KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 9 — Valentine’s Day is all about roses and romance, right?
But flowers wither and romances fade. Better to fill one’s belly, one might argue.
The memory of a tasty titbit or delectable dish will last longer than a withering bon mot or an expensive piece of clothing fading after a few cycles in the washing machine.
Also, when in doubt, toast the special occasion the way Homer Simpson would: with a doughnut (or a dozen, why not?).
Certainly the custom-made cake maestros behind Sugar and I think so. Famed for their signature bomboloni (Italian doughnuts), they have recently introduced their latest series that revolves around everything Red Velvet.
The striking red colour of Sugar and I’s Red Velvet 'bomboloni' is perfect for Valentine’s Day. — Pictures courtesy of Sugar and I
Originally hailing from the southern USA, the Red Velvet is traditionally a vanilla cake with red food colouring and cocoa powder mixed into the batter.
Given this is the region that also popularised buttermilk fried chicken, the addition of buttermilk to the batter gives it a much needed acidity to balance the intense and sweet cream cheese frosting.
Sugar and I have taken this basic recipe and given it its own twist with not one, but two bomboloni — the Red Velvet Raspberry Cheese and the Red Velvet Cream Cheese; the former with tart raspberry flavour and the latter rich with extra cheese.
Like the Italians, the Land of the Rising Sun has a history of sweet treats, albeit more delicate and refined in nature. To enjoy these Japanese desserts, wagashi lovers in the Klang Valley have turned to Mimi Daifuku, home-based artisans whose daifukus are the rave of the town.
Mimi Daifuku’s Purple Taro Strawberry Daifuku. — Picture courtesy of Mimi Daifuku
The mildly sweet purple taro complements the fresher sweetness of the strawberry. — Pictures courtesy of Mimi Daifuku
Each dainty "dumpling” (if you will) is a delight of textural contrasts and gentle flavours: the "QQ” texture of the mochi, a luscious adzuki filling that simultaneously savoury and sweet, and a eye-catching garnish of a single fresh strawberry.
This year for Valentine’s Day, Mimi Daifuku is offering a limited edition Purple Taro Strawberry Daifuku. The use of the mildly sweet purple taro complements the fresher sweetness of the strawberry.
Of course it doesn’t hurt that purple taro, also known as ube, is a trendy ingredient in everything from purple lattes to unicorn smoothies. Wrapped in pristine white paper, a few of these alluring daifukus will make for a most unusual and unique Valentine’s Day.
For a different sort of bouquet, how about something more decadent in the form of chocolates? Just ask Cocoraw, a homegrown purveyor of nama style chocolates. The sweet startup, which also has physical outlets called Cocodash by Cocoraw in Bangsar and Subang, believes that love is all around and blossoming.
Which is why they have created a bouquet of their hand-crafted chocolates so customers may delight their special someone with something sweet, saintly and maybe just a little deliciously sinful too.
Cocoraw’s beautiful – and delicious – Blooming Love chocolate bouquet. — Pictures courtesy of Cocoraw
Each Blooming Love chocolate bouquet contains a dozen chocolate truffle spheres in three different flavours, one heart-shaped hot chocolate dipstick as well as a gift box with delicate baby’s breath flowers and a personalised message greeting.
They say a picture is worth a thousand words, so those wishing to assess the veracity of this adage may opt for a paid add-on of a Fujifilm Instax print. Choose the cheesiest, mushiest photograph you have; there’s no better occasion for it.
Perhaps a sit-down dinner date is more up your alley? Coffee and brunch specialist Yellow Brick Road has got you covered here.
First established in Jalan Batai in 2015, Yellow Brick Road moved to their new location at The Five @KPD last year. With their tagline "Built by Dreamers for Dreamers”, it might come as no surprise that the team has been inspired to design a celebration of love this Valentine’s Day with a luxurious five-course dinner menu for two.
Begin with a pair of amuse-bouches — an unagi cheese and potato croquette with sriracha mayonnaise for crunch, and beetroot-cured salmon with mango salsa atop a cheese crisp for tartness.
Celebrate Valentine’s Day at Yellow Brick Road with a luxurious five-course dinner menu for two. — Picture courtesy of Yellow Brick Road
A pair of 'amuse-bouches' (left) and a deconstructed pavlova for dessert (right). — Pictures courtesy of Yellow Brick Road
Savour a pan-seared scallop with parsnip purée, Avruga caviar, micro-greens and pesto oil, then follow that with an enticing entrée of deep fried Parmesan-coated giant asparagus with truffle Hollandaise, cured egg yolk and black truffle.
For the main, lovers may choose between a teriyaki-glazed grouper with mashed potatoes, edamame, bunapi mushrooms, crispy purple and orange sweet potatoes, or a grilled lamb cutlet with baby carrots, mash, balsamic reduction, and mint and brown sauces.
(It’s a dinner for two; why not have one of each?)
Sweet endings come in the form of a deconstructed pavlova — a scatter of meringue shards, homemade berry sorbet, Chantilly cream, lemon curd, orange jelly, passion fruit and berries. Sip on their Valentine’s mocktail made with strawberry purée, mixed berry clarified milk, yuzu and tonic water.
However you decide to commemorate this special day (less than a week away!), remember it’s time spent with your beloved that truly matters. Have a beautiful Valentine’s, everyone!
Sugar and I
• SS14, Subang Jaya (Open daily 11am - 7pm)
• Mitsui Lalaport, KL (Open daily 10am - 10am)
Tel: 011-1142 2597
Cocodash by Cocoraw
2nd floor, inside Czip Petit, Bangsar Village, 2, Jln Telawi 3, Bangsar, KL
Open Mon 11am-7pm, Tue-Sun 11am-8pm
Yellow Brick Road
5th Place, The Five @KPD, No. 49, Jalan Dungun, Bukit Damansara, KL
Open daily 8:30am-9:30pm
Tel: 03-2011 7690
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