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10 Best Date Ideas For Valentine's Day He'll Be Sure To Love

Ladies, here's where he really wants to go on Valentine's Day

The first rule of Valentine’s Day (at least in the Philippines) is this: you do not have to celebrate it on the 14th of February. Not unless you’re willing to wade through endless oceans of traffic just to reach your romantic restaurant of choice, only to spend half an hour looking for parking — along with all the other couples hoping to dine there. 


The second rule of Valentine’s Day is: you’ll probably have no choice but to celebrate it on the 14th of February. I’m speaking to the gentlemen, who’ll most likely be driving. Unless you’re lucky enough to have a chauffeur, or managed to book a Grab (it’ll be next to impossible on that day, I’m certain). So, why not consider celebrating the Day of Hearts on another day? It’ll be less stressful and you’ll have a lovelier time, I promise.


And ladies? Since we’re on the subject of “easing his pain,” here’s a list of restaurants guaranteed to satisfy your man’s appetites. Instead of having him make all the effort, why not turn the tables this year and choose a romantic venue that you know will make him really, really, ridiculously happy? 


Here's a list of ten restaurants that we guarantee will please him. And you, too. 


That is one sexy steak | Courtesy of Nanka Japanese Steakhouse

1. Nanka Japanese Steakhouse


West meets East at Nanka Japanese Steakhouse. The concept is simple: they serve the best of both worlds. Nanka is my favorite new steakhouse, having opened only last 2019, and they serve some really terrific sushi and glorious crab dishes. For Valentine’s this year, head to Nanka where they'll be serving up more great steaks, along with lobster flown in from Maine.


Nanka Japanese Steakhouse, 1810 Mother Ignacia Street corner Roces Avenue, Quezon City, (0977) 621-8472, or follow them on  Instagram or Facebook.



Brotzeit's Prosperity platter | Courtesy of Brotzeit

2. Brotzeit


Smoothly pulled ice-cold beers, fresh from Germany. Those frosty mugs alone are worth the trip, but Brotzeit, famous for its signature pork knuckles, is serving up a brand new “Prosperity” menu this month: wild mushroom ravioli in sage-seasoned butter, sausage and shrimp stuffed dumplings, and salmon strudel. Prost!


Brotzeit, Ground Floor, Streetscape, Shangri-La Plaza, Mandaluyong, (02) 815-9338, visit their website, or follow them on Facebook


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Just look at that leg | Courtesy of Livestock

3. Livestock Restaurant Bar


Livestock is the Filipino restaurant that crispy pata built. I'd argue that it has perhaps the best crispy pata in Metro Manila — so perfectly crunchy that all you need is a popsicle stick to cut into it. Their menu offerings have expanded over the years and now include such mouthwatering specials as Coffee Bourbon Ribs, Salted Egg Chicharon, and Red Snapper in Cumin Butter. For the truly adventurous? Try the Spiced Crispy Ulo. And yes, it's a glorious pork head!


Livestock Restaurant Bar, 34 Sgt. Esguerra Avenue, Quezon City, (02) 7975-5483, or follow them on Facebook or Instagram


A gorgeous slab of Wagyu | Courtesy of House of Wagyu

4. House of Wagyu


In this House, nothing comes between you and your Wagyu  — and that's how it should be with meat of such high quality. The excellent service and extremely fine wine selection can only enhance what should be a sizzling romantic experience. And, there's even a 25% off promo on all their steaks for all the weekends of February, lunch and dinner, Friday to Sunday.


House of Wagyu, East Wing, Shangri-La Plaza, Mandaluyong City, (02) 706 5385, or follow them on Facebook 


Chef Ariel Manuel's irresistible duck confit | Spanky Enriquez

5. Bistro Manuel


I love it when a chef is confident enough to name his restaurant after himself. I love it even more when he's really there, cooking for his guests during service. Chef Ariel Manuel is one of the best in the country, and among his peers is much beloved and respected. His Duck Confit is unparalleled, and his classic dishes from his old restaurant, Lolo Dad’s, are still around, along with excellent new dishes. 


