Travel | HOTELS & RESTAURANTS

Sweet and savory dishes perfect for summer dining

The Shangri-La Hotel, Tokyo is getting hungry for some summer fun; and to show it, the hotel has prepared four unique and refreshing menus at The Lobby Lounge on the 28th floor.

Popping Melon Shaved Ice will be whipped up throughout July and August for ¥3,200. This monster dessert features honeydew and cantaloupe slices, white chocolate-coated popping candy and other sweet favorites over melon-flavored shaved ice.

Also available throughout July and August is the Tropical Hawaiian Afternoon Tea. Served at ¥4,800 a person, this tea set comes complete with a variety of sweet and savory selections such as passion fruit mousse and classic Hawaiian salmon poke.

Japan’s summer soul food sōmen noodles are making an appearance from June 1 to Aug. 31 with the My Asian Somen menu priced at ¥1,800. The noodles come with lemongrass chicken salad, cilantro, Thai fish sauce and other optional toppings for guests to craft their own novel sōmen dish.

Last are three tapioca cocktails available now until July 31. Priced at ¥2,200 each, the cocktails feature summertime refreshers such as mint cucumber, milk tea and lassi spiced yogurt — perfect for chilling out during the warm evenings.

The Shangri-La Hotel, Tokyo is two minutes from Tokyo Station, Nihonbashi Exit. For more information and reservations, visit www.shangri-la.com/jp/tokyo/shangrila/ or call 03-6739-7888.

Beer garden offers craft brews, international fare

There’s nothing quite like a nice cold beer after redecorating. ANA Crowne Plaza Hotel Osaka is happily hosting its Nakanoshima Urban Resort Beer Garden 2019, and for the first time in 21 years, the hotel has given the venue a fresh makeover.

Scheduled to run through Sept. 19, the newly remodeled Beer Garden can be found on the hotel’s fifth floor with romantic terrace seats facing the Dojima River. Tickets are priced at ¥6,000 per person with reduced prices (or free entry) for children of elementary school age or younger.

Guests will be treated to all they can eat and free-flowing drinks — alcoholic or otherwise — in two-hour time slots between 6 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. (from 5:30 p.m. on weekends and holidays).

In addition to the ever-popular tornado beer dispenser, this year’s Beer Garden offers a tasting flight from the up-and-coming Tokyo Sumidagawa Brewing company and a multinational selection of dishes prepared in real time by the hotel’s talented chefs. And to really get the resort vibes flowing, the venue also features live musical performances Monday through Thursday, offering guests a chance to experience a true urban getaway.

The ANA Crowne Plaza Osaka is five minutes from Kitashinchi Station. For more information and reservations, visit www.anacrowneplaza-osaka.jp or call 06-6347-1112.

Elegant French course tailored to vegetarians

For vegetarians and vegans in Japan, finding suitable dining choices among Japanese cuisine, which is often based in a soup stock prepared with dried bonito flakes, can be a daunting endeavor. But herbivores are in luck, as The St. Regis Osaka is serving an elegant vegan course through the end of June.

Continuing the hotel’s tradition of serving halal, gluten-free and other dining choices to accommodate guests of varied culinary backgrounds, the course marks the first foray by one of the hotel’s restaurants to serve a full vegan menu.

Available at the elegant and spacious restaurant Rue d’Or from 5:30 to 10 p.m. (last order at 9:30 p.m.), the vegan course (¥8,000 per person) consists of an array of beautiful and delectable dishes, including seasonal vegetable beignets; white asparagus blancmange; a colorful combination of tomato and kelp consomme; broccoli stalk kadaif noodles; and strawberry declination.

The course is the work of chef Kazushi Komaji, whose dishes are renowned for striking an exquisite balance of Japanese and seasonal ingredients and for making diners feel as though they’ve been transported to the heart of France.

The St. Regis Osaka is directly connected to Honmachi Station. For more information or reservations, access www.stregisosaka.co.jp or call 06-6258-3333.

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