Until recently, Tokyoites spent much time in the city’s internationally renowned restaurants, izakaya pubs and bars. Dining out is an integral part of this city’s DNA.

But now there is a new reality, one where picking up takeout food or ordering in is a new style of “dining out.” Many establishments are adapting to the situation with creativity and innovation.

The Imperial Hotel Tokyo is no exception, with the hotel’s head chef keeping in mind home-bound customers and creating a series of sophisticated appetizers that are available until July 31 under the “Tarte Stylee” promotion.

Three savory tarts are at the centerpiece of this promotion, where prices start at ¥3,500 for two tarts including tax. Some sets offer a half-bottle of Taittinger Champagne.

The tarts and accompanying sauces are presented to be assembled at home under the guidance of videos presented by the Imperial Hotel Tokyo that are accessible via QR code. Fillings include cured ham and artichoke, plump shrimp and asparagus or foie gras and dark cherry; dining at home has never looked so divine.

The Imperial Hotel Tokyo is three minutes from Hibiya and Uchisaiwaicho subway stations. For further information and orders (advance reservation by credit card is necessary), visit the campaign website (Japanese only) at https://www.imperialhotel.co.jp/j/tokyo/hotelshop/special/tarte_stylee.html or call 03-3539-8086.

Matcha dishes aplenty at private buffet

Fans of matcha, the Japanese green tea that is famous for its mild bitterness, health benefits and distinctive aroma, are invited to attend a personalized buffet at ANA InterContinental Tokyo until Oct. 31.

Seating arrangements have been spaciously reconfigured at The Champagne Bar to provide diners with a safe and pleasant dining experience. The Matcha Private Buffet (¥4,000 per person, advance purchase online ¥3,700, tax and service charges included) is open on Fridays, weekends and public holidays. Multiple 90-minute sittings are available.

Diners will be spoiled for choice when making selections from the 24 desserts and six savory items on offer that are presented at each table. Highlights include various matcha cheesecakes and tarts that see the verdant, scented tea paired with ingredients such as raspberries, lemons, chocolate or apricot. Creamy matcha-infused soft serve ice cream forms the backbone of a build-your-own-parfait, with toppings chosen from an array of components.

Savory creations designed to tempt, meanwhile, include two matcha-infused sandwiches, a delicate matcha tofu offset by an earthy miso sauce and a green tea soba dish.

ANA InterContinental Tokyo is one minute from Exit 13 of Tameike-Sanno Station. For more information and reservation details, visit https://anaintercontinental-tokyo.jp/en/offer/cb-matcha-private-buffet/ or call 03-3505-1185.

Takeout menu marries comfort and luxury

Some hotel restaurants are easing their way back into in-house dining in the wake of the national state of emergency. Others are offering excellent takeout menu items for those patrons who wish to stay home.

The St. Regis Osaka belongs to the latter camp and has launched its “St. Regis to Go!” campaign until further notice.

The promotion features 14 dishes (by reservation) including old school room service classics ranging from carefully stratified club sandwiches (¥1,512) to a half-size roast chicken with fries and a decadent truffle mayonnaise (¥1,944).

Two bento (chicken and seafood versions available, ¥2,700 apiece) reveal comforting and nourishing food that celebrates the familiar. Sushi, soba salads, saucy mains and traditional Japanese desserts and fruit provide ample sustenance for the hungry and indecisive.

The hotel’s most innovative options, however, are noodle dishes that take cues from the jar salad trend. Only hot water is required to recreate a mouthwatering wagyu udon soup (¥2,484) or a soy sauce ramen topped with savory grilled pork (¥1,944).

The St. Regis Osaka is directly connected to Honmachi Station. Visit https://bit.ly/2Bf6w2D (Japanese only), or call 06-6105-5659 for reservations, further information about menu items, availability and other details concerning this promotion. Listed prices include tax.

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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