The Imperial Hotel marks its 130th anniversary in November and is organizing a series of events and products celebrating the milestone. In commemoration, the hotel has overseen publication of a book featuring the hotel’s 50-year-old Old Imperial Bar.

“Imperial Hotel Old Imperial Bar Book,” published by President Inc., centers on the bar that opened in 1970.

Famous for its interior partly using materials from the original (and now disassembled) Imperial Hotel designed by renowned American architect Frank Lloyd Wright, the bar is located on the mezzanine of the hotel’s main building.

While the book consists of several Japanese chapters, a few have been translated into English including a conversation between architects on the hotel and bar’s history. Another chapter introduces popular drinks, as well as original cocktails Mount Fuji and The Time.

Beautiful photos reveal the bar’s interior to be like shades of aged whiskey and decorated with geometric patterns consistent with mural designs used by Wright.

“Imperial Hotel Old Imperial Bar Book” is priced at ¥1,800 (plus tax) and sold at bookstores. The Imperial Hotel Tokyo is a 3-minute walk from Hibiya and Uchisaiwaicho subway stations, or a 7-minute walk from Yurakucho station. For more information, visit www.imperialhotel.co.jp/e/tokyo/ or call 03-3504-1111.

Exquisite wines meet their superb matches

American actor Kurt Russell has taken on one of his most challenging but rewarding roles yet. As the proprietor of Gogi Wines, Russell is releasing stellar drops from a triple-certified vineyard in California to critical acclaim, such as the Goldie chardonnay and Southpaw pinot noir. The wines are farmed organically using sustainable practices, and are served exclusively in Tokyo at 13 restaurants operating under the umbrella of the Global Dining group.

At Brasserie Tableaux the lively Goldie chardonnay is ideally paired with an appetizer such as Bourguignon of whelk and mushroom (¥950), with the wine’s minerality, creamy mouthfeel, apple-like aromatics and lingering finish a superb match for this most Gallic of dishes.

L’ignis, a restaurant specializing in wood-fired cuisine with a focus on aged meat, sees the harmoniously crafted and jammy Southpaw pinot noir as the perfect foil to its in-house dry-aged beef steak (sirloin, ¥5,000 for 150 grams; rib eye, ¥6,250 for 250 grams).

Dry-aged beef is also a key ingredient in the tagliatelle Bolognese (¥1,480) at eatery LB8 with the powerfully purple, fruit laden and tannin-rich Southpaw also pairing wonderfully with this umami-filled dish.

Gogi wines are served at Brasserie Tableaux (Daikanyama), L’ignis (Ebisu) and LB8 (Daikanyama), among other restaurants of the Global Dining family. Visit https://www.global-dining.com/ for more information.

Dine on various Chinese fare, winter catches

Until Feb. 29, Kobe Meriken Park Oriental Hotel is offering an order-style buffet with not only choice Chinese cuisine, but also dishes using seasonal ingredients such as crab and puffer fish. The Winter Foods Fair event at the 14th floor Toukashun Chinese restaurant features 60 different dishes during lunch and weekday dinners, and 80 items for weekend and holiday dinners.

In addition to favorites such as soup dumplings and Peking duck, guests can enjoy snow crab and tofu stew, lightly salted to accentuate the flavors of the ingredients; deep-fried puffer fish; and an aromatic, crispy kelp made using Chinese rice wine.

Buffet diners can enjoy a 90-minute lunch between 11:30 a.m. and 3 p.m., with last orders at 2:30 p.m., and a 1:30 p.m. entrance cut-off. Dinner, which can be enjoyed for 120 minutes, runs from 5:30 p.m. on weekdays and 5 p.m. on weekends and holidays until 10 p.m., with last orders at 9 p.m. Final buffet guests should arrive by 8 p.m.

Lunch costs ¥3,700 on weekdays and ¥4,300 on weekends and holidays. Dinner costs ¥6,500 on weekdays and ¥8,600 on weekends and holidays. Prices include taxes and lower rates are available for seniors, children and infants.

Kobe Meriken Park Oriental Hotel is an eight minute walk from Minato Motomachi Station. For details and reservations, visit https://www.kobe-orientalhotel.co.jp/english/restaurant/toukashun.php or call 078-325-8110.

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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