The same pattern rolls by every year; we realise that February is coming up, see the pink propaganda littering every jewellery store and restaurant, refuse to validate the day and claim that only fools celebrate it, freak out and realise you quite fancy celebrating it, avoid gamma rays of hate beaming out of partner’s eyes when they learn you haven’t booked a table at the hottest new restaurant, frantically google “the best places to eat this Valentine’s Day in Hong Kong”, become anxious while trying to pick restaurant, find out they’re fully booked when you call, vow never to leave it this late next year….
So we have this list here nice and early for you, to have a peruse over the extensive twenty that we think covers all price ranges, regions, and includes more than a cocktail that added pomegranate juice and claims to be ‘a romantic lover’s special’. There are three sections, more caj (casual), somewhere in the middle, and a bit posh, so you are able to easily navigate the dizzying world of Hong Kong restaurants.
More Casual (under $500 per person)
What? You could be entirely benevolent with your beloved, show your soft side, and utilise the fact that Valentine's falls on a Saturday this year. Blessed are the peacemakers, and this is a well worthy outing that you could do before popping out to dinner in the evening. Hands On Hong Kong have an event runs 2-5pm with a pick up point in Central, before heading to the New Life Farm, Tuen Mun. You will be making cookies for the elderly, planting varieties of vegetation and learning more about eco-friendly farming, all for a gentle $250.
Why go? Because you will spend half the money and rather than being consumptive, this activity focuses on others over ourselves.
What? To be rather impressive, you could be a home cheffy and inspire wonder and awe in your dinner guest. Imagine dropping a casual squid ink tagliatelle with lobster, crispy pancetta and capers with pumpkin pine nut salad on the table. Zing!
Why go? Because for $500 for two people, you will be both extraordinary and not poor.
What? On Saturday, 14th February, Jamie’s Italian will turn on the romantic charm with a special set menu including delicious sharing plates and a selection of mouth-watering desserts. Featuring a three-course set menu priced at $388 per person, the Valentine’s menu kicks off with a romantic complementary glass of Rossini followed by antipasti planks. The menu includes a choice of four stunning mains including choices like Lobster Al Forno (half a marinated and roasted lobster with silky parmesan sauce and spaghetti pomodoro), 10oz rib-eye steak and a wild mushroom tortellini (fresh pasta parcels filled with porcini and brown caps, chilli, thyme, ricotta and Parmesan with a drizzle of white truffle oil) among the selection. The Indulgent Dessert Plank includes Gennaro’s Tiramisù, creamy Panna Cotta, Epic Brownie and Eat & Mess to share.
Why go? The ambience is lively, and we cannot stop thinking about the roasted lobster with silky parmesan sauce and spaghetti pomodoro.
What? Specially made red cakes are ready at Seasons for you to seduce your sweet tooth. You may either share a small one or order a large one by placing order three days in advance to further enjoy undisturbed time together with your special someone. The strawberry white chocolate mousse cake is $320 for the one pound larger version, or $45 for the smaller options that mean you can have your cake and eat it too.
Why go? If you don’t fancy dining out with the entirety of Hong Kong but still want to mark the occasion, this is a chic yet unpremeditated way to get a piece of romance. Literally.
What? Conveniently located close to the nightlife scene of neighbouring Wanchai, DiVino Patio offers a chic casual place to ignite the flames of passion. Couples start their night with a delicious four-course dinner ranging in price from $450-$530 depending on the choice of main course options.
Why go? Guests at all four of the DiVino Group restaurants will be entered into a lucky draw for a chance to win a pair of diamond bands valued at HK$10,000 or a 1-hour studio photo shoot valued at HK$1,988. Furthermore, the first 200 guests to make a reservation at any of the restaurants will receive an HK$800 cash voucher to be redeemed for a studio shoot.
What? If you are anticipating the need for forification during the Valentine’s season, the ever reliable LKF will offer ample choices. Lux will offer a special four-course Valentine’s Day menu for $900 for 2 persons that include 2 glasses of Taittinger champagne and 2 valentine cocktails.
Why Go? $900 includes four drinks for two people and a four course meal apiece, in the middle of Lan Kwai. Dangerous.
What? Couples can make a night of it for $780 per person with a welcome From Paris with Love cocktail of champagne, vodka and fresh strawberries. The entrees are standout in particular, with choice of sea bass with green pea mousseline, yuzu foam and tomato and basil orzo and filet mignon with fondant potato, young vegetables and green peppercorn sauce.
