Flowers, a box of chocolates, and stuffed toys just don’t cut it any more when it comes to Valentine’s Day presents. And for significant others who happen to be foodies, the search for the perfect gift is even harder.
Thankfully, Manila’s restaurants, bakeries, and small businesses have stepped up their game to offer Hearts Day specials that tick all the boxes.
Here are a handful of gift options that we think are equally original and yummy — from charcuterie boxes to fried chicken bouquets and even a heart-shaped lechon.
Roses are cool and all, but a hearty eater would probably better appreciate a bunch of fried chicken. That’s exactly what Latin chicken chain Señor Pollo is offering this year.
The arrangement costs PHP550 (US$10.55) and is only available by reservation from Feb 8 to 11, with pick-ups from Feb 14 to 17 at their branches located in Poblacion, Makati, Legazpi Village, Makati, Sapphire Road, Ortigas, Crossroads, BGC, Eastwood Citywalk 1, Quezon City, ATC Corporate Center, Alabang, and Tomas Morato, Quezon City.
For more information, visit the Señor Pollo Facebook page.
There’s room for lechon in most Filipinos’ hearts, whether they’re the suckling pig variety or the fried lechon kawali (wok) kind. So this heart-shaped lechon belly could very well take your Valentine’s breath away.
It’s made by Sibal’s Premium Food, based on the Sibal family’s lechon recipe. Owner Alfred Sibal called the heart-shaped lechon a “labor of love” in an interview with Coconuts Manila and said that he personally shapes each one. Each lechon belly is cooked three times to ensure quality taste and shape.
If you’d like to share the love, one piece can feed five to ten people, and it’ll set you back PHP1,400 (US$26.84). It’s available from Feb 10 to 15 for pick-ups and delivery. Those interested are advised to order at least one day in advance.
For more information on how to order, visit the Sibal’s Facebook page.
Gift boxes always feel more special than one-off gifts, and this one filled with all things luxe is perfect for those Valentines out there who prefer the finer things in life.
The Celebrations Box (PHP5,999/US$115.02) by Aperitif includes everything a couple might need for a decadent night in — a bottle of rosé, three kinds of cheeses, three kinds of Italian cold cuts, bread, chocolate, and other goodies to munch on. It even comes with a gold bottle opener, matching gold wine glasses, and a crystal wine stopper.
For more information and to order, visit the Aperitif website.
Strawberry Dream Cake
Dream Cakes, the trendy dessert served in gold tin cans, are usually made of chocolate. But for Valentine’s Day, pastry studio Le Scucré Lab Chocolates is offering a special variety made with strawberries and cream.
Priced at PHP685 (US$13.13), it’s only available from Feb 11 to 17, so get the limited edition treat while you can.
For more information, visit the Le Scucré Lab Chocolates Facebook page.
Le Scucré Lab Chocolates is at 2428 Tejeron St., Santa Ana, Manila
Open every day from 10am to 6pm
Phone: (63) 995 775 7218
Strawberry rosette cheesecake
Another cafe that offers strawberry cake in a can is Black Kettle Craft Tea Bar and Cheesecakery in Cavite. The cheesecake here is extra kawaii with light pink rosettes and “pearls” on top.
A cake housed in a rose gold tin (about 6 inches) is priced at PHP600 (US$11.50), while a bigger one that’s eight inches (but not in a tin) costs PHP1,230 (US$23.58).
Reservations are open until Feb 10 and pick-up and delivery run from Feb 12 to 14. Those interested can place orders by messaging the cafe on Facebook.
For more information, visit the Black Kettle Craft Tea Bar and Cheesecakery Facebook page.
A twist on a classic, this icebox cake from M Bakery is made with the same light chocolate wafers but with layers of strawberry purée whipped cream cheese instead of the usual whipped cream.
The sizes are good for one, so an order of two will make for a sweet end to a dinner date. It’s priced at PHP275 (US$5.27).
M Bakery is at Unit 23, Lower Ground Level, One Bonifacio High Street Mall
5th Ave. cor. 28th St., Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City
Open Sunday to Thursday, 9am to 10pm; Friday to Saturday, 9am to 11pm
Phone: (02) 847 9829