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Friday, Aug. 8, 2008

HOTELS & RESTAURANTS

Bon odori and fine Aussie cuisine

Aussie eatery opens at Hotel Nikko

As part of ongoing renovations, the Hotel Nikko Tokyo on the Odaiba waterfront has just opened the Grill & Wine Taronga restaurant on the hotel's second floor.

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The restaurant serves select Australian beef and lamb, Tasmanian salmon and organic vegetables, cooked to enhance their natural flavors in Australian-style dishes.

Taronga presents new ways to enjoy grilled dishes with an extensive condiment bar where diners can choose the best match for each ingredient from more than 25 kinds of salts, oils, mustards, confitures and chutneys.

Under the concept "good wine for good food," some 20 Australian wines are preserved in special WHYNOT wine-savers, which make it possible to offer a wide selection of wines by the glass by preventing open bottles from oxidizing.

Faithful to the name Taronga — an Aboriginal word meaning "a view of beautiful water" — the restaurant has seating on an open terrace with views of Tokyo Bay. Taronga offers a barbecue on the terrace for ¥3,150 at lunch, and ¥5,250 and ¥7,350 at dinner, through Oct. 31.

A-la-carte menus start from ¥840 and main menus from ¥2,730. There is a lunch course for ¥3,150 and dinner courses from ¥7,350. Taronga is open from 10:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. on weekdays, and from 8 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. on weekends and holidays.

The Hotel Nikko Tokyo is next to Daiba Station on the Yurikamome Line or a 10-minute walk from Tokyo Teleport Station on the Rinkai Line. For more information or reservations, call (03) 5500-5643.

Bon Odori the night away

The Marunouchi Hotel in Tokyo will hold an "Obon Night Fever" event that combines dinner and Bon Odori on its eighth-floor outdoor terrace from Aug. 13 to 15.

Bon Odori, or Bon (Buddhist) dancing, is a summer tradition that is enjoyed by local communities all over Japan around Bon Festival time. People dance in concentric circles around a yagura, a raised wooden platform, holding singers and Japanese drums.

For ¥7,000 visitors can enjoy a dinner buffet and participate in a Bon Odori after receiving an instruction in different types of Bon dancing from all over Japan.

Dinner starts from 6 p.m., with Bon Odori from 6:30 p.m. through 9 p.m., including a 30-minute break to catch your breath.

The hotel is located in front of the North Exit of Tokyo Station.

For more information, contact (03) 3217-1111 or e-mail info@marunouchi-hotel.co.jp

Enjoy Bali without the flight

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With its authentic Bali atmosphere and delicious food, Ayung Teras in Shibuya has been one of the most popular Indonesian restaurants in Tokyo for 11 years.

Owner-chef Tsutomu Shibata used to live in Bali and opened his Shibuya restaurant to provide a place where people can appreciate the charm of the island.

To create the relaxing atmosphere of a Bali resort restaurant, all of the handcrafted ornaments and other interior decorations, as well as tableware, are from Indonesia.

Indonesian traditional gamelan music adds to the exotic mood.

Menus are based on staple Bali cuisine but are fine-tuned to match Japanese tastes without straying too far from the original ethnic flavors.

Among the popular items on the menu are gado gado (boiled vegetables with peanut sauce, ¥1,050), sate ayam (skewered grilled chicken, ¥900), sambal goreng udang (shrimp stewed in coconut cream, ¥1,580), nasi goreng bagus (Indonesian fried rice, ¥1,000) and pisang-goreng ice cream (banana tempura with ice cream, ¥840).

Drinks include Indonesian Bintang Beer and Bali Hai Beer, original cocktails made with local spirits, tropical fruit juice, Bali coffee and more.

There are two dinner courses at ¥3,300 and ¥3,900, with an optional unlimited drinks plan for an extra ¥2,000. There are also lunch sets from ¥950. Opening hours are 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. to 11 p.m.

The restaurant is a four-minute walk from the West Exit of Shibuya Station. For further information, call (03) 5458-9099 or visit www.ayungteras.com



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