When there is a special occasion, we always think of ways on how to turn it into a memorable experience. The combination of good food and proper mood is the way to go—think of candlelit dinners on a cruise or a simple sit down with the view of the city. But we can't always afford grandeur, although we can always get creative.
During Shangri-La Hotels' Golden Circle launch of The Table, a new food and beverage loyalty program loaded with member benefits and exclusive offers, it showcased different moods on how to make the dining experience extra special. Anniversary date coming up? No worries. If you have little time to prepare, simply go to their digital platform, choose, among the moods you fancy, and find the best restaurant and bar recommendations! But in case you're up for a bit of DIY, read on and see which among these will fit your upcoming celebration, as inspired the brilliant collaboration of Shangri-La's executive chefs and global designer, Bea Valdes:
1. Intimate. You'll never go wrong with a romantic floral set up! Buy bouquets in different colors. Make your dinner table pristine and clean, to highlight the flowers. Serve simple dishes that are meant to be shared—go for light and refreshing to last you until the wee hours of the night, just sharing stories and bonding over the meal. On their menu: Organic heirloom tomatoes scented with lime and paprika, and basil espuma; Beetroot-cured salmon cubes with wasabi cream and pea shoots; Guinea fowl confit, pear chips, garden greens and herbs; and Herb-crusted yellowfin tuna tataki, white tea jelly and micro-greens, and; welcome drink Hugo, a prosecco-based spritzer of elderflower, mint and lime.
2. Elegant. A garden backdrop would be nice, with the cool breeze hitting your cheeks and the scent of nature filling you in. Keep in theme with earthy and natural flavors for your meal. Think fresh scallops with a dash of truffle, good ol' ham on top of bagel pieces and a cocktail that makes you feel at home, like this Maple & Bacon Manhattan cocktail, or for a more laidback vibe, opt for champagne. On their menu: Foie gras and apple sliders, Hokkaido scallops with pumpkin and summer truffle; Olive soil, mushrooms, goat cheese panna cotta and baby leaves; and Bellota Iberico ham, extra virgin olive oil, farmers’ baguette and tomato garlic pulpo; Maple & Bacon Manhattan; El Toro Loco, a habanero-infused 1800 silver tequila, Cocci Americano vermouth, cucumber, agave, lime; Veuve Clicquot champagne and; house barrel-aged Leyenda Oloroso Bodega M. Gil Luque sherry.
3. Chill. Focus on the senses: Go for a nice visual presentation with a classy table setting and finish off with aromatic shrubs like rosemary and thyme as centerpieces for a scent-sational mood! Relax while you indulge in a delicious plated meal—try Mediterranean to match—and sip good wine for the rest of the night. On their menu: Monkfish fillet in cara fatta, octopus, chorizo and saffron orzo inflused with Pernod white wine sauce.
4. Adventurous. A good lighting set up (in blazing red and/or yellow) will instantly add a sensual feel, but to level it up, choose futuristic and retro with your choice of music while you eat! It's perfect for an all-meat spread, so bring out the carnivore in you! Pair it with bloody marys or try it with a delicious red or white wine. On their menu: Smoked 48-hour slow-cooked US beef brisket; Chapon de Bresse (goose) braised in champagne with root vegetables; Black Angus prime rib marinated in bourbon and muscovado; Iberico pork pressa in bomba rice crust, chili and herbs with Rioja sauce; The Bloody Bull, a concoction of rosemary-infused Tito’s vodka, Dolin vermouth rouge, beef stock, lemon, tomato, barbeque sauce and chorizo de bellota, and; Giorgio Pelissero Piani Barbera d’Alba red wine.
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5. Upbeat. Get all hippy-happy and feel like you entered wonderland! Make the table as colorful and cute as you want—add balloons to make it look festive, get creative on puttings up your dishes. For instance: Chocolate cake with macarons on the side, imitating a toy train! Since we're talking happy here, a dessert buffet is highly recommended—enjoy the sugar high! On their menu: Spinning chocolate hats; different colored chocolate balls that were smashed to reveal mousse and crumble filling; lemon within a lemon with a lemon, lime tartlet with crispy meringue crumble and lime chips; live nitrogen ice cream; chilled pressed fruit; giant chocolate mushrooms; chocolate cylinders filled with passion fruit mousse; dulce de leche mille feuille crisps, and; lollipop cocktails.
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