Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Dinner at Shunsai in Kutchan

Last night, twelve of us went on the Kutchan Night-Go bus for a special gourmet dinner at Shunsai. The owner/chef had operated a chain of restaurants and then he discovered Niseko and decided to settle here. We had two new friends who joined us last night: Robert, formerly lived in Guam and now in Perth and Mike, a friend of Shannon's (Russ' sister) from Santa Monica.
We thoroughly enjoyed the special fare starting with the fresh salad with basil dressing.
The next course was amazing...salmon, some kind of white fish and scallop with a tasty sauce with ikura (salmon roe) and black caviar. The white asparagus was a nice side.
Paula's dear friend, Jenny (with Richard), joined the ladies for the Shunsai dinner. We all ordered hot sake and on our first sip after the "kanpai", we burned our nostrils and eyes with the alcohol vapors. Wow - it was strong but tasty.
The third course was scallop enveloped in a scallop ball covered in a mild, drippy tare (sauce).
The fourth course was thinly sliced wagyu (beef tartare) covered with fresh garlic, scallions and a shiso leaf. There was also a tare (sauce) that covered the beef along with the daikon noodles. This was very yummy!
Course #5: Niseko's venison on top of daikon in a bed of a delicate broth. We thought that this was the main course and we would soon be on to dessert. But no....
We had course #6 which was unique! Frozen avocado was carved out and the "meat" was mixed with smoked salmon, crab and a mayo dressing.
Course #7: Smoked Kuro-buta (black pork) with mashed potatoes. By this course, we were really full! It was all very good and better than last year!
We thought we would have dessert but we were more than delighted with the last course #8: crab, prawns in an asparagus puree, garnished with an edible violet. This was one of those "wow" dishes that we'll definitely return and savor again.
One of the highlights was the 11:00pm bus ride home. We started singing Christmas carols and the group that got on the bus at the next stop loved it and joined in immediately. The bus ride home was a song-fest and the group in the back were so gregarious!
Angie had a long day and slept on the bus ride home and missed the Christmas carols...
When we returned to the Powder Hound, we checked in on the "man cave" and all the kids and big boys were sleeping soundly after another great day on the slopes.

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