Why go? Long heralded as the most romantic city in the world, if you cannot get to Paris, this is a pretty decent alternative.
What? Sheepish love at Yo Mama for $42. Not bad. Yo Mama’s all-time favorite frozen yogurt in 3 flavours of your choice, garnished with a butter cookie of a little lamb, red heart-shaped sprinkles and a pink marshmallow heart. Hyrbids have taken on a whole new meaning in Hong Kong. Move aside Mr Ansel.
Why go? Yo Mama made a sheep tie in with Valentine’s Day; we should support them for their creative ingenuity alone. Plus it would be a very cute idea to grab one of these at IFC, and then wander up to Red or over to their piers to look at the skyline.
Middle of the Range (between $500 - $900)
What? One for the singles; the weekend of fun kicks off with “Anti-Valentine’s Day,” which is slated to be a darker take on the celebration with a sexy and sultry vibe. On the night, which is Friday the 13th, Fatty Crab will host guests bartenders who will whip up cocktails prepared for the night going for $100. To add to the fun, there will be a tattoo artist around for the evening to ink anti-Valentines, all taking place at the bar from 8:00pm to 1:00am. For the more traditional, on actual Valentine’s Day, between 6:00pm to 11:30pm, the tables at Fatty Crab will turn, and will be set for romance-filled dates for couples. Fatty Crab is preparing a delectable 5-course crab menu, which will be served with a complementary glass of Prosecco. The Valentine’s Day Dinner is priced at $800 per person.
Why go? Fatty Crab are catering to both the solo flyers and the love-struck pairs with fun and unusual activity .
What? Crafted for a limited number of diners each night, this series of intimate events will provide an opportunity to taste a menu uniquely created by the combined talents of the accomplished chefs Pan Li and Kevin James. Each chef will contribute two courses to the one-of-a-kind four-course experience. These nights will allow fans of The Coterie to taste a home-cooked twist on the restaurant’s signature fine dining menu. The Chefs’ Table events will be held at The Coterie from 9th to 14th February 2015. The 4-course Valentine’s Day special is offered at $680 per head.
With posh dishes for reasonable prices, like Ahi tuna ceviche with shallot and lime and ‘Caldo Verde’ with iberico chorizo and ceps shavings, this is a night of glamour and intimacy.
What? Celebrate Valentine’s Day with Pirata’s seductive Italian 5-course feast for $588. It begins with Prosecco & strawberries, followed by traditional bruschetta, or creamy Burrata paired with 24 month aged Parma ham. The pink amorini is a plate of playful heart shape, homemade pasta stuffed with roasted beetroot and topped with ricotta cheese. Two main course options are available - the Grilled Boston Lobster, served with a vibrant salsa verde, or the crowd-pleasing Butcher’s Cut. The night ends on a sweet note with a potted Italian Panna Cotta topped with tangy homemade raspberry coulis.
This hot new restaurant is big on service and has some lovely views as it sits on the 30th floor of 239 Hennessy Rd.
What? The Japanese Inagiku at IFC’s Zen-like ambience and breathtaking harbour views creates the ideal setting for guests to experience Chef Masakazu's culinary magic. The special tea set begins with sushi made with seasonal ingredients personally selected by Chef Noda, followed by titbits such as deep-fried sakura shrimp and grilled dried salmon. Enticing desserts include green tea roll cake with red bean, white chocolate strawberry cake, hazelnut Napoleon, chocolate pudding and Japanese white dumpling with caramel.
It is $1188 for two, including complimentary glass of Perrier Jouet G.B. Champagne per person, and is only available for two days (February 13th to 15th). Exclusive.
What? A menu specially crafted by Chef Alan Marchetti, involving a 4-course dinner at the upstairs restaurant of 208 in Sheung Wan for $598 per person, complete with a glass of Prosecco to ignite a little passion. Starters include Cep mushroom mousse with Norcia winter truffle, mains the likes of cannelloni stuffed with braised baby goat, fresh tomato sauce and Jerusalem artichoke crisps and dessert a Little krapfen filled with ricotta, passion fruit and cardamom chocolate disk, among others.
