See Seafood Meet Meat at Black Wood Grill
Every discerning foodie knows that Japan is the place to go for the world's best meat. The word 'wagyu' alone spells images of succulence and tenderness. And the seafood in Japan? To die for!
As Japan's most cosmopolitan tourist destination, Niseko's dining scene has quickly become almost as famous as its snow. So much so that, nowadays, it takes something special to draw the crowds away from central Hirafu for a great meal.
Black Wood Grill is absolutely one such special place.
Combining fresh and abundant Hokkaido seafood with incredible, huge cuts of wagyu steak plus delicious appetizers, sides and desserts, this is a restaurant, quite simply, not-to-be-missed.
"Most people come for the steak," says Restaurant Manager Atsushi Maruyama, "so it's a welcome surprise when we serve one of our most impressive dishes to start!"
He's talking about Black Wood Grill's take on a pasta carbonara. But forget about spaghetti, cheese and packet ham, Black Wood Grill crank it up Japan-style with nori soba noodles, ikura and scallop sashimi. This kaleidoscope of creamy flavour is about as unique as it gets in Niseko and served with smoked salmon tartare on home-made rice crackers and a light yet flavourful mushroom salad, appetites are sure to be whet for the main courses to come.
The Main Event
Can Niseko's best place for a premium cut of steak possibly also be it's best seafood restaurant?
That's a question we asked ourselves when the Black Wood Grill 'surf and turf' shared main meal landed on our table. This is just one of the three shared menu options available this winter, perfect for sharing. There's an equally impressive a-la-carte menu as well.
An enormous portion of A3 wagyu steak (we got the Big Boy's Butchers Block portion!), cut thinly on a board for sharing, alongside local pork loin from Makkari and wild Hokkaido Ezo deer would be enough to satisfy the cravings of any meat-lover. It's pure indulgence that this feast be accompanied by a selection of fresh local seafood including king crab leg, abalone, squid, prawns and scallops.
The meat, Maruyama explains, is cooked in a rare, open wood-fire grill, of which there are only five in all of Japan. They use local sakura (cherry blossom) and oak wood to perfectly extract flavour from the meat.
With stomachs full, politely declining the dessert menu was awfully tempting, but regrets... we have none!
The Cremet d'Angers was as light as air, the perfect finishing touch to an enormous, altogether unbelievable, meal. Made from whipped cream and beaten egg whites, served alongside thin slices of pear, this French-inspired dessert is yet another example of a great Niseko tradition - that of taking cuisine from elsewhere, replicating it, tweaking it oh-so-slightly, and making it better!
Black Wood Grill is at The Nest At The Trees and is open daily for lunch and dinner with a-la-carte and set menus available. A courtesy shuttle bus to central Hirafu runs regularly.
Thinking about coming for a winter holiday to Niseko? Well it's not too late to snag a great deal for Winter 2019/20.