Last Updated: February 19, 2020
They say the way to your partner’s heart is through their stomachs, so what better way to celebrate Valentine’s Day, than with a feast fit for royalty?
Those of us who can afford it will surely want to treat our loved ones to a sumptuous spread. But if you’re on a slightly smaller budget, don’t fret—it doesn’t mean you and your partner can’t enjoy a scrumptious meal.
Here’s our pick of six affordable dining spots for you and your beau to have a romantic meal, all within Orchard Central!
Those of you who enjoy sharing food, Grain Alley is a communal dining concept with small plates for sharing. Newly-opened in January 2020, the Mediterranean-inspired café-bar serves up mostly proteins to accompany interesting carb combinations.
One of the aspects I really liked about Grain Alley is the couple seating, which features a street-facing couch and table instead of chairs facing each other. The perfect opportunity to snuggle up to your beau and people-watch!
We tried a number of dishes at Grain Alley, including tipples from their A to Z (literally) cocktail menu.
Starting with soups, we tried the Creamy Mushroom Soup (S$8) and the Premium Oxtail Soup (S$9). Both soups come with bread for dipping, so you can really mop up any last drops of these delicious broths.
For meats, some of the dishes you can choose from include Chicken Shawarma (S$13), Duck Tagine (S$15), Pulled Beef Cheek (S$17), Smoked Beef Brisket (S$23), and Pepper Pork Bratwurst (S$13).
My favourite is the Smoked Beef Brisket, which simply melted in my mouth.
Round off the meal with cocktails like the classic Cosmopolitan (S$18), the gin-based Tom Collins (S$18) and the signature Mojito (S$17). Frankly speaking, the price points for these cocktails are a steal—where else can you find hand-crafted cocktails that pack an alcoholic punch for under S$20?
Sharing is caring, so bring your date to Grain Alley for Valentine’s Day—that way, you’ll get to have a cosy meal and try more dishes at the same time! The prices are fairly affordable for Mediterranean cuisine too, so you can feast to your heart’s content without feeling the pinch.
Expected Damage: S$30 – S$40 per pax
Grain Alley: #01-10 | Opening Hours: 9am – 11pm (Daily) | Instagram
Famous for its luscious beef bowls, oysters and cocktails, you know you’re in for a good time when you dine at Tanuki Raw in Orchard Central.
Celebrate the Seasons of Love, and get a platter of freshly-shucked Naked Oysters (S$4 each) to share with your significant other—it’s an aphrodisiac, after all. We tried an assortment of Ikura Oysters, Mentai Oysters, Truffle Oysters and Chinmi Chilli Oysters, for S$6 each.
Other small plates for sharing include the juicy, deep-fried Snow Crab Bao (S$13.90 for two) and the controversial Wham! Fries (S$13.90) topped with cheese, marshmallows, guacamole and sour cream.
And for a truly decadent Valentine’s meal, try the Foie Gras Truffle Yakiniku (S$21.90, +S$7.10 for fresh truffle). A thick, glistening slab of melt-in-mouth foie gras dominates the bowl, together with generous slices of U.S. black Angus short rib and a perfectly-cooked onsen egg.
If beef isn’t for you, the Black Sugar Miso Grilled Unagi (S$22.90) is a good bet. Chunks of unagi with crispy edges and glazed with Okinawan black sugar miso top this rice bowl.
End the night with a cocktail or two—the newly-created Silk Grace (S$14) is the perfect, pretty date night drink.
Drop by during Happy Hour from 5pm – 8pm and get Silk Grace for S$10, and the Naked Oysters go for S$2 each. For more Happy Hour deals at Tanuki Raw, check out their promotions page.
Expected Damage: S$25 – S$35 per pax
Another one on the list for couples with a shared love for Japanese cuisine, Aburi-EN specialises in aburi (partially grilled) meats and donburi.
One of their signature must-try dishes is the Premium Buta Don (S$15), which comes with thick slabs of grilled chestnut pork loin on a bed of fluffy white rice. The chestnut-fed pork has a juicier bite, and sweeter notes than regular pork.
But my favourite has got to be the Premium Wagyu Jyu (S$28). Served in a square, black bento box, huge slices of A4/5 Miyazaki wagyu (Japan’s No.1 Champion Wagyu) topped the rice, together with earthy shimeji mushrooms. Each piece of wagyu had the right amount of char, and the marbling guaranteed delightful melt-in-mouth fat.
For the carnivorous couple, get a platter or two of meats to share. The Iberico Hoho Yaki (S$12.80) (charcoal-grilled Iberico pork jowl) and the Salmon Harasu Yaki (S$10.80) (charcoal-grilled salmon belly) are both fine choices.
Indulge a little with some sake after a satisfying meal—Aburi-EN has quite a selection.
Expected Damage: S$25 – S$30 per pax
If both of you are big eaters with a penchant for Korean food, then head over to the newly-opened Gangnam Story for date night.
