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Valentine’s Day 2015

 

… and this post would be me counting my blessings again.

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It feels surreal to compare who I was before I met him and after I did. You still can’t understand how and why you, of all people, are loved dearly. We talked about it for the nth time about what makes someone fall in love with a person, and we conclude with somewhere along the lines of “no reason”, “you just do”, and “no explanation needed”.

By now, I have no idea how many bouquets in total he has showered me ever since we got together. He sent one to my house in Frisco every month for our menoversary during our one-year long-distance relationship, and there were some more that he surprised me with over the last 3 years. The one that drew me in the most was the blue roses he gave me on our 3 years, 4-month anniversary. Though roses don’t really get to the top of my favorite flowers list, I love blue, and the bouquet was otherwordly beautiful.

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Roses aside, the one that woke me up on Valentine’s Day this year is special, because it’s the first bouquet after we got engaged :) Sorry not sorry for uploading too many pictures of it, hehehe

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As for the “useless” gift I told you about, It’s this:

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That’s right: A custom greeting card with matching envelope, all about Ocha the pig stuck in a centerpiece of the freshest, sweetest strawberries of ’em all. And the star of the gift package was a large pack of big and juicy Driscoll’s strawberries … you should see my baby’s reaction when he saw what’s in the bag. Like, OMG. I’ve never met anyone who’s this easily swayed by strawberries.

Turns out, it’s a “useful” gift after all – I’ve successfully summoned a big smile (it was more like a boyish squeal) because he wasn’t expecting it, and that strawberries are delicious and packed with vitamin C. He could use some Vitamin C fix during this rainy season, and it’s so sweet that he loved it as much as he loves me. It’s like he’s carrying another girl in his hand – as long as those strawberries are wrapped around his fingers, he couldn’t, even if he want to, give his undivided attention to me. Fact of my life.

 
 

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2 weeks ago, he asked me where I want to have our Valentine’s Day dinner. I have no idea, so I browsed through Zomato’s romantic restaurants collection to find one. I narrowed my choices down to 3 places for him to pick. He was originally booking for Emilie, which happens to be where he was originally going to propose, but they’re going to put us on the waiting list. So we made our choice to try out Rosso.

Yes, there are “hipper” Italian restaurants in town and yes, Rosso‘s an oldie. But neither of us have dined here before, so Rosso it is.

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Ahh, olives and good bread. Too bad it’s not a warm one, but a great tomato-based dressing for someone who doesn’t like tomatoes (me). Something about balsamic vinegar that makes everything taste much better.

Welcome cocktail canapés

A waiter presented us 5 canapé choices for us to pick 2. We got the Hokkaido scallop and Belgium endive and pan-seared foie gras and fig jam.

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It was neither freshly cooked nor warm, but kudos for the scallop quality – it was squishy and all. The mushy dressing on the bottom tasted like sweet potatoes, but it was good. If only the whole thing was still hot. I suspect it was made way ahead.

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This wasn’t fresh or warm either, but you can still pick up the distinctive flavor of foie gras. As much as I love the lovely liver, I thought figs were a weird combo to the classic French dish. Alone, the jam was delicious – I could picture it as my PB&J alternative. But figs are simply too sweet to dress up light bites like this. Perhaps it would’ve tasted great and well-integrated if this was served warm?

Amuse-bouche

For our hors d’oeuvre, we enjoyed a cold squid ink tagliolini with tuna tartar and calamari cream.

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There might be some of you who won’t be able to tolerate the calamari cream – it was pungent with seafood, calamari to be specific. For seafood fans like us, it was fragrant and delicious. My main issue was that there’s nothing very squid-ink about the tagliolini. I was expecting a freshly-mounded pasta with the price we paid for this dinner set – but I suspect the tagliolini was simply heated from a pre-made squid ink pasta we can all find in grocery stores.

Antipasto

For our antipasto, we had Lombok lobster carpaccio with avocado guacamole and lime essence.

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I love the springy and juicy cuts of lobster. The first lobster carpaccio I’ve ever tasted, and can’t believe no one has ever thought of it as a carpaccio base instead of the usual beef and tuna. I’m not sure what exactly was the peach-colored layer on top, but I was already happy with the lime-guac and cold lobster combo. I think it has tomato squeeze mixed in it, so you get a somewhat Spanish-inspired taste of salsa and guac, but I liked this dish better without that mystery top layer. That layer was far from fresh either. Perhaps it was also pre-made and chilled way ahead.

Risotto

For our pasta, we had this carnaroli risotto with strawberry Moet Chandon ans Sturia caviar.