Bistro Manuel, Six Axis Center, 4347 B. Valdez Street, Poblacion, Makati, (0926) 734-1067, or follow Bistro Manuel on Facebook


The most beautiful dim sum in town | Spanky Enriquez

6. Red Lantern at Solaire


Arguably the most stunning Chinese restaurant in the Philippines and, in my opinion, the one with the best  — and most beautiful dim sum  — Red Lantern at Solaire is truly world class. Executive Chef Jimmy Chaw is passionate about his cuisine, and it really shows. Don’t miss his scrumptious Peking Duck. And after dinner, proceed to the hotel’s new Baccarat Bar for cocktails and cigars à la Bond. James Bond.


Red Lantern at Solaire, 1 Asean Avenue, Parañaque, (02) 8888-8888, visit Red Lantern's website, or follow them on Facebook

 

Crabs to feast on | Courtesy of Ministry of Crab

7. Ministry of Crab


Love can get messy at times (much messier than eating crabs).  I say, just enjoy some of the largest, most succulent crabs ever at this legendary restaurant from Sri Lanka. Ministry of Crab is located deep inside Shangri-La at the Fort, and it's worth looking for. After a really satisfying dinner, head for another jewel hiding in plain sight just next door: The Backroom is one of the city’s best speakeasies with a superb cocktail menu. Find it and be rewarded.


Ministry of Crab, Shangri-La at The Fort, 30th Street corner 5th Avenue, Bonifacio Global City, (02)8820-0888, or follow Ministry of Crab on Facebook


Sometimes there's no beating a really good burger | Spanky Enriquez

8. Burger Geek


Sometimes all you really need to be completely satisfied is a simple cheeseburger. Burger Geek serves up burgers with the highest quality beef that boast of a divine fat:lean ratio, with tasty cheese, fresh greens, and a soft bun that holds it all together in a warm embrace. This restaurant is reason enough to drive all the way to Molito in Alabang. It’s a local burger that can proudly stand side-by-side with Shake Shack and In-N-Out. 


Burger Geek, Molito Complex, Alabang, or follow them on Facebook


Can't get over this foie gras | Spanky Enriquez

9. El Gaucho


This Argentinian steakhouse has outlets all over Southeast Asia, plus one in Slovenia and another in Germany. Founder Dany Himi is an Israeli who made his fortune in fashion. He’s now pursuing dreams of running a global restaurant empire, and El Gaucho is living up to his vision. Go for the spectacular steaks, but stay for what I consider to be the number one lamb chops in the city. 


El Gaucho Argentinean Steakhouse, Ground Floor, Trump Tower at Century City, Kalayaan Avenue, Makati, (0917) 323-8019, or follow El Gaucho on Facebook


This is the top shelf of Valentine date places | Courtesy of Makati Diamond Residences

10. Makati Diamond Residences


The best dates ever are the ones that extend all the way to breakfast. A staycation at this hotel, strategically situated across Greenbelt, begins at the Club Lounge where you can indulge in some TWG Tea-infused cocktails and Orville Redenbacher-quality popcorn. Move on to dinner at Alfred Restaurant, and end the evening over coffee at Toby’s Estate at the lobby. Or, should you prefer, enjoy the scenic and intimate Whisky Bar at the penthouse.


The next morning, have your breakfast of choice at the hotel buffet, or take advantage of the Diamond’s innovative partnerships with select brunch destinations in Legazpi Village: Bizu, Max’s, Pancake House, Persia Grill, Mary Grace, and Wildflour on Rada St. You can enjoy any of these until 1 pm, there’s no rush. Or stay in bed a while longer.  It’s Valentine’s after all.


Makati Diamond Residences, 118 Legazpi Street, Legazpi Village, Makati, (02) 5317-0999, or visit the website