All-you-can-eat crab has proven popular in Japan, not just among the locals but also among the increasing number of visitors from ASEAN countries. We’ll be taking a closer look at two unique buffets specializing in crab. Top photo: Luxe Dining Hapuna
After opening in 1994, Luxe Dining Hapuna became known for its successfully riding the wave of buffet popularity. From the moment you set foot inside, the vaulted ceilings and incredible natural lighting will leave you breathless. The eye is drawn next to the square sweets showcase, featuring a display of gorgeous, colorful cakes. The excitement of dining at Hapuna begins long before the food.
Tour Buses of Guests Ready to
Rediscover the Joy of Crab
The Japanese cuisine buffet features an eye-catching crab corner. A big hit from the start, on an average day this buffet serves up an unbelievable 350 kilograms of crab! This proved popular not just for foot traffic, as tour buses pulled up full of guests hungry for crab. The sweet, juicy crab legs fly off the buffet one after another, and even on the day we visited there were guests lining up well before opening time.
A Buffet to Thrill Both Young
and Old Old
The crab isn't the only thing drawing crowds to the buffet, though: the chefs have an oven kept at 150°C for their hot, famous roast beef! Over here in the satellite kitchen corner, the chefs provide a show to accompany the food. As Hapuna's manager Mr. Chikada put it, "We're exceptionally proud of the satellite kitchen. Guests can watch the chefs, enjoy the sights, sounds, and smells, until their hot, fresh food is ready. It creates a great sense of connection for the guests." The hope is that guests can enjoy their meal with all five senses, and it makes for quite a show.
Luxe Dining Hapuna
1st floor, Shinagawa Prince Hotel, Main Tower
4-10-30 Takanawa, Minato-ku, Tokyo
Telephone: (03) 5421-1114 for reservations (9:30-20:00; phone line closes 19:30 on Saturday, Sunday, and holidays.)
Hours: Breakfast 6:00-10:30. Lunch buffet 11:00-15:00 daily. Dinner buffet 17:30-22:00. Open daily year-round. (Special pricing, hours, etc. may apply seasonally)
>>Luxe Dining Hapuna
Located in Kabuki-cho, Tokyo's long-famous nightlife district, the Shinjuku Prince Hotel is home to today's second feature: the Prince Viking buffet. As the name suggests, the restaurant is home to a buffet of royal quality, featuring a seasonal menu, yet with a comfortably casual atmosphere.
The all-you-can-eat crab has been a huge hit from the very start; as spokesman Mr. Miyata told us, "naturally, we get a lot of guests from throughout Asia, but we've also been very popular with crab fans throughout Japan." Such is the incredible drawing power of crab!
Hospitality for the Whole Family
The buffet's specialty is chilled crab: by first steaming, then quickly freezing the crab, the meat firms up, keeping in everything that makes it tender and delicious. Virtually every guest comes for the buffet, so there's no shame in taking all you'd like! Additionally, last summer, a teppanyaki corner was added, with grilled scallops and shrimp among the new items on offer. The delicious smells and popularity with families suggest that there's a good chance they'll bring it back for this summer as well. A restaurant is, first and foremost, a place we go to enjoy ourselves, and nowhere is this clearer than here.
Shinjuku Prince Hotel, 2nd Basement
1-30-1 Kabuki-cho, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo
Telephone: (03) 3205-1111 (Japanese only)
Hours: Breakfast 7:00-10:00. Lunch buffet 11:30-15:00 (Saturday, Sunday, and holidays feature two buffet time slots). Dinner buffet 17:30-21:00. Open daily year-round. (Special pricing, hours, etc. may apply seasonally).