What I look forward to when staying over in a hot spring hotel is the meal times (next is the hot spring soaks). Some ryokans offer in room eating options (usually a little more expensive), some only have private seating choices or dinning hall options. For Hoshino Resort Kai Alps, meals are served in private dinning area. You can choose either 630, 7pm or 730pm for your meals. We took the 7pm dinner slot as we wanted to chill a little in the hot springs before dinner.
Tea pot soup, A clear based dashi which is heated on a tiny stove. You pour the soup into little tea cup with a dash of lime juice, sipped it embracing the sweet taste of mushroom and fish. After you are done, you can eat whatever is left in the your tea pot.
Sugar is needed to be added into your sukiyaki sauce to have the salty and sweet flavor, instead of serving you the sauce directly. They made the sugar into candy floss and named this “Snow nabe” How apt.
You fire up the tealight, wait for 30-40 seconds till you see smoke emitting from your candy floss, then pour the sukiyaki sauce over. I guess it is just for the fun of it!
I always thought that Kobe beef and Hida beef were good but the Nagano beef I had from this trip and another trip was so good that it is etched in my memory for now. It was so smooth and the fats literally melted. Maybe they served it thick? But it was so yummy that I really wanna go back for more…
The hotel was kind enough to come up with a message plate for us when I made a last minute request. Surprised sushi san quite a bit as he never thought that a weekday retreat was to celebrate our 2nd anniversary. The apple sauce was yummy though….