Have you finalised your Valentine’s Day plan yet? It’s one of the few days we are allowed to shamelessly take our cheese out and be romantic to pamper your significant other and indulge ourselves into all tasty treats. Deciding what gift you should get for your loved one might not be so easy, but planning a meal for your date night should be always exciting. Treat yourselves and partner to an amazing breakfast and/or dinner. How about from the comfort of your home this year? Though a restaurant dinner always screams romantic there is something really sweet and delicious about staying at home having an intimate dinner. So here goes our perfect meal suggestion for this year’s Valentine’s Day!
Breakfast in bed
(Breakfast in bed is THE WAY to start the most romantic day of the year. Photo: http://goo.gl/t28NA)
Valentine’s Day this year is Friday. Most of us can’t take a long weekend but if you do, bring on the cheesy yet classic ‘breakfast in bed’! Who wouldn’t love the idea unless you are a tiny bit OCD about the mess you would be making in bed! What’s your favourite breakfast or brunch in bed? If your partner loves sweet breakfast, we would suggest beautifully golden fluffy pancakes topped with bananas and a sprinkle of cinnamon. Or french toast with a drizzle of honey. French toast is a simple yet indulging alternative to a slice of toast. It’s so soft and eggy that it almost gives you a sensation that you are eating bread and butter pudding…yumminess overload! Or even better, how about a warm Belgian waffle topped with a generous amount of honey and butter, or with whipped cream and fresh strawberries (it’s such a naughty way to start the day but if it’s Valentine’s Day, we deserve a breakfast with a taste explosion!). If your beloved is more of a savoury person, then bring out a full English breakfast. Prefer something fancier? Then how about a luscious egg Benedict on English muffin with smoked salmon and hollandaise sauce? Is Egg Benedict so ‘last season’ for you? Then, how about a classy smoky haddock kedgeree, which isa breakfast rice dish with smoked haddock, hard-boiled eggs, curry powder, butter and parsley)? Or frittata with spinach and potatoes, or with courgette and mushrooms? Being served hot or cold, this Italian style omelette is very yummy and satisfying. With a breakfast with a cup of freshly brewed tea or coffee I’m sure you can put a smile on your loved one right in the morning!
(Beautiful fluffy pancake- irresistible! Photo: http://goo.gl/reEobz)
Too caught up at work and you won’t have time for a dinner date? Then go out for a quick lunch date! But not a sandwich with a bag of crisps! Get your partner and yourself a nice lunch by calling up your favourite takeaway place. How about Japanese Bento lunch? How about some chicken and vegetable gyoza dumplings to start? Worried about the smell of garlic after lunch? Then some light and crispy battered prawn and vegetable tempuras? Beautiful crispy tempura skin is like a flower, which makes the whole thing elegant and good enough for the occasion! As a main, enjoy a bowl of Chirashi sushi (sushi rice topped with sashimi of seasonal fish). White moist rice packed full of colourful jewels of the sea, so healthily romantic! Not so keen on raw fish? How about going for a perfect burger? But not an ordinary burger! Really nice one, made with perfectly toasted ciabata bread, filled with grilled ‘crispy-on-the-outside and-moist-on-the-inside’ chicken fillet, homemade mayo, crisp lettuce, melted blue cheese, accompanied with fluffy onion rings or chips? Burgers might sound too ordinary for Valentine’s lunch but when it’s done right beautifully, cuts it perfectly for the day!
(Light crispy battered tempura is like a flower! Photo: http://goo.gl/q9fjWu)
Romantic day reaches its climax at dinner. We’ll dish up a list of beautiful meals so let’s put the romantic mood and battery up!
Beautiful red juicy tomatoes, crisp crust, green basil leaves, soft creamy mozzarella cheese, Italian food represents colours of passion! The cuisine also brings out the best of the sea and there is nothing better than nice seafood for your special romantic dinner! For starters, tomato and basil bruschetta is just great but if you are feeling brave, then we say, go for seabass fillet carpaccio. Carpaccio is a dish consisting of thin sliced raw fish (or meat) with salad leaves and dressing (often with lemon, olive oil, vinegar and herbs) and it is such an exciting dish to enjoy the combination of fresh fish with zesty tangy dressing. How about lobster risotto embracing the king of the sea, or seafood (prawns and mussels for example) risotto? If you prefer pasta then spaghetti Vongole with garlic, parsley, white wine and clams (or with addition of tomatoes and basil).
