Several holidays have passed us by, there's Christmas, New Year and even Chinese New Year. As the calendar turns to the month of February, we all know that we are in for yet another celebration - Valentine's Day. Though February 14th is never proclaimed as a holiday, this has never become a hindrance for couples to celebrate, much more for the gentlemen to come up with something special.
What's your idea of the perfect Valentine's date? A dinner date in your favorite restaurant? Perhaps a fine dining experience in a private dinner setting? What about a movie before the dinner? Or maybe drive somewhere farther, like Tagaytay? A concert dinner, perhaps? How about something really special like a candle-lit dinner at home, meals and preparations all done by you, if you have a lot of precious time of course.
|Table set-up for City Garden Hotel Makati's Valentine Special Menu|
What if I tell you that you can have a hassle free, romantic getaway with your loved one within the bustling city of Makati? No need to go far away to experience a relaxing treat! It's all right under one roof! The best part? There's no need to break the bank! City Garden Hotel Makati has prepared something really affordable yet well organized packages for couples this Valentine's Day!
Enjoy City Garden Hotel Makati's Bundle of LOVE through this package - Romance at the Garden. This includes an over night room accommodation, a romantic dinner (Valentine's Special Set Meal) with a panoramic view of the Makati skyline at Encima Roofdeck Restaurant and breakfast buffet for two at Bistro Restaurant all starting at 3999Php (standard room that can be upgraded). This bundle is ONLY available on February 14th where a pianist will also be playing instrumental music the entire night!
|Valentine's Special Menu|
No time to check-in? You can still enjoy a felicity dinner at Encima Roofdeck Restaurant through City Garden Hotel Makati's Valentine's Special Menu!
|Fish, beef or chicken - take your pick!|
On a tight budget? City Garden Hotel Makati got you covered! Take your date any time (all day and all night) from February 1 to 28 and choose from their Couple Treats menu!
|Choose your set meal - it's totally up to you!|
For as low as 230Php for a meal for two or go as high as 710Php, which is honestly still a low rate considering this is hotel dining, it's totally up to you!
Got the chance to preview what they have to offer last Saturday through an invite from their ever generous F&B Manager, Ms. Rinna Reyes. City Garden Hotel Makati x foodfanaticph = YAY!
Tagging along my friend from foodsocietyph and an active looloo reviewer - Reich, as requested by Ms. Rinna, we went to City Garden Hotel Makati on a Saturday after lunch to try their Valentine's Special Set Meal. For 650Php nett per pax, you'll get a 3 course meal where you'll be able to choose your main course. We were able to sample all 3 main course dishes.
Onto the food, Chef Mario Bassig himself prepared the dishes for us. We started off with the first course - Tropical Salad.
|Tropical Salad to start our 3 Course Meal|
A mix of romaine and iceberg lettuce, this simple salad had some cubes of fresh ripe mangoes and pineapple chunks to live up to the tropical theme. Chef Mario also added some tomatoes, cucumber, shallots, cashew and walnuts plus spring onions.
|A closer look at this colorful salad!|
The dressing was simple - Pineapple Asian Dressing which had red wine vinegar, pineapple juice and olive oil. Overall, it was refreshing and simple.
For the main course, they came up with three options and we got to try all!
Everyone loved this dish! It was perfect! The fish was cooked perfectly giving off a juicy meat that was almost melt-in-your-mouth tender. The Pineapple Coriander Buerre Blanc it was topped with gave it an interesting sweet, a little sour and buttery compliment with an added heat from the cayenne pepper.
|A closer look at this delicious dish!|
The Spinach Risotto was love! The usual Arborio Rice was cooked in a thick and creamy sauce that had a good cheese and spinach portion. It wasn't too mushy and I just loved how the cheese and butter lingered in my mouth.
|Tournedos of Herbed and Cheese Stuffed Chicken|
This is one signature dish of City Garden Chain of hotels, perfected by their head chef. Served with Ratatouille on the side and a bed of mashed potatoes with gravy, the chicken slices were tender! Stuffed with cheese and herbs, wrapped with bacon, it's like cordon blue but way better!
|A closer look at this beautifully composed dish!|
The mashed potato bed was one for the books though! It was so smooth and creamy, almost velvety in texture, and it was so delicious! Chef Mario revealed that he used milk and nutmeg to give it a delicious finish. He even elaborately explained the process of making it since we were so surprised that something so common can be so delicious! The Ratatouille on the side had too much tomato sauce for me but I loved the strong herb flavor that was coming from oregano.
|Grilled Beef Tenderloin in Orange Grape Brown Sauce served with Pumpkin Gnocci|
You want a steak that's decent enough but is a definite bang for your buck? Get this dish! I was surprised that the portion was huge, the done-ness was on point and meat was tender. Great job here Chef Mario! The slab of meat was perfectly charred outside but it was oh so juicy and tender inside with a beautiful pinkish red hue. Each tasty bite had me wanting for more! Chef Mario explained that he marinated the beef with just three simple ingredients - garlic, pepper and olive oil.
|A closer look at this glorious meat!|
The brown sauce that he used complimented the natural flavors of the beef. Made with marsala wine and some orange juice - it added a little sweetness and a subtle citrusy kick. I also loved that he topped the meat with cooked grapes that added a little more sweetness. The Pumpkin Gnocci came in as surprise favorite too! You would think that mashed potato is the best carb pair for your steak but these small bites worked well too! Roasted pumpkin that have been pureed, mixed with egg and flour, these were chewy and tasty!
|Love Boat for dessert!|
For dessert, we tried the Love Boat. So much history behind the name, from a movie to a cruise line, the dessert was made up of a moist chocolate cake frosted with a thick chocolate ganache, served with cream and some strawberry sauce as garnishing.
|Warm chocolate cake, chocolate ganache, sweet cream and strawberry sauce!|
Honestly, there's no need for the cream because the chocolate cake was good in by itself plus it wasn't too sweet.
For drinks, not included in any of the packages, we tried the following:
Simple, refreshing and not too sweet!
|Cucumber Melon Slushie!|
Refreshing combination, a perfect chill buddy!
|Romantic Table Set-Up for City Garden Hotel Makati's Valentine Special Menu Dinner|
I can guarantee that each dish exceeded our expectations. You see, 650Php for a 3 Course Meal in a hotel is pretty cheap and we were blown away by the serving size and the overall taste. Not only that, the view from Encima, their roofdeck restaurant, was breath-taking! Imagine having dinner while enjoying the panoramic view of the Makati skyline and some cool breeze for that totally relaxing and romantic dinner date!
4 out of 5 Stars for Encima Roofdeck Restaurant at City Garden Hotel Makati!
--- Encima Roofdeck Restaurant at City Garden Hotel Makati: 7870 Makati Avenue corner Durban Street (near Kalayaan Avenue), Poblacion, Makati City
***you can book your stay or your dinner here:
--- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
--- Restaurant Reservation: Phone: +63 2 835-3540, +63 2 835-3566
--- For Room Reservation: +63 2 835-3535