Since we skipped our annual anniversary trip this year, I figured it would be nice if I were to prepare a romantic dinner/buka puasa for the both of us. I’ve always been a giver, I like spoiling the person I am in love with, so I was really excited to make this happen.
Well, to be honest, I’ve thought about the romantic dinner since maybe a month before our anniversary, but only started doing my research the day before. LOL I like to procrastinate, as long as I already have a concept and “know” what to do. That’s just how I roll since dulu lagi 🤷🏻♀️.
The morning before the dinner, I went on Pinterest to get table setting inspirations. I already knew what my main course would be, but still had to figure out my appetiser and dessert. We usually just drink plain water unless we’re feeling fancy, so that’s sorted. I did my research for a couple of hours, and then headed out to get the necessities.
One thing that didn’t go according to my plan was, everything was sponsored by Em. I wanted to use my own money to make the night more special, to spoil him, but he insisted on paying since “I’m already doing everything else.” Geez, what a party pooper!
I mean, thank you, babe, hihi.
The Table Setting
The idea I had in mind was red roses and candles – the epitome of a romantic dinner. Naturally, I wanted to line our dining table with a black table cloth as it would contradict the roses and candles hence making them pop even more, but I couldn’t find any; so I settled with the second best colour, navy blue, which coincidentally is one of our favourite colours ☺️.
Or should I say centrepieces? Hehe. I saw submerged flowers on Pinterest for the first time, fell in love with it, and wanted to do exactly that. I read it was inspired by Beauty and the Beast. Personally, I don’t get it because I think theirs float inside a vase, but lol okay to each his own.
I’m sure there are many ways to submerge flowers, but here was how I did mine.
Things You’ll Need:
A transparent vase – I used my glass pasta jar lol;
Distilled water – so there wouldn’t be any air bubbles, unless you’re cool with it;
Pebbles/beads to hide the fishing sinker;
Floral tape to secure the fishing line;
Tea candle (optional).
I didn’t know the fishing line needed to be secured, thought I could just tie them up to the stem. I ended up using the only tape I could find in our study room then – a double-sided tape. It was not cute.
1. Cut your flower stem to 3/4 the height of your vase. I like to cut mine under running tap water so the freshly cut stem can soak up as many water, as soon as possible.
2. Insert the fishing line into the fishing sinker hook. Just eyeball the length, not too long.
3. Wrap the fishing line at the end of your flower stem, tie, and secure with floral tape.
4. Fill your vase with distilled water up to 1 inch below the rim.
5. Place the pebbles/beads at the bottom of the vase.
6. Carefully insert your flower into the vase, making sure it’s below the water level.
7. Optional: Place a tea candle on top of your flower.
8. Admire your craft.
9. Take photos. Lots of photos.
My initial plan was to place a bunch of tea candles randomly at the centre of the table, but then I saw these candle holders and I couldn’t help myself. I ended up buying two designs – lotus and, I don’t know what the other one is supposed to be but they’re both really cute. I placed the holders parallel to my vase.
Rose Petals and Transparent Beads
I scattered them around the candle holders and glass jars to break the rigidity, and to make the whole setting appears to be more romantic.
This is probably the most overlooked, but the most important detail of the table setting. The reflection from the candle light, glass jars, and candle holders boosts up the whole setting, turning it to be more elegant and breathtaking.
Plates, Glasses, and Cutleries
I used our regular, everyday plates – stacking up two different sizes to make it seems more fine dining-ish. No idea why I did it, but it looked cute 😉. I used wine glasses for our plain water. I like wine glasses cause they look fancy, lol. The cutleries were new, we have never owned a steak knife so I had to get a couple.
I looked for real napkins in red but I couldn’t find any. I guess this is what happens when you do everything at the last minute, hihi. So I settled with red paper napkins. Folding them into a heart shape was super easy, it took me probably less than 30 seconds to do both. Here’s how you can do it.
I bought all of these supplies, including the wooden serving boards you will see later on this post at Daiso, by the way. Sigh, I love Daiso. Everything is so cheap and of good quality! Lol.
The Three-Course Meal
Spot our cheesy phone covers, teeheehee!
(You can see a clearer picture of the covers on my Instagram)
Tomato Bruschetta with Garlic and Basil
The reason why I decided on this appetiser was because we both love Bruschetta. Plus it was really easy to make. It would have been tastier if I had added shredded parmesan on top, but cheese in South Korea is bloody expensive. A small block of Parmesan, I don’t remember how many grams, was around ₩15,000 – ₩16,000 if I’m not mistaken. I wanted the night to be fancy but nuh uh uh girlfriend, I ain’t spending that much money on cheese topping☝🏻.
Lamb Steak with Baked Sweet Potatoes and Balsamic Parmesan Roasted Asparagus & Tomatoes
First and foremost, I’m not sure if I can refer to them as steak since I had to work with whatever halal cut I managed to get. They were so thin all I had to do was pan-sear the lamb to cook it through. I can’t really eat lamb because I’ll end up with a headache, but Em loves them so this was for him. I can still eat them, as long as I pace myself.
The roasted asparagus and tomatoes were okay, they were there for nutritions so, lol.. I topped them with grated parmesan cheese. That, I have, and they’re cheap so it’s cool lol.
The sweet potatoes however, they were out of this world! I am an ubi girl, so this was for me. I love all kinds of ubi so of course I was really digging this. Em doesn’t like potatoes, he only had half of his two potatoes, smh. But then I had more for myself so it was all good 😆.
Eggless Chocolate Cake with Strawberry Compote, Chocolate Frosting, Fresh Strawberries, and Red Roses
Believe it or not, I made a chocolate cake out of tofu! Gurl trust me, I am just as surprised as you are! Em has been hinting me to make this chocolate lava cake that’s been circulating the Korean Facebook scene. They look so good, I cerita ni pun I terliuq bila teringat balik!
But unfortunately, Korea’s having a bird flu epidemic (again) and the buying and selling of poultry and eggs are strictly forbidden. Sounds so serious because they really are 😟. Anyway.. I did not stock up on eggs beforehand, so I had to be creative, hence, this eggless cake – which turned out really, really good, by the way. I’m not kidding, I really was surprised!
The chocolate frosting was really easy to make, just the usual basic ingredients. Only I added cocoa powder as to turn the buttercream chocolatey.
As for the compote, strawberry season has ended but since I still had some leftovers, I figured it was the best time to use them up. I only made a small batch so I sliced up the extras and used them as toppings. I also included red roses because they’re one of my favourite flowers and they’re so beautiful and romantic!
If the cake looks familiar to you, it’s because I tried to recreate Marina’s creation. But of course, mine looks nothing like hers, lol. Seriously, does she conduct baking/decorating class? Her work is amazing!
Post dinner, we danced the night away to Ruth Sahanaya’s Kaulah Segalanya on repeat. It was the perfect ending to our night. Em did his usual silly dance moves, this guy was born with two left legs I’m sure.. (Kidding!).
I’m really glad we had the intimate dinner at home. I was a bit worried that this year’s anniversary might be a bit lame since we’re just staying at home for the first time. Who knows, without new cities to discover together, we might get bored of each other! But clearly that’s not that case, thank God lol.
To many more years to come, InsyaAllah ❤️☺️.