Happy Tummies, Happy Hearts (Adarna Food & Culture and Xocolat)

Monday, February 20, 2012 § 0

Valentines Day isn't something all couples celebrate, but we do. It may just be an excuse to go all fancy with flowers, chocolates and expensive restaurants for some, but it's more than that for us. Other than anniversaries, it's a day when we can be all lovey dovey in public without getting weird stares from people, a day when we look back and reflect on all the blessings that have been given to us. Yes, we can still do all the things I mentioned on ordinary days, but everything feels more special on Valentines.

Boyfriend started the night by surprising me at the office with a bouquet of my favorite stargazers and gerberas. We then braved the traffic all the way from McKinley Hill to Kalayaan Avenue in QC to get to Adarna Food and Culture where he made us reservations. There were a lot of couples there, so I wasn't able to take pictures of the place, but the restaurant was beautiful. The Silid ng Bituin has pictures of old Filipino movie stars, family heirlooms, and other antique looking items. A real cozy and romantic place for a date.

Felicidad (150) The service, however, was terrible. According to the menu, we have to wait 20-25 mins for our food. Our two entrees were served after 40 mins, shortly followed by this cocktail, while the 3rd entree didn't even get to our table. After waiting for our grilled chicken for almost an hour, we found out they have forgotten to fire it so we had to cancel that order. Fortunately for them, it was Valentines and I was determined to keep my good mood. Also, their version of eggnog perked me up a little. The combination of eggs, cream, milk and rhum created a rich drink that tickles the senses. It was like drinking liquid leche flan with alcohol, giving it a more festive flavor.

Leyte Humba (250) Adarna's version of humba uses liempo instead of the usual pork knuckles. Much ideal for a date setting since it could get a little awkward if your date starts devouring pork knuckles with their bare hands. The pork belly was incredibly tender, but the best part for us was the pork skin that had bits of fat still hanging from it. The soya sauce was more salty than sweet, making it perfect with a cup of plain rice. It also has black beans, shallots, peanuts and slices of yummy caramelized saba.

Ginataang Kalabasa (195) Boyfriend wasn't too keen on this vegetable dish. The added anchovies on this traditional Filipino dish were a little overpowering that you can barely taste the dried shrimps. The sweet coconut milk, on the other hand, still shines through. And the vegetables (squash, sitaw and gabi) are all cooked well.

Double Choco Chip Cheesecake (110) Since we were very disappointed with the service at Adarna, we headed out elsewhere to grab some dessert. The first place that came to mind was Xocolat in Katipunan. It was already a bit late so we were able to get a table immediately. Their fast service was a much needed change for us that night, and the food didn't disappoint as well. Our cheesecake was moist with big domes of chocolate on top to chew on. The crust is sweet and sturdy, making it the perfect base for such a delicious cheesecake.

Fondue for Two (185) Everytime Boyfriend and I visit Xocolat, we never fail to order their fondue. We got a pleasant surprise tonight, because instead of the usual milk chocolate, we got dark. We shared more stories while happily eating fluffy marshmallows, juicy apples and sweet bananas. Both of us don't really get the whole orange-chocolate combination so we usually eat the oranges sans the choc.

It was a great night for us both, and we wouldn't have changed anything if given the chance. Every experience is a story for us, and we have learned to treasure things as they are. Besides, it's all a matter of point of view. We should never let bad temper get in the way, no matter how bad things can get, especially when you're on a date. Adarna Food and Culture is located at Kalayaan Ave, QC, while Xocolat has branches in Katipunan and Greenhills.

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