Are you a vegetarian? Then go for beautifully al dente risotto rice with mushrooms. There is something beautiful and sexy about the combination of earthy mushrooms, al dente rice and a good handful of parmesan cheese. For dessert, mouth watering milk pudding, panna cotta or dainty tiramisu with creamy mascarpone and a hint of coffee and Marsala wine. La vita è bella!
(Seafood risotto- Jewels of the sea on a plate. Photo: http://goo.gl/wzBg02)
Start your dinner with a hot and sour soup. Hot chilli and sour vinegar give you a firely kick to the start of your dinner. Or crabmeat and sweetcorn soup? White succulent crabmeat and crunchy sweet corn in starchy warmth, perfection. For the main, the winner is Peking duck with pancakes. Beautiful crispy skin, aromatic sweet and salty hoisin sauce and refreshing spring onions and cucumbers- the result? The most perfect handheld pleasure. And DIY pancakes adds fun. If you prefer fish and seafood dishes, try stir-fried scallops with broccoli or pan-fried seabass with chilli and garlic. For dessert, try tapioca pudding, made of tapioca, sugar and coconut milk. Plumpy scrumptious texture of tapioca and sweet creamy coconut milk are marriage made in heaven! Or custard cream filled buns, when you tear into snowy white fluffy bun comes out creamy yellow cream and melt in your mouth. Warm, sweet and so gentle, it’s the ultimate TLC.
(Peking duck- luxurious romantic DIY pancake. Photo: http://goo.gl/vGq6qF)
Vietnamese cooking celebrates the very fresh flavours of herbs, spices, fruits and vegetables. Beautiful Vietnamese style fresh spring roll (also known as summer roll), Gỏi cuốn, is the answer to start up the Valentine’s Day dinner. It is often made with prawns, pork, vermicelli noodles and vegetables wrapped in rice paper and served raw (not deep-fried like other types of spring rolls). And though there is some variation, it is often served with dipping sauce (fish sauce based) with crushed peanuts and chilli. Seems like a summer dish but with a hint of chopped chilli, your body and heart will warm up real quick! This elegant spring roll will make you want to come back for more! Then for main: braised pork belly with hard-boiled eggs, Thit Kho Trung. It is slow cooked in caramel-coloured sauce, which infuses sugar, coconut juice, garlic and ginger. After long hours of cooking, the meat becomes so tender and juicy that it melts in your mouth, literally. For dessert, get Vietnamese style crème caramel, with which black coffee is poured over and gives a different depth to the dessert.
(Braised pork belly- So hearty and comforting. Photo: http://goo.gl/57cTZ)
Moroccan cuisine is perfect to spice up your night. Whatever the dish is, they are genius at inventing the beautiful concussion of spices, vegetables, oils and meat. Let’s start the night with taktouka or harira. Taktouka is a cooked salad made with tomatoes, roasted green peppers, cumin, paprika, garlic and oil. The colour, its aroma and flavour is just amazing. Eat them as a dipping sauce with crispy bread. Harira is a soup made with tomato, lentil, meat (beef, lamb or chicken) and chickpeas. This hearty wholesome soup is eaten to break the fast at night in Ramadan in Morocco. And onto the main, which is of course, one of the most known Moroccan dishes, tajine. Tajine is a slow cooked stew made with meat (chicken, beef, lamb or fish) vegetables and fruits, served with couscous or bread. It is cooked with a beautiful mix of spices such as cumin, ginger, turmeric, cinnamon and saffron. The perfect flavour matching of sweet and sour that derives from fruits such as dates and prunes enriches the dish. For dessert, how about Ghoriba with coconut? Ghoriba is a very crispy cookie made of semolina flour with a hint of orange blossom water. Something joyous to nibble on while sipping a cup of coffee. Or how about Seffa, sweet couscous pudding? Seffa is a couscous alternative to rice pudding. It is made with couscous, almonds, cinnamon and dried fruits such as dates. The flavour is something familiar to us yet has that twist that makes it new and exciting! Then at the end finish off with a nice steamy mint tea! Mint tea’s refreshing after taste will bring the perfect end to the dinner.
(Tajine- Flavour sensation! Photo: http://goo.gl/UKd2AE)
We hope this list has helped you make up your mind about your Valentine’s meal plan. Whatever your choice is going to be, just enjoy the most romantic day of the year and make the tastiest and most delicious memories with your loved one! XOXO