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Friday, March 20, 2009

HOTELS & RESTAURANTS

Spain's star chefs to shine in Tokyo

The Ekki Bar & Grill on the seventh floor of the Four Seasons Hotel Tokyo at Marunouchi will host 12 stars of the modern Spanish culinary scene at "The Art of New Spanish Cuisine" fair.

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From March 27 to April 8, diners will be able to sample some of the innovative Spanish cuisine created by the 12 chefs, including seven Michelin-star chefs, among them Daniel Garcia (pictured) from Zortziko restaurant in Bilbao, Fernando Canales from Extanobe in Bilbao and Jabier Gartzia from Boroa in Amorebieta.

There will be a tapas lunchbox (¥3,800), four lunch courses (¥6,000) and eight dinner courses (¥11,000). Several tapas and special cocktails will also be available at the bar area in the evening.

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To kick off the fair, there's an exclusive Gala Dinner on March 27, from 7 p.m. (cocktail reception from 6:30).

For ¥25,000, guests can enjoy a seven-course dinner of modern Spanish dishes, accompanied by some of the country's best wines, and have the opportunity to meet the 12 chefs as they will introduce their creations throughout the evening.

There will also be a cocktail performance by "Barman of the Year" Javier de las Muelas on March 27, from 6:30 p.m., open to all restaurant guests.

The Four Seasons Hotel Tokyo at Marunouchi is adjacent to Tokyo Station and a 3-minute walk from Kyobashi Station. For more information and reservations, call Ekki Bar & Grill at (03) 5222-5810.

Eco-friendly candlelight buffet

On March 27 and 28, between 7:30 p.m. and 10:30 p.m., Le Jardin lounge of the Four Seasons Tokyo at Chinzan-so, which overlooks the splendors of Chinzan-so garden, will turn off its lights for a chocolate buffet, fine wine and live jazz music by Garrison Davis in candlelight.

The "Candlelight Evening" is part of the "Earth Hour" campaign, which is urging lights to be turned off around the world to raise awareness of carbon-dioxide emissions and environmental problems. Earth Hour was started by the World Wildlife Fund in 2007 in Sydney, Australia, and last year 30 million people in 35 countries participated. Thirty-four other Four Seasons properties worldwide are participating in the event to create a chain of candlelight evenings circumnavigating the globe.

The buffet is ¥2,300 for adults and ¥1,100 for children under 12.

The Four Seasons Hotel Tokyo at Chinzan-so is a 10-minute walk from Edogawabashi Station on the Yurakucho Subway Line. For more information and reservations, call (03) 3943-0920.

Full menu at Ben's Cafe

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Located in Takadanobaba, Tokyo, Ben's Cafe is a cozy and friendly eatery popular with Japanese and foreigners.

The New York-style cafe, offering authentic espresso-based drinks, bagels and baked goods, as well as a wide selection of imported and domestic beers and wines, also provides a venue for Tokyo artists to show their works in its gallery space and at various events such as poetry readings and live music performances.

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Among those events is "Film Chess," a monthly showing of short films brought in by amateur filmmakers.

Over drinks, the audience can watch a film with its director and then ask questions. As the audience is filled with directors, film lovers are sure to enjoy the philosophical sparring that often takes place at post-film discussions.

The next "Film Chess" is on March 25, from 8 p.m. There's a cover charge of ¥500, but admission is free for those bringing an original short film (5 to 10 min.) in DVD form.

Ben's Cafe is at 1-29-21, Takadanobaba, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo, a 5-minute walk from Takadanobaba Station. The cafe is open every day from 11:30 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. (Sun.-Thur.) or 12:30 a.m. (Fri. and Sat.). Visit www.benscafe.com or call (03) 3202-2445 for more information.



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