The Hotel East 21 Tokyo is serving a New Year’s Ise-ebi (Japanese spiny lobster) lunch course at its Chinese restaurant Toen through Jan. 31.

The Ise-ebi lobster is seen as a lucky charm for bravery and longevity, and it has traditionally been used as a decoration for Japanese New Year’s celebrations.

The special lunch course features a Japanese spiny lobster stew with seasonal vegetables along with five other dishes, including a salad of soft, sweet ama-ebi shrimp; garlic-steamed fleshy prawns; and a soba stew with Shiba shrimp. To enjoy such a celebratory lunch at a Chinese restaurant after having one’s fill of Japanese osechi (traditional New Year’s foods) is another sort of pleasure for the New Year in Japan.

The dishes at Toen are cooked by chef Toshikatsu Nakagawa, who joined a Chinese cooking competition in Peking as the only Japanese among 100 Chinese and won third prize.

The lunch course is available from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and costs ¥2,625 per person.

The Hotel East 21 Tokyo is a 7-minute walk from Toyocho Station on the Tokyo Metro Tozai Line. For more information or reservations, call Toen at (03) 5683-5716.

Try drinks made with apples

Since it is the best season for apples, why not try tasting Calvados, the French brandy distilled from apple cider?

Through Feb. 28, the Hotel Century Southern Tower is offering special drinks featuring apples during bar time at its 20th-floor lounge and bar South Court.

Among many Calvadoses from Normandy, France, the bar recommends Boulard Grand Solage, which is made from the best apples exclusively from the Pays d’Auge, the renowned apple orchard area. Using 120 kinds of apples and maturing the liquor in oak barrels for three to five years, Boulard Grand Solage promises an impressive experience with its sophisticated flavor and aftertaste.

For nondrinkers, South Court offers two kinds of nonalcoholic apple cocktails: Black Adam, made with hot coffee and fresh cream mixed with pureed apples; and Eden Flower, made with cold tea and pieces of apple juice ice.

A glass of Calvados Boulard Grand Solage costs ¥1,200 and the nonalcoholic cocktails are each ¥950. Bar time is from5:30 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. (until 9 p.m. on Jan. 7).

The Hotel Century Southern Tower is a 1-minute walk from Shinjuku Station on the Toei Oedo Line and a 2-minute walk from the Southern Terrace Exit of JR Shinjuku Station. For further information,call (03) 5354-2177.

Special dinner plan in Yokohama

Through Jan. 31, the Pan Pacific Yokohama Bay Hotel Tokyu is offering a special plan of a memorable dinner course with a choice of drinks at its Cafe Tosca.

Known for its popular buffet, this winter the cafe is serving a limited-time-only dinner course for one party per day for guests celebrating a special event. The restaurant’s open space has two-story windows that offer beautiful views of the illuminated Ferris wheel Cosmo Clock 21, one of Yokohama’s landmarks.

Combinations of the genre-straddling dinner menu are arranged by the chef using seasonal ingredients from selected regions while meeting the guests’ tastes as much as possible. A special message plate will accompany the dessert on request. Three kinds of drink choices are provided: a wine course (sparkling, white and red), a casual course (beer and cocktails) and a nonalcoholic course.

The special plan is available from 5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. and costs ¥13,636 per person.

During the same period, a Champagne Louis Roederer fair is also being held at the cafe.

The Pan Pacific Yokohama Bay Hotel Tokyu is a 1-minute walk from Minatomirai Station on the Minatomirai Line or a 10-minute walk from Sakuragicho Station. For more information or reservations, call Cafe Tosca at (045) 682-2218.

In line with COVID-19 guidelines, the government is strongly requesting that residents and visitors exercise caution if they choose to visit bars, restaurants, music venues and other public spaces.


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