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I’m not the biggest fan of hot pot. One has to brave steam, heat, slippery floors and distasteful arrays of unappetizing raw meat with platters of bland looking vegetables upon entering a typical hot pot restaurant. If that wasn’t enough, you’re served with broth that tastes exactly like boiled water and you’re expected to cook the said raw meats and vegetables in this sorry excuse of a broth.

I’ve been to Hai Di Lao, and thankfully had a better experience, what with the waitresses cooking the food for you and you’re given the option of much tastier soups. The meats and Co, however, still have much room for improvement.

I was therefore pleasantly surprised when we stumbled upon this place (ok fine, in all transparency, I stalked friends who were also in Niseko).

The broths offered looked and sounded extraordinary; thick fish soup with Hokkaido milk, fish maw and chicken broth and lastly a seafood and tomato soup base. A far cry from the feeble broths offered elsewhere at other hot pot restaurants that pale to near invisibility when compared to this. Ryunabe is unfortunately also very expensive, so we chose to only focus on the hot pot and ignored the sashimi/alcohol.

The dips and condiments were satisfactory as well, spicy chopped chili, sesame sauce, chopped raw garlic and spring onions. After dithering for a bit between the fish soup and chicken soup we settled on the latter.

Behold!

Just look at that soup! It certainly tastes like proper rich Cantonese soup that is topped up again and again whenever required. I would have been content with just the soup alone.

But then the meats arrived, beautifully marbled and precisely fanned out on pretty plates, each with a little piece of paper containing cooking instructions down to the very second of cooking.

Meats of the highest quality I’ve ever seen in a hot pot place. With the exception of some top notch shabu restaurants of course but I think I would prefer Ryunabe still for its delicious soup bases. Shabu broths tends to consist of either water or a thin subtle broth of dashi, so clearly Ryunabe scores higher in the soup base department.

The non beef items included pork slices, fresh, rosy pink fish, some dumplings and a bowl of beautifully arranged vegetables.

Almost forgot the udon, by which time we were stuffed and could not quite finish it. Even in food comatose mode we could tell the the udon is better than most. Everything on the table was top notch, perhaps the dumplings were average but that’s the only exception.

The waitress topped up our soup at least 5 times, not because it all evaporated and dried out, but because we kept drinking it by the bowlfuls. It was that good.

We sobered up as we got the bill though, but absolutely no regrets, it was a terrific meal. Garlic and all.

They also deliver and set up a hot pot meal for you to enjoy in the comfort of your apartment if you wish. After a long day on the slopes it does sound tempting indeed.

191-22 AZA YAMADA, KUTCHAN-CHO, ABUTA-GUN, HOKKAIDO.

Restaurant Phone : (+81)0136-555-304

Reservation Tel: (+81)0136-555-304 & (+81)090-5953-5168