Never in my life have I experienced celebrating Valentine's Day outside our house. My fondest memories include parents giving us siblings heart shaped pillows with stuffed toys, mom giving us each a special treat (I got a doll that moves around as it plays music), and brother giving us three girls a rose each. This year, I never planned anything for Valentine's Day, but receiving an invitation to attend The Sweetest Thing (A Valentine's Day Picnic Dinner) at the Rockwell Tent, I figured I shouldn't always stay at home during Valentine's Day because I am single.
I don't have that much guy friends, so thinking who to invite as my companion became difficult. I wanted to tag brother along, but he didn't want to, so I just asked my sister as my date. I found it sweet to be celebrating it with my dear sister...and I also got to see some blogger friends (who were waiting for their husbands to arrive).
While eating dinner, guests were serenaded by the Manila String Machine, who performed more or less five beautiful songs. I forgot the line up of tunes they performed, but they did play Cristina Perri's "A Thousand Years."
The picnic dinner was catered by Bizu. I have tasted different pastries from Bizu, but I still haven't tasted their meals and savory dishes. For this dinner we were served:
(Focaccine and Sesame Seed Roll with Butter)
The sesame seed roll had this very light sweetness, so it was the focaccine that I ate. I was quite used to dipping this kind of bread in olive oil and balsamic vinegar, but eating it with butter was okay, too.
(Oriental Salad with Grilled Zucchini, Carrots, Pineapples, and Aubergines tossed with Mesclun and Special Oriental Dressing topped with Crisp Vermicelli and Black Sesame)
That's quite a mouthful of a name for a salad dish... and it was very delicious! The dressing was below the bed of greens, and my sister and I loved it a lot. The smokey flavor from the grilled vegetables paired well with the dressing and the mix of different flavors combined really well.
(Duo of 10-Hour US Roast Beef Belly with Demiglace Sauce; Cobbler Fish with Mushroom and Spinach Cream, Grilled Vegetable Brochettes and Mashed Potatoes)
Let's start with the beef first. It was one of Bizu's dishes I have been dreaming of eating, and now that I did, it exceeded my expectations. It was super tender, really tasty and very filling. It may be the belly part but it wasn't fatty, but there was this very thin film of fat, which I didn't bother taking out because it was sinfully good. However, I easily get full whenever I eat out, so I only got to eat half of it, which was more than enough to satisfy the tummy. It also has a horseradish siding, which my sister said paired well with the beef, but I am not a fan of it (I don't even eat sushi with wasabi).
The fish, I really love...but I gotta say the creamy spinach I didn't find that impressing. It was good given the first few bites, but I guess the cream does make one "umay," so I just ate the fish with the grilled vegetables. I super duper love the roasted bell peppers, by the way.
(Opera Cake, Calamansi and Raspberry Mousse Trifle, Fresh Fruits with Syrup)
The fresh fruits include bite size pieces of apples, pineapples, and melon. We all know how these fruits taste like, so I will just talk about the other two desserts.
The Opera Cake was pure indulgence. It melts in the mouth, and even if it's chocolate, it wasn't too sweet. The Calamansi and Raspberry Mousse Trifle on the other hand was a revelation. I loved the citrusy, sweet taste of this dessert, and the calamansi flavor sort of cleansed the palate, making it a great ending to the wonderful meal.
As soon as the desserts were served, we were asked if we either wanted a cup of coffee or tea to go with our desserts. My sister chose coffee, while I went for the tea because I tend to go heavy on sugar whenever I drink brewed coffee. I was pleased that I was given a selection of tea bags (all from Gold Leaf). There was jasmine, mint, oolong, and green tea, and for my desserts, I went with the green tea. By the way, we were also served Peach Iced Tea, Wine (guest can make a selection between white or red), and Water during the dinner - all free flowing. I loved their peach iced tea!
Everyone at the event were given a goodie basket containing a cute white bear, Hershey's chocolate, red velvet cupcake by Cukay's (super delish), and other sweet treats. Contents vary from basket to basket, and mine had Belgian Supreme Cookies from The Crukitchen as well as ube candy. Sister's basket had pastillas and chocolate candies with rice crispies apart from the cupcake, Hershey's chocolates and bear.
After the dinner, guests were treated to a movie screening of "Valentine's Day," which my sister and I weren't able to watch because sister has to report for work at 9pm. Guests also had the privilege to pose for pictures at the photobooth area. Raffles were also held throughout the event.
This was the second time The Rockwell Tent hosted this sweet Valentine's Day dinner. They announced that this is going to be an annual thing, and I do hope that if I get invited again, I would have a significant other to accompany me.