Using a chocolate with more than 70 percent cacao offers the perfect blend of bitter and sour with woody and spicy hints for premium Christmas cakes.

Enter Grande H, an original chocolate handpicked in France by Grand Hyatt Tokyo pastry chef Hiroshi Kaneko, that is infused in several of the 10 Christmas cakes and breads available at the hotel’s Fiorentina Pastry Boutique this holiday season.

Featuring Grande H is the debut pyramid-shaped Louvre (¥23,000 plus tax), with several layers of chocolate sponge, almond, ganache and crispy meringue all coated in chocolate.

The new Morocco Lantern (¥28,000 plus tax) is a virtual puzzle, composed of seven different flavors of mousse, including pistachio, rose framboise and chocolate.

Other selections include Grand Premium Chocolate Stollen (¥4,000 plus tax) packed with rum-soaked dried fruits, and Champ de Fleurs Tart (¥6,900 plus tax), covered with fresh fruit and topped with a glittering candy dome. An assortment of three cakes (¥4,500 plus tax) is also available.

Reservations are available until Dec. 19, with pickups possible between Dec. 21 and 25.

The Grand Hyatt Tokyo is three minutes from Roppongi Station. For reservations and further information, visit www.tokyo.grand.hyatt.co.jp/en/restaurants/fiorentina-pastry-tokyo/ or call 03-4333-8713 (Florentina Pastry Boutique).

Celebrate New Year’s with elegant revelry

People are invited to bid 2019 farewell in style and enjoy free-flowing Champagne at the Black and Gold Countdown Party event on the 28th floor Lobby Lounge at the Shangri-La Hotel, Tokyo, on Dec. 31.

Awarded as one of the “Top 10 Hotels in Japan: Readers’ Choice Awards 2019” by U.S. luxury and lifestyle travel magazine Conde Nast Traveler, Shangri-La knows that celebrations are not complete without a glass of bubbly at hand. To that end, from 10:00 p.m. the hotel is offering a 150-minute free-flowing drink plan of Dom Perignon (¥60,000 per person), inclusive of tax and service charges with last orders at 12:30 a.m.

Hotel chefs will offer a light buffet and traditional New Year’s Eve soba to provide sustenance, while attendees can groove to the smooth tunes provided by the event DJ.

Guests are invited to indulge in the event’s theme. Black and gold attire is a must, with glittering night views of Tokyo providing the perfect backdrop to a night punctuated by sophisticated festivities, accessible luxury and finery.

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.

Buffet blessed with strawberry splendor

Can the sweet simplicity of a fresh strawberry ever be matched? Find out at the InterContinental Osaka’s NOKA Roast & Grill restaurant at its annual strawberry sweets buffet that is running on Fridays, weekends and public holidays through May 31, 2020 (Adults ¥4,900 per 90-minute sitting, tax included but service charges extra).

Approximately 35 strawberry-themed dishes such as strawberry tarts and a strawberry mascarpone mousse cake, among others, are available, each dish featuring different varietals of the blushing red fruit.

From Jan. 3 the event takes on a whimsical air with an added picnic theme, where scones with jam and cream, plump strawberries dipped in premium Valrhona chocolate and a strawberry and wild arugula salad with balsamic dressing speak of dining outdoors.

Other hotel venues are set to join in on the strawberry fair, with the Adee bar offering strawberry cocktails through March 31, 2020 (¥3,200 including taxes). Meanwhile, patisserie Stressed offers delectable desserts to take home, including sweets featuring famed strawberries from Saga, Fukuoka and Tokushima prefectures.

The InterContinental Osaka is located in Grand Front Osaka, directly connected to Osaka Station. For more information or reservations, visit www.icosaka.com or call 06-6374-5700.

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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