In the spotlight: Bar Tini
Unless you’ve been kissing your Valentine for a while, be careful what you order at Bar Tini. Opened in Hosier Lane by the MoVida group last December, this Spanish bodega makes no apologies for big flavours. Take the seafood platter: with smoked and cured salmon, anchovies, smoked tuna and pickled sardines, it’s a treat but will make your dentist faint the second you say “ahh”.
Valentines can keep it casual at the Spanish-tiled wooden bar, or watch tourists posing for graffiti selfies from the dining area. Sharing canned food doesn’t sound romantic, but substitute mental images of John West tuna for Cuca stuffed baby calamari – there’s something sensual about the slippery little suckers. Couples who don’t like sharing should try bite-sized prawn and Avruga caviar tostadas. Don’t leave without ordering sobrassada, more a meaty slab than pork sausage.
Still want a Bar Tini date? In my experience The One doesn’t ask where you’ve been, they ask what on earth you ate with so much garlic in it.
Best for: Drinks and nibbles before dinner, or grazing the night away.
- 3-5 Hosier Lane, Melbourne
- 9663 3038
A room with dessert – Order the white chocolate and raspberry “Room for Dessert” at Pascale Bar & Grill, QT Hotel, between February 12 to 18 and a room key will be delivered alongside your sweet treat. Includes a night’s accommodation and a half bottle of champagne ($400).
- QT, Level 1/133 Russell Street, Melbourne
Mr Miyagi’s romantic side – Still struggling to score a seat at Mr Miyagi? For one night only, the cheeky Japanese restaurant is open for bookings on Valentine’s Day. The eight-course, $99, set menu includes bottomless bubbles and a special-edition dessert.
- 99 Chapel Street, Windsor
Dates, dumplings and board games – Oriental Teahouse is launching Dumplings for Dating this Valentine’s Day, a four-stage table-top board game that dips into fantasy and dare territory. Includes three courses and cocktails for $60 a person.
- 455 Chapel Street, South Yarra & 378 Little Collins Street, Melbourne
Sweets for your sweetie – Flowers? Pah! Try a cake for one.
- Burch & Purchese Sweet Studio: 647 Chapel Street, South Yarra, 9827 7060.
- Bibelot: 285-287 Coventry Street, South Melbourne, 9690 2688.
- Adriano Zumbo Patisserie: South Yarra, Emporium & Doncaster.