Restaurants of the week
Chocolate Afternoon Tea at The French Kitchen
Satisfy your sweet tooth at The French Kitchen's chocolate-themed afternoon tea this festive season. You'll want to make a beeline for the chocolate buffet where you can sample everything from cakes and desserts to savoury items using cacao. There's even a flowing chocolate fountain. To cut through all that richness, pair your chocolate indulgence with a range of teas from Los Angeles-based Art of Tea, and you're all set for winter.
Ruby Chocolate Afternoon Tea
Japan’s very first afternoon tea based entirely on the smoky-rose coloured ruby chocolate can be had at ANA InterContinental Tokyo’s Atrium Lounge. The all-natural ruby chocolate, with its fresh, fruity yet slightly tart flavour, was introduced in 2017; it's the fourth type of chocolate, besides dark, milk and white chocolate. This Ruby Chocolate Afternoon Tea set will feature 11 different sweets made with ruby chocolate – marshmallow, bonbon, lamington, macaron etc – alongside a selection of five savoury treats and a range of beverages. The hotel's patissiers use about 4,500kg of ruby chocolate daily to create items that will be served at the in-house restaurants and bars for the duration of this promotion period. If you can't get enough of these pinkish chocolatey goodies, head up to The Champagne Bar on the third floor where you can indulge in a chocolate dessert buffet (¥5,600; Sat, Sun & hols ¥6,200).
Wizarding World Cafe
Test out your wizarding skills at this limited-time Wizarding World Café, coming to both Tokyo and Fukuoka this month. There aren't many details available on the magical café just yet, but expect the decor and food menu to be inspired by the Fantastic Beasts and Harry Potter franchise, plus a showing of unreleased movie clips and photos. Word has it that there will be three distinct themed areas and the café will look like a set in Paris as the French city is a key location in the upcoming Fantastic Beasts film. Don't worry if you're not a wizard; we are sure muggles are welcome here. This is the world's first official Harry Potter café and it's opening just in time for the release of the latest flick, 'Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald'. To get in, visit the café when it first opens from 10.30am where you'll receive a ticket with your designated time slot. You can also make reservations ahead of time to dine in the special movie area. For reservations for the special movie room, visi here.
After a two-year hiatus, the popular Kirby Café is coming back to Tokyo with their new spot located on the fourth floor of Skytree’s Solamachi shopping mall. Everybody’s favourite cute, pink, ever-expanding ball of joy first appeared in a Nintendo video game in the early 90s. Now, get ready to follow him on a culinary journey to Dream Land. The menu has something for everyone with their adorably designed dishes that are nearly too cute to eat. Sample the Whispy Woods plate (¥2,580) and the Kirby Soft-Strawberry Mousse (¥1,480) to bring back nostalgic vibes from the past. Most of the dishes and drinks come with a gift, which explains the higher price tag – think plates, figurines, coasters, and mugs. If your decision falls on a menu item that doesn’t come along with a souvenir, you can shop exclusive merchandise at the onsite shop. The café will be around until February 17, so if you want to make a reservation, visit here.
Hot new openings
Sample a range of delectable dishes made from ingredients hand-picked by famous head chef Kazuki Saka at this new teppanyaki restaurant in Nihonbashi. Grab a seat at the counter where you can watch the chefs preparing your food right in front of your eyes. The grill menu sees mouth-watering wagyu steak, fresh prawns, sautéed scallops and much more. After you've finished your meal, move on over to the comfy sofa seats to end your visit with a cup of coffee and dessert.
Sapporo Natsume Nihonbashi
Sapporo’s famous sushi joint Natsume has finally graced Tokyo with its first branch in Nihonbashi. Lean back and enjoy quality cuts of sushi carefully prepared by the highly skilled chefs on hand. Choose from either table seats or private rooms, but we recommend taking a spot at the counter where you can watch the whole sushi making process right in front of your eyes. If you're short on time, you can also choose from their take-out menu.
Kinoko Ryori – Kinoko
Located right in the heart of Ebisu Yokocho, this cosy new restaurant specialises in all things mushroom. You won't be missing meat here with hearty items like the ‘big mushroom steak’ (¥1,500), the ‘shiitake UFO menchi katsu (breaded cutlet)’ (¥680) or the ‘Mushroom hot pot (for two)’. It's the perfect place to sit down and sample through Japan's large variety of mushrooms.
Dine on high-quality Japanese black beef at this new eatery in Nihonbashi where you can choose from ten different types of beef served as tender, juicy steaks. If you're not a big fan of steak, the large menu has something for everyone – order the 'Pound-ya Umami Meat Burger' complete with a homemade bun, or the 'Black Beef Gyoza' sure to satisfy any dumpling fiend. All the dishes are seasoned with herbs and spices, and go perfectly paired with a glass of natural wine.