Wednesday, December 22, 2010

ニセコ 2010!

We arrived at the Shin Chitose Airport on Friday and happy to enjoy one of our savored meals: the famous Hokkaido onigiri! We had crab, shrimp, salmon and mentaiko all handmade with hot rice and wrapped in tasty nori. Yumm! We call this the "World's Best Onigiri"!
On Saturday morning, it was snowing and we were back on the lifts again. The first few runs were a little challenging but after a few runs, we regained our ski legs again. This year, it started snowing late so the base is not as high as in the past and lots of smaller trees are still exposed. The DQ and Que Sera runs are the best with fresh powder! OTM access to Niseko Village has yet to open so we haven't tracked there yet.
GQ, always ready to board.
On Saturday evening, we enjoyed a wonderful 6 course meal at a restaurant in Kutchan called Shunsai. Paula recommended it to us and we happened to be the only ones there that evening.The first course started with a fresh green salad with basil dressing.
The second course was colorfully plated with fresh steamed vegetables surrounding
lamb with fried garlic.
The third course, seafood, consisted of scallop, abalone and crab on a bed of spinach with creamy mushroom sauce. This was probably our favorite!
The fourth course was local venison on top of eggplant and topped with ponzu-laden radish, onions and chili pepper strings.
The fifth course was wagyu beef (white Japanese cow) made into beef bourguignon with broccoli and cauliflower. This was a bit rich for the 5th course, but so tasty!
The last course was home made vanilla ice cream with kaki (persimmon).
What a fantastic meal for only 3000 yen each, including two huge cups of hot sake!
The restaurant was rustic with just the husband and wife. The chef was trained in Europe and moved to Kutchan 20 yrs ago to snowboard and cook. What a great find! We'll have to go again next week!
While skiing is great in Niseko, the food is also one of the main highlights of the trip. It's hard to find bad food here so we're always in the search of new, great restaurants!

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