In true foodie spirit, I took a picture of almost every course I ate at the hotel we stayed at for the ski trip, and split the food section into this entry of its own! As mentioned in the post for Hotel Oak Forest (ホテル オークフォレスト) itself, the meals included in our ski package were daily Western breakfast, and Western plus Japanese style dinner.
Hotel Oak Forest: Breakfast
There’s one individual hot breakfast dish every morning on top of a buffet section with common Western foods such as salad, cereal, bread, coffee, milk and juice.
The Western breakfast buffet:
Turned out I didn’t even need to fruit up, because there’s one available at the buffet every morning. It was oranges on most days, and pineapples (beautifully presented in pineapple peel boats) and grapefruits on others. I was very happy with their breakfast options, but I may be biased because I’m a caffeine addict and this time I didn’t have to supply my own coffee every morning.
The Western breakfast hot dishes:
The hot dish was a combination of sausages/ham/bacon and scrambled eggs/omelette.
Hotel Oak Forest: Dinner
We had dinner at the place on all but the last night (where we went out to town to have yakiniku). I thought the dinner servings were small at first, but got used to it eventually and riced up as appropriate.
Unlike breakfast where the individual dishes were served as soon as you’re seated, the next course of the five-course dinners wasn’t served until everyone at the same table has finished their previous. White rice, green tea and water were available as self-service. Other rooms who opted for the Japanese dinners have their kaiseki meal arranged on their table before their arrival.
For our five-course dinners, there’s always the sashimi salad as the first course, a soup, a seafood entree, a main meat dish with a broccoli floret, mashed potatoes and three pieces of carrot, and last a dessert. On several nights Richard ordered a beer with his dinner, which was added to the room bill as extra charges that we paid at checkout.
Night 1 Dinner
First taste of the food at Hotel Oak Forest. We had a salad with three very thin slices of salmon sashimi, a mushroom broth, a small piece of mackerel with a small piece of daikon radish, pork with a white mushroom sauce, and a dessert that tasted like light cheese with whipped cream on top.
I didn’t mind the mackerel too much even though both Richard and I thought there were far better ways to prepare fish than cooking it through the way they did. The pudding was quite tasty once you knew what to expect from the second mouthful on.
Night 2 Dinner
Second night, we had an octopus sashimi salad, pasta soup, fried crab claws, chicken, and some sort of processed/preserved apple slices.
The fried crab claws turned out to be the best seafood entree of all nights.
Night 3 Dinner
Third night, it’s a very fishy sashimi salad, an almost creamy soup, white fish fillet in tomato sauce, an unnaturally tender beef (I think) steak, and a small slice of apple cake.
Richard said the super fishy sashimi salad reminded him of fishing baits and didn’t touch that course. I wasn’t a huge fan either, but adopted his plate anyway because food was scarce.
Night 4 Dinner
Fourth night, it was back to the salmon salad for the first course again, which had us worried that there were only three dinner sets on rotation and we’d exhausted their options. Following the salad this night, though, was an again almost creamy corn soup, mackerel in miso sauce, chicken, and a jelly.
Night 5 Dinner
Fifth and last dinner at the hotel for us, it was calamari sashimi salad, pasta soup, white fish fillet, beef, and back to the processed/preserved apple slices.
I still haven’t figured out what they did to the beef and apples.
Hotel Oak Forest: Food Summary
Breakfast was awesome; dinner less so but decent. The strangest thing overall with the meals offered was the meat. You could never quite tell on first bite that “Oh yeah, that’s beef/pork/chicken.” It’s almost always like a mystery meat of sorts. Food presentation was excellent, but sadly one can’t ski on visual excellence; I could really use bigger portions for dinner. I guess at least you could have as much rice as you wanted.
Hotel Address: Japan 〒399-9301 Nagano-ken, Kitaazumi-gun, Hakuba-mura, Hokujō, 3549