Travel | HOTELS & RESTAURANTS

Collaboration takes chocolate up a notch

The Belgians and the Swiss have long dominated the world of chocolate but a world-first afternoon tea collaboration running until Oct. 30 between St. Regis Osaka and American chocolatier Maribel Lieberman of Mariebelle New York fame puts that theory to the test.

A highlight of the partnership is a separate chocolate buffet dinner and talk event scheduled for Sept. 17 (¥10,000 per ticket, limited to 50 people) including an appearance by Lieberman herself.

Setting this afternoon tea menu apart from other such events is the use of chocolate in both savory and sweet items, the idea being that chocolate can partner, accent and foil various ingredients. A white chocolate caprese (Italian salad traditionally made with tomato, mozzarella and basil); beef pastrami and hazelnut cream sandwiches; foie gras opera cake; and potato and white chocolate mousse with caviar are just some of the more unusual delicacies on offer.

More traditional fare includes passion fruit mini brownie sandwiches and chocolate and orange scones. Mariebelle’s famous ganache chocolates (four pieces for ¥2,700) incorporating new ideas for the St. Regis Hotel Osaka logo make a perfect gift or souvenir. .

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.

Hawaiian fare with an illustrative touch

Summer in Tokyo has proved to be a scorcher this year, but events such as “Lauren Roth in Luxe Dining Hapuna” (until Aug. 31) at the Shinagawa Prince Hotel are welcome distractions from the relentless heat.

The dining and buffet event evokes all things Hawaii where the American-born artist, famous for her breezy and colorful acrylics, watercolors and graphic design, is based.

Be swept away to gentler climes and partake in the special dinner plan (priced from ¥8,200 per person) where Lauren Roth has designed tableware and decorations, and three dishes inspired by the artist’s work form part of the meal.

First up is a refreshing and welcoming “e komo mai hibiscus soda mocktail,” the rosy and fruit-filled aperitif a cheery beginning to the meal. Next is the “Aloha! amuse,” a fine concoction of mango, coconut milk and salmon mousse, the dish reminiscent of the dreamy hues of Roth’s art. A rainbow pineapple parfait designed to share and bursting with fruits and sorbet follows, the hollowed out fruit a recurring motif in Roth’s work.

The Shinagawa Prince Hotel is two minutes from Shinagawa Station. For more information or reservations, visit http://www.princehotels.com/shinagawa/ or call 03-3440-1111.

Disco night painted in ‘summer blue’ hues

August nights are made for dancing. 
Kobe Meriken Park Oriental Hotel and Kobe’s Kiss FM are heralding the sizzling sounds of the season via a third incarnation of the “Ocean Discotique” event on Friday, Aug. 23 featuring tunes spun by DJ Sally, Tarzan Yamashita and special guests Winz and Bro. Korn.

Advance tickets start at ¥5,000 (one food and drink ticket included) or ¥6,000 at the door. An elevated Seat-S VIP ticket (¥15,000, 10 food and drink tickets included) is also available.

A more exclusive Seat-SS VIP offer (¥30,000) includes free-flow Champagne and hors d’oeuvres. As this SS-VIP menu is overseen by hotel head chef Norio Ueno, guests can expect lavish delicacies such as a foie gras and scallop salad with a truffle seasoning, as well as Ise ebi (Japanese spiny lobster) gratin and grilled Kobe beef with rock salt.

Cocktails such as the hotel’s original mojitos and Kobe French highballs round out the offerings. The event’s dress code is “summer blue,” perfect for enjoying music and drinks on the event terrace against a backdrop of harbor and mountain views.

The Kobe Meriken Park Oriental Hotel is located about 5 minutes by car from JR Kobe Station. For more information or event reservations, access https://www.kobe-orientalhotel.co.jp/english/ or call 078-325-8119.