Niseko Eats and Drinks

New discoveries of fun eats and drinks in Niseko (26 Dec 2015 – 2 Jan 2016)
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After spring skiing in March, I was back in Niseko again with Y and R and her good ol’ skiing buddies. Amidst all the skiing she did this time around, there were some new eventful discoveries of eats and drinks thanks to us having a dedicated car to just us 3. Here’s the rundown!

Mountain Kiosk Coffee Stand

倶知安町字山田204 ウェルカムセンター横, Abuta-gun, Hokkaido, Japan 044-0081. At the base of Mount Annupuri in Hirafu on the left side of the Welcome Center (beside the Bus Terminal) Tel: 0136-22-3735. Opening hours: Daily from 8 am – 5 pm

This new coffee kiosk, next to the welcome centre in the Upper Village, was a great discovery thanks to us starting our lessons higher up at the Grand Hirafu Mountain Center everyday. Given it’s a bit far to walk from our chalet to here, we drove daily and parked our car in the open car park just across from it (located just slightly further up from Chalet Ivy in the Upper Village).

Grabunden Café
132-26 Yamada, Kutchan, Abuta District, Hokkaido Prefecture 044-0081, Japan. Tel: +81 136-23-3371
Go online to see their full menu. Reservations for whole cakes is a must!

On our last day in Niseko, we discovered this random café while looking for a lunch stop. Located at the beginning of Hirafu East Village, this café is another fantastic gem if you have a sweet tooth like me. This café was super crowded when we got here, so we had to find another place to eat at, but we stopped and salivated at the gorgeous tiered cakes in the counter and couldn’t resist but take away some. It reminded me of Harbs in Tokyo and also Sweet Lady Jane in Los Angeles, with their hearty looking cakes oozing with fresh cream. I was extremely tempted to buy 2 whole cakes home, but I think I would have been scolded by the aunties at home (Y’s friend’s mums), so I decided to takeaway some slices of the banana chocolate pie and the matcha chiffon cake with fresh strawberries and cream for us all to share. Yummy! Can’t wait to try out the flavours the next time I am here.

Tsubara Tsubara  つばらつばら

Japan, 〒044-0081 Hokkaido Prefecture, Abuta District, 倶知安町山田132−14 Tel: +81 136-23-1116

Just next door to Grabunden Café is this famous Niseko establishment for soup curry, it’s funny it took us so long to discover this place. The only downside was they forgot my order and ended up R, Y and me had to share 1 bowl of soup curry, which was pretty awesome especially in winter. I will definitely come back here next time when it’s less busy for sure. No pic of the soup curry, as we were so famished, we gobbled it down before taking a pic!

Fridge Bar 

167−21 虻田郡倶知安町山田 北海道 044-0081, Japan. Tel:+81 136-23-1432. Open daily 5 pm to 12 am.

Another place that’s taken me so long to come here, why because I was always tooooo laazzzy to come out at night, but decided to head here with Y and the blokes this time round to check out this famous establishment. Known as Fridge Bar (Gyu Bar), this hole in the wall bar, which you access through a fridge door, has a fabulous vibe. It’s got a great intimate feel which makes it really nice to just hang out here with your friends listening to the jazz music being played on vinyls. Naturally, no surprise they have quite a decent selection of whiskys to try from the menu, otherwise order a cocktail here. It’s no wonder that this place has become quite the cult favourite with many people that visit Niseko every year. I am glad Y and I finally got to check out this place.

Big Foot Lodge

170-289 aza yanada kutchan-chou, abuta-gun, Japan. Tel: +81 136-55 5806. Offers food delivery too!

To be honest, this Aussie bar that serves up burgers, cocktails and other drinks is an unexpected entry in my list. We were staying just next door to this bar, which gets pretty loud and rowdy every night, and can be super annoying when we were trying to sleep. But on one of the nights, we decided to pop by for an aperitif before our home cooked dinner, and it was a nice pleasant surprise. With a lodge theme as their interiors, it’s got a nice cosy warm atmosphere with casual long benches, and friendly staff. We tried one of their burgers – The House Classic, and I was pleasantly surprised by it. Although by no means a Shake Shack, it was pretty decent for a ski town like Niseko with nice juicy beef patties and pretty soft buns, and the cocktails here are quite awesome too. Not that I am biased, but the cute posters on grizzly bears definitely got some brownie points from me.

Rakuichi
431, Niseko, Niseko-cho, Abuta-gun, Niseko Town, Hokkaido, 048-1511. Tel: +81-136-58-3170. No reservations during lunch. Dinner – offers omakase menu only so best to book 4 – 5 months ahead during peak season in December.

It was a pity that we didn’t manage to have our favourite soba noodles from Rakuichi (see my post on it from my trip in March 2015). Y and R brought me here after their lesson ended and at 1.15 pm they had already closed the shop to more visitors. It gets really crazy with crowds during the peak season, so I guess we have to wait till come here like in late winter and it’s less busy.

Check out more of what I was up to in Niseko with #loveyinniseko on @loveyloi instagram.

I so miss the snow! 

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