Travel | HOTELS & RESTAURANTS

Desserts brimming with style and flavor

Valentine’s Day chocolates in Japan often translate to stunning works of art that belie the simplicity of their components. Such is the case of the creations from the Cerulean Tower Tokyu Hotel, available for reservations until Feb. 13 and pickup on the big day itself.

The Cerulean Selection 2020 is perfect for the indecisive with the eight-piece ganache and praline assortment (¥3,240) featuring pistachio, white truffle, caramel, tonka bean, passion fruit, strawberry, jasmine and matcha flavors.

The intricate and spherical A Gift from the Star — Hommage de l’etoile — concoction (¥4,860, limited to 40 sets) showcases the incredible skills of the hotel’s patissier. The six-piece Cocktail Chocolat (¥2,484) represents the best in boozy chocolate, with chefs and bartenders collaborating to deliver authentic mojito, negroni, Manhattan, French connection, tequila sunrise and pina colada flavors in a fabulously intoxicating bite.

The jeweled Tablette de Chocolat that comes in noir (dark) and blanc (white) at ¥1,728 make an ideal Valentine’s Day gift for oneself. Studded with dried fruits and nuts, these chocolate bars look as enticing as they are delicious.

Cerulean Tower Tokyu Hotel is five minutes from Shibuya Station. All prices listed include tax. For more information on this promotion at the hotel’s pastry shop, visit www.tokyuhotelsjapan.com/global/cerulean-h/event/valentine2020/58310/index.html or call 03-3476-3000.

Craft chocolate for high-class valentines

With Valentine’s Day around the corner, it’s chocolate season. Until March 14, the Shangri-La Hotel, Tokyo, invites guests to indulge in six confections made with San Francisco-born Dandelion’s bean-to-bar chocolate that uses only cacao and cane sugar.

Not only that, a favorite from last Valentine’s Day made using fruity, slightly sour and naturally pink ruby chocolate and topped with strawberries and red petals — the Sensual Ruby chocolate bar (¥1,200) — is back.

Dandelion chocolate specialties include Jungle Fever (¥1,300) — milk chocolate topped with dried banana and coconut. This treat is recommended for those who like slightly sweeter chocolate. Bitter Sin (¥1,400) is perfect for those with an atypical sweet tooth. The chocolate harnesses the flavors of tropical fruit, green banana, almond and is topped with salty peanuts and caramel.

The treats are available at The Boutique every day from 11 a.m. (10 a.m. on Saturdays and Sundays) to 8 p.m.

At The Lobby Lounge, guests can also enjoy chocolate afternoon tea featuring Dandelion chocolate (¥5,500 plus service charge and tax) from 2:30 to 5:30 p.m. on weekdays; and 1 to 3 p.m. and 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. on weekends and holidays.

Shrang-La Hotel, Tokyo, is adjacent to Tokyo Station. For more information on the confections visit https://www.shangri-la.com/jp/tokyo/shangrila/offer-detail/dining/the-boutique-by-shangri-la-sweet-dreams-artisanal-bake-factory/ or call 03-6739-7888.

Classic sweets with a sophisticated edge

The old adage “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” applies to the Valentine’s Day offerings from the Imperial Hotel Osaka this year, as the hotel delivers what could be surmised as the chocolate equivalent of classic hits until Feb. 14.

Sending hearts aflutter are sophisticated bonbon chocolates. Priced at ¥1,620 for four, the morsels include a sensual red Rouge Noir bonbon that partners raspberry and morello cherries. A heady almond-scented Cafe Praline chocolate bonbon also awaits.

Delightful, heart-shaped and fudgy brownie-esque cakes, available either individually wrapped or in boxes of five also appeal (¥270 apiece or ¥1,620 per box).

For those needing boxed chocolates for office colleagues, a 33-piece variety assortment (¥2,800) is ideal. Additionally, a curated selection of bite-sized desserts and bonbons incorporating fruits, nuts and other ingredients (priced from ¥3,400 for a box of 28 chocolates) and a marbled chocolate selection (¥2,400) are available.

But it’s a rich, creamy and velvety chocolate terrine using raw chocolate (¥3,780) that promises to steal the show, the dessert baked slowly at low temperatures to condense both flavor and aroma.

The Imperial Hotel Osaka is seven minutes from JR Sakuranomiya Station. All prices listed include tax. For more information, visit https://www.imperialhotel.co.jp/e/osaka/hotelshop/ or call 06-6881-1111.

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