This Korean BBQ and hotpot restaurant is pretty value-for-money, considering that their prices start from S$24.90++ per pax for lunch, and S$29.90++ per pax for dinner. Lunch runs from 11am – 5pm, while dinner runs from 5pm until closing, which means it can double up as a supper spot too.
Gangnam Story offers a selection of soup bases, including Mala Soup (with options of less spicy, medium-spicy and extra spicy), Korean Ginseng Chicken Soup, Gangnam Collagen Soup, Gangnam Seaweed Soup, and Gangnam Tomato Soup.
One of the must-try soup bases here is the Korean Ginseng Chicken Soup.
Gangnam Story does a fairly authentic rendition of the traditional Korean broth, and the earthy, herbal scent is exceptionally strong.
Meat selections range from shabu pork and beef, to bacon, to various marinated meats and even smoked duck. One good thing about the BBQ grill is that Gangnam Story has thoughtfully layered the grill surface with baking paper, so that the meats don’t stick and leave a charred residue.
I also liked that Gangnam Story offers premium meats—at no extra charge! These include cheesy scallops, well-marbled fatty beef steak, salmon and more.
The range of seafood is impressive too, and my favourite has to be the salmon—fatty and tender, you simply have to grill the skin till it’s crispy for the best taste.
Expected Damage: Lunch – S$24.90++ (Adult, Mon to Thu), S$21.90++ (Student/Senior Citizen, Mon to Thurs), S$12.90++ (Child, Mon to Thurs), | Dinner – S$29.90++ (Adult, Mon to Thurs), S$26.90++ (Student/Senior Citizen, Mon to Thurs), S$15.90++ (Child, Mon to Thurs) | Add S$3++ for Fri, Sat, Sun, Eve of PH & PH
Gangnam Story: #08-04/05 | Tel: +65 8799 6061 | Opening Hours: 12pm – 6am (Daily) | Facebook
Luxury confectionery and chocolatier Café Morozoff hails from Japan and brings us a selection of creamy cheesecakes, custard puddings and savoury dishes.
For the Seasons of Love, treat your beloved to sweet indulgences from Café Morozoff.
Share a Custard Pudding Parfait (S$10.80), which is topped with their signature wobbly Custard Pudding (S$7.80 a la carte), and packed with citrus jelly, creamy soft serve and assorted fresh fruits. The Custard Pudding is also available for takeaway, in case you’d like to bring some home instead.
Don’t be afraid to get cheesy with your date, and try both cheesecake flavours—Hokkaido Mascarpone Cheesecake (S$7.50) and Hokkaido Cream Cheesecake (S$6.50).
The Hokkaido Cream Cheesecake slice had a hint of zesty lemon, which makes it lighter on the palate, while the Hokkaido Mascarpone Cheesecake is creamier and milkier.
Expected Damage: S$10 – S$15 per pax
Another spot for a sweet ending to the night, newly-opened Mel Pot is located within Hokkaido Marche, at the basement of Orchard Central.
Put a smile on your date’s face, with the sweet delights here at Mel Pot. The Espuma Shave Ice (S$9.80) is good for sharing, and I’d recommend the Kyoto Roasted Green Milk Tea (also known as hojicha).
Toasted, nutty, and creamy, this icy concoction also comes with sprinkled hojicha powder for extra flavour.
If you’re a fan of all things kawaii, the Mel Pot Special (S$8) is a safe choice. Served over a base of crunchy cornflakes, the vanilla soft serve is topped with chocolate chips, rainbow sprinkles, hard candy bits and heart-shaped marshmallows.
Keep your eyes peeled for their new drink, Matcha Lovers, which will be launched on 14 February.
With a base of Kyoto Green Milk Tea, this drink also comes with matcha KitKat, Kyoto Green Tea Mel Pudding, matcha warabi mochi, and generous dusting of matcha powder. Talk about matcha overload!
Expected Damage: S$6 – S$10 per pax
Still thinking about where to go for Valentine’s Day? Drop by Orchard Central and join in the Seasons of Love, for a date night to remember.
On 14 & 15 February 2020, you’ll also be able to get free photo print-outs at the mural wall on Level 1, opposite Café Morozoff—just remember to tag #OCSeasonsoflove.
We have a special promotion just for our readers too! Simply head to the concierge (in pairs), and flash this article—you’ll get a S$5 Far East Malls voucher each. You’ll both need to be shopFarEast members, but don’t worry, sign-up is easy enough and it’s free.
Sign up as a shopFarEast member and earn points when you shop! Redeem your points for rewards like staycations, free parking and dining vouchers. Download the app today!
We’re giving away 50 pairs of S$5 vouchers, so hurry! Redemption is valid from now until 16 February 2020, and the concierge counter is open from 11am – 10pm every day.
*This post is brought to you in partnership with Orchard Central.
Price: $ $
Our Rating: 4 / 5
181 Orchard Road, Singapore 238896
181 Orchard Road, Singapore 238896