The city on Valentine's was as busy as a weekend night with couples upon couples walking along the streets with their arms linked tight and their smiles glued to their lips. You could really feel the love in the air and the air almost smells sweeter from the many bouquets of roses in ladies' arms. I wondered what they had in store for them, but what I was more excited about was my night. The Man had so romantically planned a many-course evening with TWO dinners instead of one because Andrew Lloyd Webber's musical, Love Never Dies was right in the middle of dinner time. First stop! ENCASA
The walk up to Encasa from Central Station isn't scenic and the Man admitted later that he felt like he had chosen the wrong place for a special Valentine's dinner but rest assured, Encasa has a cozy, intimate atmosphere that keeps you in deep conversation with your sweetheart.
As soon as the restaurant opened for business at 5:30, couples poured in, some even being turned away because they hadn't booked in advance. The staff are quite busy and it took us a while to get their attention in the first 10 minutes of our stay but soon, more staff members appeared and their service was prompt and friendly.
Cava - spanish sparkling wine served with strawberries. The bubbly was sweet but the scent of sweet strawberries before you drank made it seem sweeter. I ate it soon enough because it was getting in the way of my nose.
Pacific oysters served with a mojito shot. Our first aphrodisiac dish :p The oysters were fresh and the mojito shot was very lemony sweet, cleansing out the palate before we enjoy the next dish.
A thick layer of foam covered the top of the mojito shot so you only get a taste of the mojito, not a strong swig.
Manchego cheese and piquillo pepper croquettes and platter of fennel Salchichon served with toasted bread.
The croquettes were different to the ones I've eaten before. The inside was a mixture of melted cheese and a thick creamy substance that gave it the consistency of a less airy version of mousse. I couldn't taste the piquillo pepper in it at all which would have added more flavour to the overall monotonic dish.
The toasted sourdough served with the Salchichon.
Salchichon basically means cold chorizo (spanish sausage). This was the first time I've had chorizo served cold but it was still nice and salty. It was a good accompaniment to the well oiled bread.
Prawn and scallop skewers with avocado salsa. Simple grilled seafood skewers with sweet and tangy avocado salsa. I loved the salsa and wished there was more than a spoonful.
The Man thought it wouldn't be enough so he ordered shoestring fries as well. We had a 7 course dinner after the musical so I was determined not to eat it, but the golden crunchiness was too addictive to stop and we ended up finishing more than half of it.