By Michael Karlo Lim
US GUYS are lucky the full moon isn’t until the 19th but following her lead on “let’s keep it simple” may very well advance its orbit. Remember “don’t buy me flowers”? “Every day is (already) Valentine’s Day” hence the need to make the day itself even more special. The way to a man’s heart is through the stomach, and, in this age of gastronomy, to a woman’s, too.
At the Lobby Lounge of the Radisson Blu Cebu, begin with an amuse bouche of beetroot meringues — earthy sweet — sandwiching tangy local goat cheese mousse all chased by the brininess of ibiko pearls. Salmon cured in hibiscus tea then tossed with beetroot, cucumber, green apples, radishes, onions, tomatoes, and butterfly pea flowers make a salad that leaves you in anticipation for the next surprise.
Some weight is introduced in a smoky roasted cauliflower cream soup with runny baked quail eggs, and saline pops from flying fish eggs. The palate cleanser that follows is a party of muscovado sugar, strawberries, and vodka in a sorbet.
A hefty eight ounces of sous-vide, pan-seared beef tenderloin makes the mains along with pumpkin puree, an impossibly garlicky truffle oil bread dumpling, and a vintage Madeira red wine sauce.
Dessert does not disappoint with a raspberry mousse studded with raspberry pieces and caramel sorghum popcorn in a white chocolate shell served with Yuzu-yoghurt ice cream on the side.
Escape the city to the seaside and into a beachfront or poolside gazebo setup at Azure Beach Club at Crimson Resort and Spa Mactan. The opener of Grilled Blackened Scallops echo the locale as mango salsa, and pumpkin saffron sauce hold the dish closer to this island.
Exotic starts in both meat and treatment in the Ostrich Tandoori Salad. Marinated ostrich fillet is cooked tandoori style with red curry sauce to stand out in the mix of fresh vegetables, microgreens, couscous, and lavosh chips drizzled in zingy mint yogurt and fragrant cilantro chutney.
The flavors of salmon and lobster sing with an orange-ginger glaze. Baby carrots, cherry tomatoes, and fresh mandarin slices, walnuts, and lato accompany the sizeable pieces with wasabi aioli and balsamic reduction introducing punchy spice and fragrance.
You can’t go wrong with foie gras, and a seared piece on a medium rare charbroiled filet mignon couldn’t make it more right. Asparagus, garlic mashed potato, and balsamic red wine sauce complete this perfection.
Raspberries may have given strawberries the run for its money this season with its inclusion into a chocolate sponge as a jelly filling. Vanilla brulee and chocolate mousse finish the dacquoise.
Enjoy these special Valentine’s dinner set menus at The Lobby Lounge of the Radisson Blu Cebu and at Azure Beach Club at Crimson Resort and Spa Mactan. Reservations required. Please contact the properties directly for inquiries and bookings.
Facebook: Michael Karlo