Spend your Valentine's ala ToT-style

Since the V-day is coming up around the corner, and I have been reviewing quite a lot of restaurants in the metro, there are several establishments that come to mind when I think of a romantic, intimate setting for dining during the day of lovers. Here are my picks from my personal experience, and throughout the coming days I'll be injecting other places onto ToT which I think are definitely date-worthy too.

MEN: Read up, Take down the contact numbers, Buy flowers, Take all the credit. Love ToT
Aubergine, Bonifacio Global City 
From the decor and the mood lighting, to the lamb and the dessert menu, plus the Patisserie section, Aubergine will score big points for those googly-eyed ladies who want to be wowed and impressed with your culinary prowess. Their 7-course Degustation menu is worth the $$$, complete with liquid nitrogen for smoky effect. Order a vintage bottle from their impressive wine list to get giddy a uninhibited.


Chinese Restos to Celebrate Kung Hei Fat Choi

Chinese culture and cuisine is tightly linked with Filipino heritage and history. Hence, we celebrate Chinese New Year with as much jubilation and anticipation as the mainlanders do. Where to go get a super Lauriat meal, or some dim sim in the area? Here are ToT's picks for the ultimate Kung Hei Fat Choi celebration meal:
My family's Chinese kitchen extension where we dine on a weekly basis. Food is authentic HK cuisine because of the 8 chefs which specialize in dimsum, roasts, soups, sauce, etcetc. Call in beforehand to reserve the Fried Chicken or the Lechon Kawali. My pick over Gloria Maris anytime. Here are my favorite dishes at Choi.
The ultimate Chinese restaurant for celebrations & special occasions. I love the Cereal Prawn, the Taro covered duck, and their excuisite seafood. Worth dressing up and feeling very Joy Luck Club for. If you can let go of some semblance of control and let the restaurant manager Nancy order for your party, you will be in good hands.
 The go-to for easy Chinese food, casual ambiance, and pork chop that rivals Delicious in HK. I like the Wanton Noodle Soup as well as pork siumai as big as golf balls.
If you want to try something new without breaking the bank, look for this secret Hunan restaurant in Makati that serves up authentic spicy and saucy Hunan food. Nothing fancy, everything spicy!
If you're willing to fly for good food. Din Tai Fung is the ambassador of Xiao Long Bao, or soup dumpling. The crab version is better than anything in this world. 
They don't serve Xiao Long Bao, but they do have traditional yum cha/dim sum served in a pre-colonial setting right in Central HK.
If you want a real Kung Hei Fat Choi meal in HK, I would recommend Yun Kee if  only for their aromatic century eggs, and roasted goose. You can even bring home the Century Eggs for travel!
And if the Manila and Hong Kong restaurants just won't do it for you... I guess there's no where else to go but China!

Kung Hei Fat Choi.... I mean, Choy! Choi!


These Are a Few of my Favorite (Choi) Things

 Since Chinese New Year is coming up, I'd like to refresh ToT with a "Favorite Things" post on my favorite Chinese restaurant: Choi Garden
 Choi Garden is where our family dines when we can't think of anywhere else to go, aside from Cyma for some Mediterranean food. We have tried a lot of dishes, and think that their flavors and dishes are spot on. No need to hit up Hong Kong. They have almost everything you need here and more. 
 One of our favorite things to order is their Shabu-Shabu, or hot pot, which is basically a big bowl of broth and meats & seafoods with vegetables and noodles that you can cook for flavor. Traditionally. Shabu-Shabu involves only dipping the meat onto the soup for flavor, but for most Filipinos, we also use the broth as soup and use the meats to flavor the soup. Different strokes for different folks.
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