Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Mori no Uta Resort Spa, Jozankei

Toyohira River running steadily. Jozankei is just a short drive from Sapporo, about 26km. That's like from my house to office!!! hahahaha but what a change of view once we arrived here. Steep valleys, high cliffs, the sound of rapids down the river, fresh air....more mountains and more trees and even more forests!!!!

Somehow this place just reminded me of Nikko. Now I m missing Nikko all over again.....ok ok too many places to go and to revisit and too lil time!!! Arghhhh~~~~~

Lion guarding the entrance with the evening sun peeking through the maple leaves. I can imagine how beautiful this scene would be during autumn....crimson red leaves, chill air....sipping hot whisked green tea with a piece of sweets. :)))) Sorry readers, somehow all my experiences have to and got to relate with food. :D heeeeeeeeeeeee

I guess it's all in the sensory...of sights, colors, smell, taste, feel, touch. It's like when I think of freshly whisked green tea I would relate to sweets...then I would remember myself having them under the red paper umbrella which was under the beautiful crimson red maple tree...the hot tea soothed me under such chilling condition and finally all these just trigger a big DING-DONG in my head...it's time to revisit Japan during Autumn. :)))))))) kakakakaka. 

Iwato Kannondo Shrine is rather unique. It's a cave temple built to commemorate the road workers who were killed during the constructions. With lanterns and 33 kannon figurines inside.

Pssttt do u know that the camera brand Canon, its name came from Kannon the Buddhist figurine aka Kuan Yin? 

Anyway moving on to the spa resort aka ryokan....we were instructed to gather at the function room on time for another great dinner. After some relaxing time at the spa and onsen, everyone was kinda hungry by 7pm and it's time to nom nom nom!!!!

It was the first time I'm doin this sorta seating in a Ryokan for dinner/breakfast. It was also due to our large group. Usually it's in our room/cottage, seated on the tatami mat or sunken floor seating.  A few months ago, when JS booked Kikunoi, Kyoto he specifically requested for sunken floor seating....coz he can't take the tatami mat.

When we arrived at this private function room, JS heaved a big relief...
JS: "Great!!! we got chairs to seat on!!!!"
Oh well, Monkey can't take both....sitting and sleeping on tatami mats. I guess my best "bed" on tatami mats was at Takefue Ryokan, Kyushu. *read about it here* now now now....memories are flooding back and I wanna go back there. Issshhh~~~~

Mark: "Yes my beautiful wifey....what is it that u want?"
Actually I don't know wat's the conversation about, but it sure looked that way. Hehehehehe.
and to finish off the conversation, I guess Wifey would say...."yes I would like to extend this vacation, let's not go home yet."

I'm not done yet.... putting words into pic
Dr. Epicurean: "Now now...let's all have more bubbly!!!!"

Papa Bear and Chef Takashi were conversing in Japanese most of the time. Well logically 2 japanese should speak the same language. So I totally can't make up about their conversation kekekeke.

Remember Chef Kamimura??? He cooked at Cilantro KL for us and the dinner was quite awesome. Psstttt Chef Takashi but u are still my favourite chef in the world OK?
for some walk down the memory lane and flash back on the dinner cooked by Chef Yuichi Kamimura *click here to read*

He now looked like a matured grown MAN!!! not so boyish anymore. The lines on his face, showed hardwork, experiences and skills acquired over the years.

our appetizer of Summer Figs with sesame sauce. Yummmssss didn't know this could pair so well.

Bell Pepper toufu with local vegetables.
The are reasons ppl stay in Ryokan...it's either for its onsen or kaiseki dinner, I guess we were here for both and more???

Sharon, Lorraine, Ellen and Monkey
Everyone looked so relaxed after the onsen bath. Despite it being a summer month, the natural hot spring was still like the most awesome thing ever.

What's hidden under that leaf???

Fresh sashimi of tuna, botan ebi, yellow jack and sea urchin!!!! slurp~~~~

Yes fresh sea urchin in its own brine....heaven~~~~

Some ingredients for our hotpot. With a huge scallop, taraba crab legs, mizuno, fresh mushrooms, leeks, burdock roots.

oh thank you my lady for cooking the hotpot for Monkey :)))))

We didn't have a lot to drink, bcoz these were like our balance bottles from this trip. Guess we consumed about 50 odd bottles but that's not a lot bcoz there were 12 of us at all time. 

our dearie friend Dr. Epicurean was so bz dashing around the room serving wines. His happiest moment. Mind you, and he was sick so he wasn't at top form.

JS: "Doc!!! u need to see a Doctor!!!!"
yes it ain't funny when a surgeon needs to see a doctor, but he didn't. Self medicated and self healed. If everyone thinks that way, all the clinics and hospitals can "gulung tikar" liao. In this case, the pharmacists would make the most.

Next was the Grilled seasonal Salmon with wild sesame. I wasn't a fan of this dish.

Stuffed bun with winter melon served in a starcy sauce. Lurve the bowl, it's the same one used at Kikunoi. Now now, where can I purchase this beautiful porcelain?
*read bout our expeirence at Kikunoi here*

my fav course of the dinner!!!!
Hokkaido Beef grilled on earthenware

sizzles~~~ there were some sweet onions underneath with a local sweet pepper.

The One-Kilo-Man aka Dr. Epicurean ordered an extra portion of beef with asparagus!!!! Looked so yumzzz~~~~

Tomato gelee to cleanse our palate before we end the dinner with gohan

Mixed rice served with red miso soup and pickled vegetables. Kaiseki dinner usually ends with carbo. Ok ok there's still desserts.

huh???? wat is this??? how come this kaiseki got beef tripe in tomato sauce???
Chef Takashi then cleared the air, this was specially delivered here from Magari. Chef Miyashita was so kind and took note because when we were at his Italian restaurant and saw the tripe that he was preparing for another client, all of us were drooling then~~~~~ almost a week later, he prepared another portion and sent it here for our consumption!!!!

Finally dessert of Strawberry Souffle with japanese strawberry sauce. I was glad the portion was small!!!

Lorraine, Monkey, Lily, Rouxin, Ellen and Sharon
All eppy and tipsy!!!

with Chef Takashi's reliable supplier Ogura-san, Chef Kamimura and of coz our beloved Chef Takashi Kimura. We were all gone case and tipsy that watever the photographer got us to do, we just followed instruction.

JS: "Okie, do silly face. Alrite now look up."

Our one and only Group pic
Papa Bear, Lily, Rouxin, JS
Dr. Epicurean, Lorraine, Monkey, Sharon, Elle
Captain Chris, Ogura-san, Chef Yuichi Kamimura, Mark, Chef Takashi Kimura

Superb and amazing time we had in Hokkaido. Thank you guys for everything, from your laughters, knowledge, company, smiles and experiences. Big big arigato to Captain Chris for arranging this!!!

I looking forward to more Makan Travels with all of you :))))

1 comment:

Chasing Food Dreams said...

what a lovely treat!

Chef Yuichi looked so different from when I saw him... maybe its becos his hair is tied up... hehehe