Introducing 12 of the best Valentine’s Day food and drink options that set the mood for romance.
Whether you are in the mood to simply pick a DIY Chocolate Lava Cake kit from Old Madras Baking Company to set the mood with your partner or a posh and privileged ‘love table’ at ITC Grand Chola, this weekend is not the time to shy away from drama.
Text: Preeti GT
Oysters & Caviar
@ ITC Grand Chola: Take it up a few notches and go luxe – with Limousine service, unlimited bubbly, a chef tasting menu that includes oysters served with caviar, duck-filled ravioli and a Lobster terrine with XO Cognac. At a whopping Rs 50,000 per couple, the classy evening may not be for the faint hearted. Meanwhile, dinner at Cafe Mercara includes celeriac lasagna with porcini soil, chocolate raspberry mousse, Champagne, flowers and more. Rs 5,000. Details: 22200000
Oyster-Vodka Amuse Bouche
@Aqua: The Park Hotel’s rooftop restaurant offers dinner with a view—you get to dine under the stars, by the blue waters of the pool, while you tuck into a four-course meal complete with candlelight and soft music. Shots of oyster-vodka or avocado-vanilla smoothie get the ball rolling. What follows is a fusion meal: chilli cumin spiked chicken with achari aloo, a curry leaf pilaf with moilee sauce or a Thai-spiced asparagus pine nut risotto with honey and ginger glazed veggies. Finish off with a dark chocolate and paprika mousse with a dulce de leche centre and caramelised bananas or their red velvet cheesecake with berries and Nutella almond macarons.Rs 5,900. Details: 42676000
@ Tuscana Pizzeria: Celebrating love the Italian way, Tuscana Pizzeria has put together an unlimited six-course table buffet that has some newbies and a few restaurant classics. First up is an appetising grilled zucchini stuffed with mushrooms and some cheesy chicken croquettes. In the mood to make a pizza for your Valentine? Head to their pizzeria and give that a go. While you savour their desserts like tiramisu and vanilla panacotta, don’t forget to take your special cake with the goodness of dark chocolate on your way out.. Rs 1,402 per couple. Details: 9551327575
@ L’Amandier: Have a sit down candlelight dinner beside the long French windows at this restaurant and let its ambience strike a romantic chord. On offer is a five-course European meal that has enjoyable twists of Indian elements. Enjoy a Kiss of Love mocktail, tomato bocconcini bruschetta, prawn olivette, saffron risotto and not to forget a resplendent eggless raspberry terrine or a chocolate strawberry mousse. Rs 1,250 onwards. Details: 30853590
Special Dinner Thali
@ Southern Spice: At Taj Coromandel’s award winning restaurant, enjoy heart-shaped tangy rice and pickled veggie dumplings, Mangalorean fish preparation Kane Kempu Bezzule and more, served on a golden thali. Sip on the complimentary glass of bubbly, but don’t miss the delicious South Indian filter coffee ice cream (Rs 6,000). If Oriental food is your choice, head to Golden Dragon for a specially-crafted five-course Chinese meal with Tangmen dimsums, golden fried prawns and chocolate spring rolls. Rs 5,000 onwards. Details: 66002827
Pink Cauliflower & Almond Soup
@ Flying Elephant: A five-course tasting menu by head chef Vamsi Krishna is on the cards. From the blush of the beetroot in the soup, which has bites of oven-dried cranberries, chocolate soil and vanilla bean foam, to the wok-fried scampi and exotic asparagus risotto with truffle oil, the menu sings decadence. End the meal with a ‘Love plate’—a platter with elements in chocolate, white rum, pistachios and strawberries. Rs 3,800 onwards. Details: 71771234
Strawberry-scented grilled fish
@ On the Rocks: Celebrate your Valentine’s Day at Crowne Plaza with a menu boasting aphrodisiac accents curated by Sous Chef Vijay David. The menu includes inspired dishes like the Grilled Barramundi with pink salt, baked young potatoes and cherry tomato confit. End with Strawberry-Bird Chilli Sorbet and the Sri Lankan Love Cakes – a legendary dessert. A walk through the wine cellar, and a photo op with cupid follow. Rs 4,000 onwards. Details: 24994101
@ The Hilton: The four-course menu here is flamboyant. Starting with crispy calamari with avocado splash and berry sauce, up next could be a classic ratatouille tart or an Australian lamb chop with carrot puree. Their Melting Hearts, a heart-shaped chocolate dome filled with berry mousse, that makes and entry with a dramatic flambé of orange liquor, is a perfect finale with takeaway charms thrown in. Rs 4,999. Details: 22255555
Red Velvet Cake
@ Vivanta by Taj-Fisherman’s Cove: A stunning view of the Bay of Bengal and a thoughtful menu. Comprising Upperdeck’s star dishes, the four-course sit down meal is an ode to seafood and veggie grills. After sampling the seafood bisque and the carpaccio of roasted beets, choose from four cheese and mushroom-stuffed grilled chicken or their chartbuster grilled red snapper. End with the chef’s dessert platter of red velvet mini cake, grandma’s chocolate fudge cake and a heady Kahlua tiramisu. Rs 7,000. Details: 67413333
Grilled Beef Tenderloin
@ Ciclo Cafe: Although known for its racy cafe food, this Valentine’s Day the biking cafe has gone up a notch with some classy European food on the menu. Sit back and gorge on some stuffed rice balls, chicken parmigiana with spaghetti napolitano sauce or a grilled beef fillet with rosti potatoes and thick rosemary jus. With a hearty selection for vegetarians too, think pan-fried cottage cheese, zucchini and eggplant parmigiana and more, Ciclo Cafe promises to make you feel loved. Rs 1,250 onwards per couple. Details: 42048666
Dine by Design
@ InterContinental Chennai: Choose a tent or a table where the ocean tickles your feet, and sign up for a Wine by Design or Dine by Design experience. Both involve a curated menu, and with executive chef, Ashis Kumar, celebrating fresh ingredients and tender seafood, you are going to be pampered. Rs 20,000 onwards for a couple. Dinner on February 13 and 14. Details: 71720101
The Pink Menu
@ Amethyst Cafe: Playing with the season’s colour, expect a selection of pink dishes like the pink cauliflower chowder or an addictive asparagus and roasted red pepper salad with crumbed Camembert. If you are feeling more adventurous, look no further than their beetroot gnocchi laced with beet cream cheese emulsion or even their bacon stuffed chicken with pink peppercorns. To end, a strawberry meringue ice cream sandwich awaits. Meal for two at Rs 2,000.