And just like that, September is here. Slowly but surely, we say goodbye to summer and hello to fall. In Tokyo, that means restaurants and hotels are announcing their limited-edition autumn menus. This year, they are going all out and providing options for those who want to have the same premium experience at home. Without further ado, here are our top 10 buffets and afternoon teas to try when in Tokyo this season.
The Palace Hotel Tokyo is hosting a “Kanazawa Omotenashi” themed afternoon tea in collaboration with wagashi (Japanese confectionary) Kanazawa store Yoshihashi. Established in 1947, Yoshihashi is a renowned shop trusted by tea masters in Ishikawa Prefecture, selling only made-to-order sweets. This afternoon tea experience will be the first of its kind in Japan, designed to provide a unique experience for those who cannot travel to Ishikawa.
When: Sept 1–Nov 30
Palace Hotel Tokyo is celebrating fall with an array of seasonal items. At the Lounge Bar, enjoy original flavored teas as well as mocktails like the “Wild Berry Cosmopolitan,” which has a rich taste of berries and hibiscus. During the month of October, you can also find Halloween sweets and bread in the shape of seasonal characters. This includes a pumpkin pie with the image of a jack-o-lantern and a Halloween pie in the shape of a friendly ghost.
Be sure to check the hotel’s website for details.
When: Sept 1–Nov 30
This afternoon tea experience is a collaboration with Asahi’s Kubota Sake Brewery. Taste a variety of desserts created with an alcohol twist such as tiramisu with yuzu liqueur or a berry compote marinated in Junmai Daiginjo. A head-turner is a dish inspired by the hotel’s garden; a milky soy dessert put together in a Kubota sake cup.
When: Oct 1–Nov 10
People with a sweet tooth can now enjoy The Strings Omotesando’s original pastries at home. The original take-out box even includes a three-tiered afternoon tea stand. The menu features a brightly colored Mont Blanc made with softly sweetened purple sweet potatoes from Okinawa and a cheesecake with seasonal figs. Also in the box are sandwiches with Daisen chicken and purple cabbage on purple sweet potato bread and purple carrot flan.
When: Sept 3–Oct 4
The Strings Omotesando’s restaurant Zelkova has two special items added to their menu for the fall season. To celebrate the spooky season of Halloween, indulge in an Instagram-worthy but still delicious stack of purple pancakes. Each pancake is fluffy and made with tofu and wasanbon (Japanese fine-grained sugar). The stack is topped with plenty of sweet potato cream. The dish is decorated with bats and ghosts to enliven the Halloween spirit.
For those who want to opt for something fruitier, go for the limited-edition parfait. This dessert looks like a shining jewel. Succulent ingredients include grapes, mascarpone cheese, lime, raspberry and almond ice cream.
When: Sept 3–Nov 2
Andaz Tokyo Toranomon Hills pays homage to autumn with enticing menus featuring seasonal ingredients and fun-filled events to celebrate Halloween. A wagyu beef tasting course awaits guests at The Tavern – Grill & Lounge, as the lounge side offers its popular Halloween afternoon tea as well as a unique apricot afternoon tea. BeBu introduces a devil-inspired burger for Halloween along with a hearty roast pork belly burger sure to keep you satisfied. The Pastry Shop’s popular lineup of Halloween sweets are as visually tempting as they are delicious.
Make sure to visit the hotel website for the availability dates and business hours of each restaurant.
When: Sept 1–Nov 30
Hotel Intercontinental Tokyo Bay is offering a special autumn afternoon tea at The Shop N.Y. Lounge Boutique. Enjoy sweets using chestnuts such as Mont Blanc and savories using seasonal pumpkin. For a limited time only, you can also purchase the special sweets to take home.
The autumn selection includes Mont Blanc with Uji green tea sponge topped with whipped cream, chestnut cream and marron glacé and a combination of marron mousse and buttercream. The savory menu features tortillas filled with tandoori chicken and vegetables as well as chestnut and bacon quiche with a combination of sweet and salty flavors. There’s also a pumpkin salad with cream cheese dip and mini pancakes sandwiched with smoked salmon and sour cream.
When: Sept 1–Nov 30
Intercontinental Tokyo Bay is hosting a sweets buffet inspired by “Alice in Wonderland,” featuring a variety of sweets reminiscent of the characters in the story. Enjoy chocolate cake in the shape of a caterpillar, a purple sweet potato Mont Blanc inspired by the Cheshire Cat, white rabbit cupcakes and a bright red cake inspired by the Queen of Hearts.
Other details make this one of the eeriest afternoon teas this season, with a mysterious white rabbit welcoming you at the entrance and a photo booth featuring a big teacup.
When: Sept 11–Nov 14
The finest Japanese ingredients were chosen for the luxurious snacks in this Halloween-themed event. Enjoy Mont Blanc made with chestnuts from Ehime Prefecture simmered in syrup, a chocolate tart and apple mousse with Kougyoku (Jonathan) apples from Aomori Prefecture and a chocolate spider web and blackberry on top. If you’re hoping for something more savory, opt for the leek and potato mousse with grilled sea urchin and a hint of wasabi. Don’t be scared, because every mouthful will make you tremble with delight!
When: Sept 1–Oct 31
This year’s theme for the Conrad Tokyo Halloween sweets buffet is “Pink & Shadow.” Pink flamingos with gorgeous plumage have wandered into a shadow world where spirits of the dead have gathered. There, the pink flamingos watch skeletal flamingos devouring fabulous sweets that are far too ravishing and lustrous to belong in this spirit world. Entranced by these astonishing surreal Halloween delicacies, the pink flamingos forget all
their fears and join with the skeletal flamingos in this supernatural feast.
The 13 different sweets include a rich pumpkin Mont Blanc, batty purple sweet potato pudding and refreshing jellies with enticing flavors such as grapes and pink grapefruit. You’ll also find flamingos perched upon raspberry and chocolate cream choux pastries, plus waguri (Japanese chestnut) Mont Blanc tart served at a Live Station.
When: Sept 11–Oct 31