LA Asks Society Couples: Where To Spend A Romantic Dinner?

Society couples reveal their list of preferred spots for romantic dinners and why they frequent these restaurants.

Romantic dinners transcend mere indulgence, at least for society couples Paul and Tinay Syjuco, Karylle and Yael Yuzon, Jae and Bruce Ricketts, CJ and Lucille Dizon, and Chico and Betcha Chua Javier. They highlight an occasion that reminds them of an unforgettable milestone in their lives. For them, these establishments serve as an enchanting backdrop for reliving their favorite moments as well as creating new memories together.

READ ALSO: LA Asks: Manila’s Stylish Women On Their Most Alluring And Luxurious Perfumes 

How often do you have romantic dinners together?

Paul is a jewelry craftsman who spearheads Aum by Paul Syjuco. His work reflects on the deep heritage and timelessness of fine jewels. His wife Tinay is a visual artist and the creative director of Artwork T-Shirts. The two admittedly spend a romantic dinner during birthday or anniversary celebrations. 

“Usually, we book in advance for a lunch or dinner seating in a nice restaurant or [somewhere with] a good steak,” Paul said.

Singing couple Karylle and Yael said the term “romantic dinner” for them has many different meanings as a married couple. They prepare meals together and eat wine and cheese as they finish assembling the dishes. However, their most special romantic dinner took place in Thailand. 

“The biggest and most special romantic dinner [we had] was our 10th anniversary dinner in Villa Frantzen in Bangkok,” they said. “It was the first time that we ever did a tasting menu and we’re glad it was around enthusiastic and passionate people who explained the food and pairings. It was like stepping into their home [or] their world.”

Mecha Uma’s Chef Bruce and his partner, Jae, said they are dining out more these days since their restaurant closed in December. The latter expressed they are taking advantage of their free time through dates as often as possible as the former used to be busy with their restaurant. 

“We are waiting for our next restaurant, Iai, to open later this year,” Jae said. 

Meanwhile, for jeweler couple CJ and Lucille of Jul B. Dizon Jewellery, their romantic date nights are usually once a week, if their schedule permits it.

B&Co Projects founder Betcha and her husband Chico said their schedule is a bit difficult so they only have romantic dinners once a month. “We’re hoping to do it more often,” Betcha added.

What are your favorite dinner experiences?

Paul and Tinay instantly thought of Antonio’s and Sagana and said these are “dependable” establishments. When they miss Tokyo, they always go to Kazunori. 

Antonio’s is set in a colonial-era mansion looking over verdant greenery. It was included in The World’s 50 Best Discovery. Brasserie Sagana serves authentic French cuisine in a sleek and modern setting. Kazunori is the place to be for high quality sushi, Omakase, and special bentos. 

Karylle and Yael’s current favorite place for their romantic dinners is Burnt Bean in BGC. The establishment is all about wood-fire or smoked food.

The celebrity couple said they always feel great after eating there. “We rave about several dishes there. We enjoy [their] meal. The drinks are too good and the vibe is perfect.”

Lucille and CJ said their date nights are usually with their kids and their dog. However, when the two of them eat out alone, they go to speakeasy bars and restaurants that have tasting menus. “Our favorite is Chef Chele Gonzales and Bar.Flora,” Lucille answered.

Bar.Flora is the first gin and tea concept in the Philippines and serves a sumptuous fusion of menu items. Chef Chele is known for Gallery By Chele, a modern tasting menu restaurant.

Jae and Bruce had one of their best romantic dinners with Chef Chele Gonzalez’s cacao-centric tasting menu. They also go to Antonio’s for any special occasion, which Jae referred to as one of their “default”  go-to restaurants.

“Though, truth be told, a good Szechuan hotpot meal does it for us just as well as any fancy dinner,” she added.

For Betcha and Chico, they love road trips, which always lead them to Joseph’s Baguio for its diverse selection of contemporary French cuisine and swanky ambiance.

Do you have a place in mind that you want to try together?

Paul and Tinay are anticipating Los Tacos’ popup reopening. They chronicled that it is the closest taco experience to Mexico’s that they’ve had thus far. The couple is also looking forward to a reincarnation of M Dining

Betcha mentioned she and Chico are curious to try Chef Josh Boutwood‘s food due to his maverick approach to dining. They are also looking forward for what is next from Chef Bruce after Mecha Uma.

Chico and Betcha Chua Javier spend their romantic dinners once a month due to their busy schedules, but intend to make more time for each other
Chico and Betcha Chua Javier spend their romantic dinners once a month due to their busy schedules, but intend to make more time for each other/Photo from Betcha Chua Javier

Jae and Bruce said they are keen to try Asador Alfonso, a roasting house that will open soon, according to their Instagram page. “We were lucky to be invited to dine and spend the night there a few weeks ago,” Jae mentioned. “It was spectacular and we’ve made another reservation to go back.”

Lucille said she and CJ have a running list of “we should try that” places to eat. She enumerated restaurants like Cantabria by Chele Gonzales which serves Spanish cuisine; Bolero, a modern European establishment; Izakaya Geronimo, a modern Japanese restaurant; and Chef Ariel Manuel’s Sintá Restaurant, which blends European influences with Tagaytay’s signature dishes.

For Karylle and Yael, they usually go to their “tried and tested” restaurants. They realized the importance of their foodie friends’ recommendations, who they trust to pick their next stop. “Otherwise, we will end up in the same places ordering the same food,” Karylle remarked.

Banner photo from Jae De Veyra Pickrell.

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