Many a Tokyo resident has dined at least once at the Cafe La Boheme chain of restaurants that date back several decades. While the hours of the iconic restaurants have changed during the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s still possible for diners to get their fix — raw fish dishes such as carpaccio excluded for takeout or delivery — of affordable, light Italian fare with some dishes served with a Japanese twist.

A popular wafu or Japanese-style offering is mentaiko (spicy cod roe) topped pasta. Briny and with bite, the dish sees perfectly cooked pasta tossed with roe and butter before it is kissed with green onion and shreds of nori.

Also showcasing local flair is a shirasu (baby whitebait) pizza in which a creamy seaweed paste meets an exquisite white sauce base in lieu of pesto. The result is a pizza that speaks of the sea but doesn’t overwhelm.

More traditional offerings include pastas with carbonara, bolognese and arrabbiata sauces, as well as margherita and La Boheme mixed pizzas, salads, steaks and inspired desserts. Select dishes are available as part of a home party set.

Cafe La Boheme restaurants are located in Tokyo. Visit https://boheme.jp/ (Japanese only) and go to the take-out page for participating branches, complete menus, pricing, ordering, delivery options and further information.

Add diner-style dishes to the stay-at-home menu

Will Japan’s soft COVID-19 lockdown translate to a boom in online supermarket shopping and people ordering more takeout than a gamer with a Domino’s and soda addiction?

Only time can tell, but for those hankering for casual American and diner-style options, consider takeout from the TGI Fridays chain.

On current menus is a discounted “Fridays Cheeseburger” accompanied by fries and priced at ¥926 (tax not included). These juicy burgers feature charbroiled pure ground beef, cheddar cheese and regular trimmings — lettuce, tomato, pickle and onion — all served on a toasted bun.

Other burgers are also available as takeout options, as well as hearty buffalo wings served with celery sticks and a piquant blue cheese dressing; deep-fried onion rings; loaded potato skins, the moreish morsels topped with cheese, bacon, sour cream and green onions; Caesar salads and succulent baby back ribs marinated in a signature smoky-sweet and tangy barbecue sauce.

TGI Fridays restaurants are located in Tokyo, Yokohama, Chiba Prefecture and the Kansai area. At the time of publication, branches open and with takeout services available until 8.p.m. are located in Gotanda, Ikebukuro and Yokohama. Visit https://www.tgifridays.co.jp/ (primarily Japanese) and check each participating restaurant for contact details, menus, pricing, ordering and delivery options.

Daily telework plan with peaceful seaside views

It’s a no-brainer that pleasant surroundings lend a positive touch to one’s workday. “A room with a view” takes on new meaning at the Kobe Meriken Park Oriental Hotel, where guests are invited to telework in luxurious comfort and bask in panoramic views of Kobe Harbor until May 31.

On offer is an up-to-nine-hour daily telework plan, limited to five rooms per day and available between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. Users can reserve a premier ocean twin room or corner suite. Usage plans are priced from ¥4,000, with taxes and charges included.

The hotel’s spacious and luxuriously appointed rooms are contemporary in style and feature modern furnishings. Seamless Wi-Fi connections are standard but LAN connections are also possible upon request. As rooms overlook the ocean, guests will be able to relax on their private balcony or take in the salty sea air while they work.

Free parking also forms part of the deal. Working from home has never been this good.

Kobe Meriken Park Oriental Hotel is eight minutes from Minato Motomachi Station. For offer details and reservations visit https://asp.hotel-story.ne.jp/ver3d/ASPP0200.asp?hidSELECTPLAN=A59SE&hidSELECTCOD1=64210&hidSELECTCOD2=001 (Japanese only) 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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