I know that lots of people think that dining out on Valentine’s Day is a bit of a rip-off. It’s overpriced and possibly overrated. Besides, what’s so special and romantic about it when thousands of other couples are celebrating it too?
I was probably like that, which is why I don’t remember what we did last year or the year before that. You know what I do remember? Valentine’s Day 2014, because we actually dined out that night. We had moules-frites and Belgian beer in Wanchai. 2009 stands out as well, because that was our first time celebrating it together. Edwin got me a necklace from Mini Bits (is that shop even around anymore?) and we joined his friends for a drink at the SMU bar.
Those were the days // 想當年 LOL
Anyway, it seemed about time to do the whole cheesy wine-and-dine thing again. We decided to try Casa Pennington as it wasn’t as ludicrously expensive as some other places. The four course dinner was HK$1188 (~US$153/~S$215.90) for two persons, including coffee or tea. Still rather costly, but we’ll probably stay in for the next two years, seeing that we have a pattern, haha.
Hokkaido Scallop & Avocado Tartar
I’m not sure why the scallop was red. Was it marinated in beetroot juice or something? In any case, it didn’t taste any different from regular scallops. More avocado would always be preferred. The salmon roe and what looked like lavender salt was a nice touch.
Also, you can’t really tell from the photo, but it’s shaped like a heart, so bonus points for cuteness!
Lobster Strawberry Sabayon
Sabayon is a dessert made with egg yolks, sugar, and a sweet wine. A savoury option with seafood seemed intriguing, but I didn’t taste any sabayon at all. It was more like a fruit salad with lobster bits mixed in. To be fair, it wasn’t a bad dish, and they weren’t stingy with the lobster, which was nice.
Cream of Parsnip & Crab Meat
I can’t say that I’ve had parsnip anything before this, but I like most root vegetables, and this was no different. It didn’t hurt that there was a generous dollop of crab meat in there. Also, more hearts!
Grilled US Prime Rib Eye Steak
We had a lot of steak recently. Before this, it was at Hungry Lobster, and after it was at Marbling (post coming soon). This one was quite nicely done, although the accompanying vegetables were rather bland. The red heart on the corner of the plate was actually a slice of potato covered in ketchup. It didn’t taste good, but I appreciate the effort to stick to the theme.
French Duck Foie Gras Linguini
There were a lot of mushrooms, four or five varieties at least. So much, in fact, that they should have renamed this dish “Mixed Mushroom Linguini with Foie Gras”. Well, we had fun fishing out stuff and asking each other whether it was a piece of foie gras or mushroom.
Pear Tarte Tatin
We were stuffed by this point, but it wouldn’t be Valentine’s Day unless dessert is involved. This was my favourite dish of the night. It was served with cream, but I didn’t think it was necessary. That baked pear, with the caramel and puff pastry really hit the spot.
So yes, while sitting elbow-to-elbow with dozens of other couples wasn’t that romantic after all, it was still a lovely (albeit slightly overpriced) dining experience. Most of the dishes were decent, and I’d return for the tarte tatin!
3/F, Hotel Pennington by Rhombus, 13-15 Pennington Street, Causeway Bay, H.K
Tel: 2806 3311