Travel | HOTELS & RESTAURANTS

Anniversary menu serves up delectable fare

There’s no occasion like the present at Namiki667, the signature restaurant of Hyatt Centric Ginza Tokyo, where festivities to commemorate the hotel’s second anniversary are in full swing from Jan. 22 to Feb. 29.

Chef Toru Hirakawa is inviting diners to splurge and savor a specially curated menu of celebratory dishes (¥8,800 plus service charge and taxes, served from 6 to 10 p.m., last orders at 9 p.m.) at the top-tier restaurant, where he draws on French techniques to bring out the best of seasonal ingredients sourced from all over Japan. Strawberries and foie gras make unlikely appetizer bedfellows, while oven-roasted monkfish accompanied by Hokkaido vegetables and roasted Kanagawa pork served with a Tokyo Edo-style sweet miso are both sure to satiate the most robust of appetites. Fragrant yuzu citron makes a dessert appearance and guests are presented with their very own pair of Hyatt Centric Ginza original chopsticks as a memento of the event.

Located on fashionable Namiki-dori street and right in the heart of the cosmopolitan Ginza shopping district, the boutique-like Hyatt Centric Ginza Tokyo hotel allows guests to tap into the area’s characterful mix of old and new.

Hyatt Centric Ginza Tokyo is three minutes from Tokyo Metro Ginza Station. For more information, visit www.hyatt.com/en-US/hotel/japan/hyatt-centric-ginza-tokyo/tyoct or call 03-6837-1234 for more information.

Concierge service makes traveling easier

Having access to local insights can really pay off when traveling in an unfamiliar city. Add a language barrier to the mix and tasks such as making reservations at that “must-go” restaurant, hailing taxis and organizing sightseeing tours may end up daunting in the best of circumstances — or impossible at the worst.

To that end, Hotel Century Southern Tower in Tokyo’s Shinjuku district has introduced a specialized English-language concierge service and desk to assist hotel guests with their queries and planning needs.

The concierge operations showcase the hotel’s customer service, where attentive staffers anticipate guest needs.

Hotel Century Southern Tower has adopted a “GIFTS” concept. GIFTS, derived from gratitude, interactivity, furthering efforts, trust, safety and cleanliness, is a starting point for ideas and actions.

The desk is conveniently located next to the guest room elevators on the hotel’s 20th floor. A specialty of the service is organizing transport and making ticket arrangements. Reservations for the Airport Limousine Bus, the Odakyu Romancecar, Hakone Freepass, Enoshima-Kamakura Freepass and procuring subway tickets and passes are just some of the services on offer.

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

Delight in sweets straight from a fairy tale

Partaking in Hilton Osaka’s strawberry dessert buffet until May 17 means entering a virtual palace ballroom where 25 cute, fairy tale-inspired sweets are arranged on a table washed by gentle chandelier light. Welcome to the Strawberry Dessert Buffet — Princess Ball that also features vegan sweets along with various tea-flavored items.

A sample of offerings includes the crown-shaped Assam tea mousse and the strawberry red carpet — a pistachio and almond cake coated with strawberry chocolate and topped with strawberries.

A chai cupcake with soy milk cream; black sesame, strawberry and soy milk shake; and strawberry oatmeal crumble bar are some of the vegan items available. In addition to dessert, guests can enjoy light meals, including the hotel’s popular curry.

The dessert buffet takes place at Folk Kitchen from 3 to 4:30 p.m. on weekdays. On weekends and holidays, and particularly between Mar. 25 and April 5, there are two sittings — 2:30 to 4 p.m. and 4:30 to 6 p.m. Prices exclusive of tax and service charge are ¥3,950 for adults and ¥1,950 for children ages 4 to 11 on weekdays, and ¥4,250 and ¥2,100 on weekends and holidays.

Hilton Osaka is two minutes from Osaka Station. For more information, visit www.hiltonosaka.com/restaurants/hilton_sweets/strawberry2020 or call 06-6347-7111.