Travel | HOTELS & RESTAURANTS

Fall-flavored delights to look forward to

Taste the blessings of autumn at the Tokyo Station Hotel from Aug. 23 through November, when a robust range of fall produce stars at the hotel’s bars and restaurants.

From menus showcasing locally grown matsutake pine mushrooms to prime Sendai beef to gibier game meats and crab from Iwate Prefecture — the provenance of ingredients, the balance of flavors, and pursuit of culinary perfection set the hotel’s celebration of all things autumnal apart.

Of special note is Tokyo Station Hotel’s 104th Special Anniversary Dinner available from Nov. 2 to 4 and served from 5:30 to 9 p.m., where guests can feast on steamed and sauteed abalone with truffles (¥20,000, or ¥22,000 with a glass of Dom Perignon, plus charges) among other gastronomic delights at French restaurant Blanc Rouge.

Bar and Cafe Camellia has devised three seasonal dishes graced by fall herbs and spices to be served from Sept. 1, while a “Thirsty Thursday” free-flow drink plan and full-course wagyu dinner (¥11,000 plus charges) is served on selected Thursdays at The Atrium guest lounge, with an optional hotel tour.

From Oct. 1 all prices will rise to accommodate consumption tax changes.

The Tokyo Station Hotel is adjacent to Tokyo Station. For more information and reservations, visit www.thetokyostationhotel.jp or call 03-5220-1111.

Indulge in a grand feast featuring lobster

Head to the Conrad Osaka’s 40th floor Atmos Dining restaurant where indulgence is on Friday night menus through Oct. 25 with a fun “Addicted to Lobster!” buffet event.

This gala of all things lobster is a feast for the eyes as well as taste buds, where mighty 100-lobster-high towers of the crimson crustacean compete with sparkling panoramic views of Osaka at night.

Take a culinary tour of the world and be tempted by the 60-odd menu items on offer. Classics include steamed lobster tails and a lobster Caesar salad. Half lobster served with a garlic butter sauce, halibut and lobster accompanied by a Hollandaise sauce, a bisque soup with saffron potatoes, and gnocchi in lobster sauce are just some of the decadent Gallic and European dishes on show.

Closer to home from Asia is a luxe lobster biryani (an Indian dish of lobster cooked with rice flavored with saffron or turmeric), or Southeast Asian-inspired chicken wings and lobster tails in a lemongrass sweet chili sauce.

Dinner sittings from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. (¥8,000 plus charges, children half price) run for 100 minutes.

The Conrad Osaka is five minutes by car from Osaka Station. For more information or reservations, visit www.conradosaka.jp or call 06-6222-0111.

Assorted cuisine for relaxed group dining

Why should weekends get all the dining glory? Running until Sept. 16, the Hotel Century Southern Tower has introduced a “Monday to Wednesday Share Plan” campaign (¥3,800 per person plus charges; 5:30 to 10:00 p.m., last order 9:00 p.m.), where groups of 3 to 8 people can feast on some of the hotel’s Southern Tower Dining restaurant’s most popular dishes.

The event is relaxed and fun, combining the ambiance of a bar with the sensibilities of a restaurant. This is casual fine dining at its best, with food designed to share.

Assorted tapas and a melange salad with a sharp wasabi dressing may start the meal, followed by sakura shrimp and Provencal vegetable focaccia accompanied by piquant dipping oil.

One can choose from a confit of southern Bluefin tuna collar punctuated with herbs and garlic, and a rotisserie beef dish reminiscent of India, the cut of roast meat bursting with aroma and flavor from Madras spices.

A glass of complimentary sparkling wine and upgrade to an assorted dessert platter all form part of the deal.

The Hotel Century Southern Tower is two minutes from Shinjuku Station South Exit. For more information, visit www.southerntower.co.jp or call 03-5354-0111.