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Friday, June 5, 2009

HOTELS & RESTAURANTS

Early summer flavors, aromas

The Hyatt Regency Tokyo in Shinjuku is offering special "Kunpu Kensai" early summer courses at its Jade Garden Chinese restaurant through June 30.

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Kunpu is a Japanese term for an early summer wind that carries the scent of fresh greenery, so the special courses highlight dishes with refreshing aromas and flavors.

Executive chef Katsuyuki Naganuma, working with the refreshing aromas of Chinese teas, has created dishes such as deep-fried squid with tea salt, jasmine tea-flavored rice (lunch), sauteed chicken and pine nuts with jasmine tea bread, salt crust-steamed pork loin with fried oolong tea leaves (dinner). Other dishes include spicy sauteed prawn with lemon sauce (lunch), deep-fried crab meat with spicy black vinegar sauce and spicy coconut-flavored deep-fried lobster (dinner).

There's a seven-dish lunch course (¥5,800) and two eight-dish dinner courses with specially selected Chinese tea (¥10,500 and ¥13,700).

The Hyatt Regency Tokyo is adjacent to Tochomae Station; a four-minute walk from Nishi Shinjuku Station; or a nine-minute walk from Shinjuku Station. There is a shuttle bus service from the West Exit of Shinjuku Station. For more information, call (03) 3348-1234.

Yokohama Port Gourmet Buffet

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The InterContinental Yokohama Grand is celebrating the 150th anniversary of the opening of Yokohama Port with a special buffet at the Ocean Terrace through Sept. 30.

The opening of Yokohama and other ports in the country 150 years ago introduced Western food culture to Japan. The Yokohama Port Gourmet Buffet attempts to re-create the "new" dishes of that time, including classic yoshoku (Western food with a Japanese touch) such as omu rice (rice omelet), naporitan (tomato ketchup pasta), korokke (originally a French croquette) and gratin, and gyu-nabe (beef pot), which originated in Yokohama and marks the beginning of the practice of meat eating in Japan.

There are also dishes based on the food exchanged between the Japanese administration and Commodore Matthew Perry of the U.S. during his visits to the port in the 1850s.

The lunch buffet (11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m.) is ¥2,940 on weekdays, and ¥3,360 on Saturdays, Sundays and national holidays; dinner (5:30 p.m.-10 p.m.) is ¥4,620, except Aug. 1 (fireworks festival day).

The InterContinental Yokohama Grand is a two-minute walk from Minatomirai Station or a 10-minute walk from Sakuragicho Station. For more information, call (045) 223-2222.

Italian winemakers' dinner

Villa Antinori, a blue-ribbon, 600-year-old Italian winery, is the focus of a June 17 winemakers' dinner at the Ritz Carlton Tokyo's French restaurant Forty Five.

Guests can enjoy five kinds of wine, including vintage Tignanello and Solaia, collectively called "Super Toscana," paired with a specially prepared modern French course dinner, while enjoying night views of Tokyo Tower from the 45th floor. A Villa Antinori representative, fluent in Japanese, will be on hand to explain the wines and answer questions.

The five-course dinner is ¥15,000, including wine, and starts from 7 p.m. (reception from 6:30 p.m.)

The Ritz Carlton Tokyo is located in Tokyo Midtown, adjacent to Exit 8 of Roppongi Station. For reservations, call (0120) 798-688 between 10 a.m. and 9 p.m. on weekdays, or between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. on Saturdays, Sundays and national holidays.

Affordable luxury

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The Hilton Osaka's Japanese restaurant Genji has introduced new lunch and dinner courses featuring expensive Japanese cuisine at affordable prices while maintaining its luxurious image.

The ¥3,800 lunch course consists of an unlimited choice of 12 kinds of appetizer and five kinds of dessert, and a choice of main dish from a kaiseki selection (raw, boiled or grilled fish with rice and soup), tempura courses (assorted tempura or tempura rice bowl) and teppanyaki (Australian beef filet, Kobe beef hamburger or assorted seafood).

At dinner time, the six-dish "Nagomi" kaiseki course is ¥5,000 for early diners (ordering before 6 p.m. and leaving by 7 p.m.) while the usual kaiseki dinner starts from ¥8,000.

The Hilton Osaka is a two-minute walk from JR Osaka Station. For more information or reservations, call (06) 6347-0310.



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