29 2013 Dec

What I forgot to put into these posts are the trips to the onsen. Our hotel was equipped with one and we even went to the one in the Vail hotel. And that’s because I wanted to go every day after boarding. Twice wasn’t so bad right? Good enough to keep the pain and aching away in order to get in three full days on the mountain.

It was storming once again so the top was once again off limits. However, there was no need to. We kept to the off limit areas, which for any Niseko veteran equals untracked powder. Sure, there’s a chance you can get stuck, but just plan appropriately and survey the area while you’re on the lift. Only then will you get the true reward. If not, stay on the trails and play in the trees along the routes. You’ll get some amount of gratification with the constant snowfall. Plus, it means less people in our areas. Woot!

Now on to the eating.

Ezo Seafood
170-165, Aza Yamada, Kutchan
Hokkaido Prefecture 044-0081, Japan
+81 136-22-3019

Verdict: Yes. Go here.

This was a small restaurant in Hirafu. It gets packed but we were eating late and it was only the two of us. We decided not to eat with the larger group since they ate early and we were coming from Annupuri.  The place looks to be run by a husband and wife team, with the husband being an expat. So English was not a problem here. These people know about quality and cater to it. Prices are a little on the high side. Though that didn’t stop us from getting a full meal. Dishes were big enough to keep us in check. I almost ordered one too many dishes. Damn you squid ink paella. Can’t you be a smaller dish! In any case, this was a good find for a small place that makes simply great fresh food.

Man, did I ever mention I love it here.

The Counter @Ezo Seafood

Here's where you go up and pick out your seafood. They'll have the catches of the day to their daily offerings of abalone, shrimp, and crabs. Just point, ask, and order.

Night Runs

Unfortunately, this trip I didn't get to do any night boarding. I was conflicted between eat or boarding, and as a result of these posts, I choose eating. Don't worry Niseko, I have a feeling I'll be back.

Botan Shrimp @Ezo Seafood

These were great, but expensive. Yeah, that price was per shrimp. But well worth it. They tasted clean with just a little bit of sea brine. And that's even after sucking out the brains.

Seafood Curry @Ezo Seafood

A very interesting dish. The curry isn't your typical Japanese variety that goes with rice. No, this one was sharp and a tad bit spicy. It really drives forward the flavors. I wondered while I ate it if I needed a bowl of rice. Wouldn't have been too bad, if I still had some left from the fish. ¥850JPY

Ox Impressions: 

Steamed Rockfish @Ezo Seafood

Mmmm, well done chef. The fish was of course fresh and they made sure not to ruin it by overcooking the fish. The meat was still firm and the taste was light. We went through this fish like a set of ravenous wolves. I forgot how much this cost. Sorry.

Ox Impressions: 

Assorted Sashimi @Ezo Seafood

Scallops, abalone, toro, and botan shrimp, with the shrimp actually topping the toro as my favorites. Yeah really. Might have been the unique taste and after a while I'll go back to the toro I know and love. The others, well, abalone was firm and almost crunchy. Not exactly what I was expecting for a sashimi version of the stuff. And the scallop, definitely good but as expected. I guess nothing but the shrimp stood out in terms of flavors.

Ox Impressions: 

Hokkaido Oysters @Ezo Seafood

I love oysters, but these oysters are a different lot. They are a tad more bitter than your Pacific Northwest oysters. Adding the lemon really drives that bitterness. My taste buds aren't there yet. But hey, I'll add this to the many types of oysters I've had, just not one of my favorites. ¥900JPY

Ox Impressions: 

The OxPosted December 29, 2013 By the hungry ox


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