A shared love of noodles, fresh and seasonal produce that speaks of the local terroir and a remit to enjoy slow food — it’s quite possible that Italian is more woven into Tokyo’s food fabric than any other international cuisine.

From March 11 to 13, the Shinagawa Prince Hotel presents a special dinner at Dining & Bar Table 9 Tokyo with Alberto Faccani, the acclaimed chef from two-starred Michelin restaurant, Magnolia Ristorante.

Fusions of deep Italian flavors permeate the menu, showcasing both the excellence of the produce and Faccani’s pedigree. The menu includes dishes such as squid ravioli, which sees silky pillows of pasta wrapped around the cephalopod mollusk and burrata cheese, as well as a main of ris de veau (veal sweetbreads) with spinach and rhubarb, punctuated by a marsala sauce. No Italian meal is complete without dessert, and here, one can expect an innovative take on gelato.

Priced at ¥25,000 per person (surcharge extra) dinner runs from 5:30 to 10 p.m., with last orders taken at 8:30 p.m.

Shinagawa Prince Hotel is two minutes from Shinagawa Station. For more information on this event, visit www.princehotels.co.jp/shinagawa/event/contents/alberto_special2020/ or call 03-3440-1111. Alternatively, visit www.princehotels.co.jp/tokyocityarea/italian_fair/2020/ for general information about Buono! Buono! Italia Fair 2020, a campaign run by the Prince Hotel chain in collaboration with the Italian embassy.

Dive into the history of Japan’s classical hotels

The fusion of Japanese and Western design in some of Japan’s older hotels boasts a pleasing aesthetic charm. These hotels, many of which were built before the end of World War II, are known for their classical European architecture or incorporating Japanese aesthetics into Western-style buildings.

Such charms and histories of the hotels are on display at “The Classic Hotels: Evolving Tradition and Beyond“ at the Archi-Depot Museum in Tokyo until May 31. Photos, old furniture and blueprints of 12 hotels, including Nara Hotel, Mampei Hotel and The Tokyo Station Hotel are featured.

Visitors can also watch interviews of individuals associated with the hotels. Masaki Hirano, president of Nikko Kanaya Hotel, mentions in a video the hotel’s incorporation of Japanese design and aspects of Nikko Toshogu shrine for the hotel’s interior.

PR Manager of The Tokyo Station Hotel Junko Hama, who attended the exhibition’s press preview, said it is the only hotel in Japan that exists inside an important cultural property — the Tokyo Station building.

This exhibition is at the Archi-Depot Museum, five minutes from Tennozu Isle Station. The museum is closed Mondays. Open on Monday national holidays, closed the following Tuesday. Visitors are requested to buy a ticket (¥3,100 for adults) in advance from the museum’s website. For more information, visit https://archi-depot.com/ or email info@archi-depot.com.

Sweets buffet dresses in red, white for spring

It’s hard not to notice that strawberries are seemingly everywhere. The luscious orbs, typically deep in color and big on flavor, signal the dawn of spring. Hyatt Regency Osaka pays tribute to the berry with a red and white-themed Strawberry Sweets Buffet promotion — its subtheme, Globe of Berries (popular sweets from around the world) — that runs weekends and public holidays until May 10 (¥4,900 per person or ¥4,500 for those wearing strawberry patterned or red attire, tax and service charges extra).

About 20 sweet and 10 savory items are on offer. Chefs Koji Ohuchi and Yuji Nagata present a buffet menu where a creamed cauliflower soup with a hint of strawberry and ruby chocolate may be followed by an Australian lamington cake or an East German Dresdner eierschecke cheesecake.

All-you-can-eat strawberries are also served, as are luminous white strawberries such as the Pearl White and Snow Rabbit varietals.

Unlimited coffee and black tea form part of the deal, but fork out an extra ¥800 per glass for strawberry cocktails and strawberry highballs to really celebrate in style.

Hyatt Regency Osaka is 25 minutes via free shuttle bus from Osaka Station. For event times and more information, visit http://www.hyattregencyosaka.com/restaurant/ll/strawberry.html or call 06-6612-1234.

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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