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Another first. It’s unique because it’s a strawberry-infused dish, as the star fruit is usually apple, pear, orange and/or lychee. For a strawberry maniac like my babe, it was a major letdown. I will always choose the original mango than anything mango-infused/-flavored/-extracted, and he’ll always pick the original fruit for strawberries too.

For me, I actually think this was a creative dish. You want something slightly sweet but not too sweet to bring out when you munch on the bulky carnaroli. It’s well-prepared and thoroughly infused, as the strawberry essence was present throughout my meal. But the more I helped myself with it, the more the sweet- and sourness of these strawberries catch up on me. That tells me this is whipped up from local strawberries.

I’d so love to add a few more dashes of sea salt on this risotto. Otherwise, the fresh caviar and rosemary pair-up was perfect.

Main course

As you’ve noticed, nothing so far have really made an impression on me. I was hoping the main course was worth the wait. It was a saffron monkfish fillet with chestnut cream and porcini mushrooms.

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It was worth the wait, but there wasn’t anything particular about it worth hyping. If I have to sum up what I think of this dish, it’s “just nice”. I can’t deny how unique it is, and certainly another creative dish. You have the sweetness of chestnut, the springiness of monkfish, the pulpy mushrooms, starchy potato and sourness from artichoke. Somehow this diversity goes well together, and the whole plate was marked by the quality ingredients. Maybe it was the smaller-than-expected fillet or the comparably large side ingredients against the monkfish itself, or maybe it wasn’t served as warm as I would enjoy. But nothing was really off as much as this dish wasn’t a major standout.

As for the paired wines, I love love love the

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Last but not least, we had a valrhona chocolate souffle and Dom Perignon sabayon for our dessert.

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Finally, something that had me asking for more. Judging by the looks of it, you wouldn’t think it’s dead gorgeous in taste as it was. But if you like some vodka to your baked goods, this is your dessert. As you know, I’m not a big fan of alcohols, but a spoonful of the spirit was just perfect with the milk and chocolatey custard. Together, they make one fluffy and cloudy mix in your mouth totally worth skipping the gym for.

Wines

As for the paired wines, I love love love the Moët & Chandon Brut Impérial, which was served as an aperitif alongside our canapés – Smooth, refreshing fruit notes with very little alcoholic aftertaste. You can taste hints of apple and pear, with lime and lemon flavors in the mix. Easily one of the best champagnes I’ve ever tasted :)

Not so much with the vintage Dom Pérignon … as much as it is sensual and frankly quite intoxicating, it’s your average alcoholic-tasting bouquet for me, and I really don’t like alcohol ever since I last got drunk lol (such a long time ago).

Now we were supposed to get a total of 3 wines to pair, but somehow we didn’t get the Moët & Chandon Rosé, one that I suspect I would dig the most because it’s the most feminine and romantic-sounding bouquet, considering I already liked the brut’s clean aftertaste.

So in conclusion ….

 

The Verdict

The IDR 1,195,480 nett per person price wasn’t exactly worth paying up for. We had a so-so 6-course, minus-1 wine, and a very slow service (it was slow for everyone that night). One mother had to ask the waiter to get to the last courses faster because it was close to her daughter’s bedtime.

If I were to compare this dinner with the one we had last year at il Mare, there’s no question that il Mare was better – far better. Besides the tip-top shape of their ingredients, the courses build you up from the beginning to a climax, and finally closing with an orgy-releasing dessert. This experience was what I was expecting out of Rosso’s special Valentine dinner set, but obviously it missed the mark. Big time.

Nevertheless, we still enjoyed the night. I actually prefer Rosso’s spaciousness and overall ambiance than the tight and dim space at il Mare. What makes this night special wasn’t the fact that it’s Valentine’s Day – it’s just another day we talked, laughed, teased, reminisced, revealed, and all sorts of intimate things we do together on a daily basis.

No matter what’s on your plate; it’s the company that matters in the end.

Mr. Grey & Ms. Steele 🚁 #happyvalentinesday

A photo posted by Stace (@staciapriscilla) on


 

 Now you tell me: How did you and your loved one spend your Valentine’s Day?

 
 
 

Rosso


Sudirman
Hotel Shangri-La
Lobby Level
Jl. Jend. Sudirman Kav. 1
Jakarta Pusat 10220
+62 (0)21 2939 9562
Visit Facebook page at Unacho Hitsumabushi
Follow @Unacho_PS on Twitter
www.shangri-la.com

Operating hours:

Restaurant:

M – S Lunch 11:30am – 02:30pm
M – S Dinner 06:30pm – 10:30pm 

Lounge:

M – S Lunch 11:00am – 02:30pm
M – S Dinner 05:30am – 01:00am  
 
 
 
 
 


Stace

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