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Eat your heart out for your Valentine

Food is sensual and what better time to enjoy the sensuality of eating than on Valentine's Day when you and your lover partake together of champagne, oysters, chocolates and other foods to fuel desire?

Shanghai hotels offer Valentine's repasts galore - plus spa treatments and the pleasures of overnight stays.

The Portman Ritz-Carlton's two award-winning restaurants, Paladio and Tables, have prepared a selection of romantic treats for lovers.

Chef Gianluca Serafin of Palladio Italian Restaurant presents a seven-course menu featuring lobster and sweet and sour beets roses, lemon-scented risotto, fish carpaccio. chocolate-raspberry mousse and sweet vanilla heart cake. Dinner is 988 yuan (US$150) or 1,588 yuan per person, including wine.

For a more casual romantic evening, chef Dibyendu Roy and his team decorate Tables in a romantic ambiance and prepare a buffet treat. It is priced at 378 yuan per person, including a glass of wine. A 15-percent service charge will be added.

The landmark 610-room Portman Ritz-Carlton Shanghai is located in a retail, dining and entertainment complex on Nanjing Road.

Cupid strikes the InterContinental Shanghai Expo with romantic repasts, sweet treats and what the hotel calls the "ultimate romance of Shanghai." It offers a flourish of culinary celebrations and packages from February 11 to 14. The package for 18,888 yuan per night includes one night's stay in a historic villa or presidential suite, a round-trip home or airport transport in a Mercedes Benz limousine stocked with Duval Leroy Champagne and romantic CDs, dinner for two with "Foods of Love," a five-course menu, breakfast in the villa or suite, a VIP fruit platter, chocolate gifts, keepsake monogrammed bathrobes and couple photo, flowers and personalized butler service.

All couples who book any of the packages will be entered in a lucky draw to win a QBT Diamond. The winner will be announced on the night of February 14.

At Spa InterContinental, the "Endless Love" package offers two hours for couples for 980 yuan. Kasia Wilkos, director of the spa and health club, says couples will receive a welcome glass of Duval Leroy Champagne and selection of homemade chocolate. Then there's a 30 minute rose oil and rose petal bath in a twin spa treatment room, a 60-minute aromatherapy oil massage and a 30-minute facial treatment.

Shanghai's restaurants also offer special menus at the sweet day.

At Isola Italian restaurant on the fourth floor of the International Financial Center, the Valentine's menu begins with a glass of Prosecco, followed by starters of eggplant-filled tortellini and cherry tomatoes with buffalo mozzarella mousse. The main course is fillet of Australian Angus beef.

For dessert, there's a dark chocolate and raspberry pyramid, crunchy rice and apricot, or mango and passion fruit sorbet. For the gentleman (or lady), there are cocoa "cigars" filled with chocolate mousse, raspberry sauce and caramelized pineapple. Dinner is 598 yuan per person.

"Perfect Date" at Sasha's on Dongping Road gets started with tiger prawn Caesar salad, then comes mushroom cream soup with truffles. Diners can choose a main course of beef tenderloin with buttered potatoes, greens and red wine sauce; or salmon fillets with green peas and mint risotto. Ladies receive a red rose. Dinner is priced at 350 yuan per person.


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