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“Tell me what you eat and I’ll tell you who you are” – Brillat-Savarin

Friday, 27 February 2015

Traditional Japanese @ Karamatsu, New Furano Prince Hotel (Hokkaido, Japan)

It felt so good to be back in Japan, like slipping into a familiar robe. We travelled to Furano again to ski and snowboard, because we had liked the powder snow so much last time. We stayed at the same ski-in ski-out resort which is really conveniently located close to the chair lifts and slopes, and the ski/snowboard schools and rental shop on the ground floor made it the perfect hotel to base ourselves at. There are a few restaurants in the hotel, which we perused a few times for dinner so that the kids could have a reasonable bed time. On our first evening at the New Furano Prince Hotel, we had a lovely Japanese dinner at Restaurant Karamatsu. The pricing was reasonable for a hotel restaurant, and we were all satisfied with our meal. The staff were extremely helpful with regards to our boy's allergies, even calling in the hotel's translator to help clarify.

Some seats at the sushi bar:

Plenty of tables:

We each ordered different set courses for dinner: Kids Menu (1850yen) for the 6-year-old, hubby chose Saika (5150yen), and I ordered Shisai (3600yen).

The Kids Course included a lot of goodies that appeals to kids, like shrimp and vegetable tempura, corn dog, omelette, chicken karaage (fried chicken) and pumpkin korokke (Japanese croquette). There were also more healthy items like tekkadon (thinly sliced tuna sashimi on rice), sashimi salmon and amaebi (sweet shrimps), chawanmushi (Japanese steamed egg custard), and soy sauce-soaked ikura (salmon roe). A glass of juice and bowl of miso soup were also included:

This was hubby's Saika appetiser - a variety of sashimi (tuna, salmon and shrimp), hot potato soup, tofu and blanched leafy greens in flavourful dashi:

The appetiser in the Shisai set contained sashimi salmon and scallop and the same blanched leafies and potato soup as in the Saika course:

A delicious nimono of simmered vegetables and teriyaki yellowtail in hubby's Saika course:

The same teriyaki yellowtail also featured in the Shisai course, as well as a tasty chawanmushi (steamed egg custard):

Saika set: shabu-shabu pork from Kamifurano, and with a delicious goma-dare (sesame sauce) drizzled over it. Tender and tasty:

The final course of the Shisai set also featured Kamifurano pork, in a soup stew with Pacific cod. It was accompanied by a scallop takikomi-gohan (seasoned rice), miso soup and tsukemono (pickled vegetables):

The Saika Course came with three types of sushi and miso soup:

Vanilla ice cream and a slice of sweet Japanese pear was the dessert in the Kids Course:

The Saika Course also included a dessert - salted ice cream, mizu youkan (a jellied dessert made of red adzuki bean paste) and a slice of juicy Japanese pear:

I love Japanese food for its unadulterated and wholesome nature which highlights each ingredient with minimal adornment. This was a good first meal to start our trip with.

Restaurant Karamatsu
12th Floor
New Furano Prince Hotel
Nakagoryo, Furano-shi
Hokkaido, 076-8511 Japan
Hotel Tel.: +81-(0)167-22-1111

Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Snow baby

We are back in Hong Kong from our ski/snowboard trip in Hokkaido, and I am working through my photos from the trip. For now, here is a photo of my 1-year-old and her first encounter with snow.

Sunday, 15 February 2015

Skiing!

Greetings from a very snowy location in Japan! We are currently on our ski/snowboard trip in Furano (our second time here because we loved our first trip five years ago so much!), and I will be offline for a week while we enjoy the sweet powder snow! For now, here are a couple of photos of our 6-year-old boy on his very first day of skiing:


Tuesday, 10 February 2015

Date night @ Sevva, Hong Kong

As I mentioned recently, hubby and I are making more of an effort to go out on our scheduled date nights. Scheduling regular date nights seems so planned and non-spontaneous, but such is the life of a couple with kids. We've had to postponed a few dates in the last couple of months due to super early wake-ups by the kids, but for the most part we do try to go out and have fun even if it does mean accumulating more sleep deficit (I had long since given up on even trying to catch up on lost sleep, maybe five years ago!). On a recent Friday night, hubby brought me to Sevva, a cool and chic restaurant and bar on the 25th floor of the Prince Building. The main draw of Sevva is the breathtaking 360-degree view of the harbour and the city, and the city lights were so pretty at night. I'm sure there is quite a different vibe during daylight hours, and I do intend to revisit to try out Sevva's famous Afternoon Tea. We only had drinks, so I cannot comment on the food. (Please don't mind the quality of my phone camera.)

A welcoming mural art to greet people as they step off the lift on the 25th floor. A cake cabinet full of beautiful sweets (in the background of the photo) is adjacent to the lift:

On the terrace, we could enjoy sweeping views of the harbour (visible also is the ferris wheel and the Great European Carnival):

And views of the cityscape with sparkling lights:

We both got Sevva custom-designed cocktails to sip and chat. Hubby ordered the Kama Sutra, a sweet and sour cocktail with fresh passion fruit, mango and lime with dark rum. I got Sex In The City, a pink sangria with slices of fresh fruit. Both were yum, and handsomely priced at HK$168 each:

Sevva is definitely one to save for special occasions or out-of-town visitors

Sevva
25th Floor
Prince's Building
10 Chater Road
Central, Hong Kong
Tel. +852 2537 1388