that it uses biasong, a type of lemon found in Mindanao.
Our desire to try their ceviche was put on hold when we saw that one of their best-sellers was chicharrones, their version of lechon kawali. We asked for other recommendations which did not disappoint at all. Our palates did not get bored, our tummies, happily filled.
• CHICHARRONES (P160 for a solo portion) – The flavours of lechon plus the crunchiness of chicharon served with black bean rice. It with their own sauce and a dip composed of sukang tuba, palapa spice (from Mindanao), and biasong.
• HAWAIIAN TUNA AHI POKE (P150 for a solo portion) – Fresh tuna with soy dressing, nori flakes, and togarashi spice over rice
• LOMITO CHOPS (P119) – Inspired by the Chilean lomito sandwich, these pan-grilled pork chops are served with black bean rice.
• QUEZO CREMA (P90) – Cheesy cream cake with homemade butter sauce. Served warm. We initially ordered one but found ourselves getting one more because it is beyond yummy.
Seating capacity in the restaurant is approximately 20. Parking is a challenge but believe me, your patience will pay off. And your tummy will thank you for it.
Patricio’s Cevicheria is located at 28 Bayani Road, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City.
BUGSY’S BAR & BISTRO
You may cap off the night in two different ways: drinks or dessert. Either way, you can keep the stories going even after you’ve had dinner.
For the budget-savvy, Bugsy’s Bar & Bistro in Forbestown Center offers the following promos (not available for take-out):
• WINGS (P295) AND TENDERS (P245) - Buy 1 Take 1 from 8:00 P.M. to 10:00 P.M. daily
• COCKTAILS - Buy 1 Take 1 from 3:00 P.M. to 10:00 P.M. daily (in photo: Amaretto Sour, P165)
While she’s sipping away, give yourself a glass of Rum Coke (P95). Bugsy’s offers a wide array of selections at prices which won’t rip your wallet.
Bugsy’s bar & Bistro is located at Units F126-F127 Forbestown Center Burgos Circle, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City.
If your girl says she wants dessert, take her to Casa Italia. Opened last December 2015, gelato lovers will have Instagram-worthy shots in this place.
Their premium gelato flavors will make you drool and put that diet on hold. If you’re overwhelmed by the line-up right in front of you, you may ask their accommodating staff for recommendations. Their best-sellers are Dark Truffle, Pistachio, and Avocado. Prior to purchase, you may want to sample out the gelato first.
Their gelato comes in the following sizes:
• PICCOLO (P130) – 1 scoop
• MEDIO (P195) – 2 scoops
• GRANDE (260) – 3 scoops
They also serve really good coffee available in these sizes: 8 oz., 12 oz, and 16 oz. Since the weather has been cold lately, try their hot coffee (in photo: Hot Mocha, P125 for Medio). It’s a refreshing deviation from your usual cup in those crowded coffee shops.
By the end of the night, your love for each other might be sweeter than gelato and hotter than their coffee.
Buon San Valentino!
Casa Italia is located at Shop 5 Burgos Park Bldg. Forbestown Center, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City
All photos taken by Author