A guide to dazzling dates for Valentine’s Day

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LOVE it or hate it, Aphrodite’s favourite day is an excellent excuse for a good time with your amour. Or to spoil another special someone… yourself! The Mother City is one of the world’s most romantic destinations. The Cape Town CBD is sensational for those seeking to sneak in a memorable meal with their Valentine. Tasso Evangelinos, CEO of the CCID (Cape Town Central City Improvement District), says, “If ever there was a time to celebrate love and kindness, this is it! We all need a bit of cheesiness in our lives, so embrace the cliché of the day, and support our stellar homegrown businesses as you do so!”

To plan the perfect date, here’s the CCID’s handy guide for lovers:

Treat your favourite to the FYNer things in life, with this “neoteric Japanese African” fusion of flavours. Located in Parliament Street, FYN (pictured above) crosses boundaries to bring delighted diners stunning plates of contemporary cuisine. From burnt mushroom milk buns and summer somen (noodles), to Robata-grilled Kalahari beef and pumpkin pie nougat with yuzu marshmallow, guests are taken on an unforgettable journey that may just inspire a lover to get on bended knee. The dramatic industrial interior certainly is the perfect backdrop for a proposal…

5th Floor, Speakers Corner, 37 Parliament Street, call 021 286 2736, or click here.

Photo by Tegan Smith Photography

“If music be the food of love, play on”… Of course, Orsino is hoping to cure his craving for love by being drowned in an excess of it, so the quote isn’t quite right. But fools in love looking to blend the blues with good wine and great food should make a beeline for Matt Manning’s The Blue Room at Grub and Vine. Serving up soulful sounds with live music, this humble hot spot keeps it simple. Think tapas and bespoke cocktails. Dive into some Love and Sage to start, followed by the Hanky Panky. Add a pork scotch egg and spicy fried chicken wings to keep things deliciously dirty.

103 Bree Street, call 087 153 5244, or click here.

Described as a three-floor culinary concept, Villa 47 has it all, from Locanda, the kind of relaxed Italian bistro that would get you singing like Meryl Streep, to Martini Terrazzo, a garden-style courtyard boasting a versatile lounge and bar. For sublime speciality dishes look no further than Locanda’s lasagne. If you enjoy sharing style plates more, Martini’s salt and pepper calamari with yuzu mayo, and pommes frites with parmesan truffle cream will leave you in the throes of ecstasy.

47 Bree Street, call 021 741 0250, or click here.

Specialising in North Indian food combined with Cape Malay flair, Bombay Brasserie exudes elegance, with its exotic décor and sumptuous touches. With small plates inspired by street food, the restaurant is ideal for those seeking authentic flavours, with favourites like kofta curry, lamb biryani and a special take on malva pudding.

1 Wale Street, corner St Georges Mall, call 021 819 2000, or click here.

Tjing Tjing Momiji is a tranquil and understated space celebrating Japanese culture and cuisine. Momiji is where the chefs’ creativity lets loose, with an outstanding set menu that fuses Japanese flavours with local ingredients. Whimsical touches delight the eye and transport guests straight to the Tokyo; the idea is food should be fun, beautiful and tell a story. Try the trout, served with buchu-pickled ginger, soy cob, yuzu, pickled mussels, a milk bread bun and more. Dessert is equally delicious, with a smorgasbord of sweets like mochi truffles, s’mochi (a mochi s’more!) and kitto katsu (Kit Kat). Note, Momiji is closed on Valentine’s Day, so you’ll need to book for the Saturday before, or pre-order Mochi Mochi boxes to go.

Valentine’s Mochi box: 10 pieces @ R150. Flavours include:

  • 2 Chocolate dipped strawberry mochi
  • 2 Rose mochi
  • 2 Passionfruit mochi
  • 2 ‘First date’ and Cashew mochi
  • 2 Cherry-Chocolate mochi

165 Longmarket Street, call 021 422 4374 / 422 4920, or click here.

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