Why go? If you are feeling a little caj, we suggest this classy yet laid back option. You can also skip down for a lovely glass of red downstairs where it is a little more buzzy if things are going well throughout the night.
What? Starters include scallops marinated with passion fruit juice and vanilla, and the soybean soup with grated truffle and truffle sabayon. For the mains, guests are served the piglet belly with charred aubergine purée with spiced honey glaze for a sophisticated take on comfort food. To end the meal on a sweet note, a white chocolate and black pepper crème whistles it way to the table. Priced at $1,388 for two, including 2 glasses of R de Ruinart Brut.
What? $788 will afford the diner a sumptuous feast ranging from a mezze platter with lentil, humus, babaganoush and cod tarama, to the choice of an Atlantic silver cod or with scallops, octopus and yuzu or a roasted pigeon with artichokes, baby spinach and lemon chutney. It is good to keep in mind with Valentine’s Day, and the subsequent swarms of new menus that promote themselves during the weekend, that restaurants with the same dishes brought across from their usual menu will likely be able to maintain a better standard than those taking the chance to experiment. On Dining does just this, with a couple of exciting zingy new options, but balanced with many tried and tested signatures.
Why go? Fantastic opportunity to try out this brand spanking new 28th and 29th floor addition to Hong Kong’s dining scene by Philippe Orrico at a very reasonable price.
A Bit More Posh ($900 +)
What? Couples will dine on a seven-course special menu beginning with poached and chilled raspberry point oyster, langoustine tail and sea urchin sauce features two superior marine products from iceland. After pan-roasted diver scallop in its shell and Norwegian, slightly smoked, arctic char fillet and roe in lobster broth, the atmospheric dinner comes to the main course with a choice between Norwegian turbot fillet with black truffle or slow roasted veal tenderloin. $998 for one person including one glass of Champagne, and $1,098 per person for an additional glass at your choice.
Why go? Exquisite seafood dishes complemented by champagne for under $1000.
Renowned Spanish fine-dining restaurant a fairly special package for Valentine’s Day. The restaurant, located on the 18/F of Tsim Sha Tsui’s The ONE has a stunning panoramic view of the iconic Victoria Harbor and skyline. To spice up the night, the restaurant is offering a private car pick-up service for guests. The Valentine's Day dinner is priced at $2,280 for two.
Why go? The car service pretty much means once you book, you’re done. There are some standout meals like charcoal grilled Australian wagyu sirloin m8 with cherry vinegar and octopus carpaccio with caviar and black truffle dressing.
What? Chef Paolo Casagrande has created a special nine-course menu available for one night only (14th February 2015) and priced at $1680 per person. Featuring oysters which depart from more traditional au natural incarnations, here are found served with a coffee and curry emulsion and topped with a ‘pearl’ made from the oyster water. A subtle indicator of the creative gastronomy that continually seeps from this eatery.
Why go? Vasco Fine Dining is led by Chef Paolo Casagrande from two-Michelin-starred Lasarte Restaurant in Barcelona, so the Spanish food is some of the best you’ll find in this city, and beautiful to boot.
What? A celebratory glass of Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin Rosé welcomes couples to the most enchanting evening of the year atop of Prince’s Building in Central on February 14. The 6-course set dinner menu, priced $2,800 for two, is introduced with two appetisers of prized seafood – Scottish smoked salmon and Norwegian langoustine, with yuzu dressing; followed by a decadent ‘champagne risotto’ with interludes of double-boiled consommé of duck with cordyceps & bamboo piths, followed by braised Kurobuta pork belly, served with forest mushrooms, introduce main course choices of Miyazaki beef mignon with char-grilled king mushroom & truffle pork dressing or Boston lobster, served Cantonese-style.
Why go? Stunning 360 degree views over Hong Kong’s breath-taking skyline and the prime heart of the city with only the gorgeous food to outdo it.
What? Highlighting Italian seafood delicacies, the four-course menu for $980 per person plus 10% service charge, begins with Gambero Rosso di Sicilian – delicious world famous red prawns from the beautiful Italian Island of Sicily prepared with Lardo from Colonnata and Burrata cheese resulting in a perfect balance of rich and sweet flavours for couples to enjoy. Progressing to a more sophisticated baked Chilean sea bass with Grechetto sauce, and finishing with a pistachio ice-cream on mousse cake, this is a beautifully crafted menu.
Why go? Affordable Michelin dining.