Hokkaido is an outdoors destination all year round. Visitors go skiing during the long winter and then hike and bike the rest of the year. As most of the activities are outdoors, many dining options are also outside. Everyone in these parts loves going on picnics or sitting on benches in parks with a snack.
WHERE TO GO FOR BARBECUE IN HOKKAIDO
Meanwhile, families who visit Hokkaido never leave without having at least one barbecue dinner. It’s the quintessential Hokkaido experience, to hold a barbecue under the stars.
Of course, we were part of the majority who were keen to experience a summer evening barbecue dinner at the Kiroro Tribute Portfolio Hotel in Hokkaido. This is quite famous all over Japan because the ingredients from Hokkaido are considered the best quality of food. Then there’s the fact that the weather in the summer is just amazing. You want to sit outdoors all night long.
DINNER AT THE KIRORO TRIBUTE PORTFOLIO
The Kiroro Tribute Portfolio offers a summer evening barbecue on the terrace of the hotel. It’s very popular among guests and locals, so bookings are required in advance. The hotel team sets up tables in a circle around the fountain, with a large tent in the middle. Lounge music or live music plays all night and there’s a chill vibe all around.
The team sets up a barbecue station for each group, So on every table there is a table-top barbecue grill that’s fired and ready to cook. It holds just enough cooking bricks for about three hours so guests can relax and cook and eat at leisure.
THE BEST INGREDIENTS IN JAPAN
Several trays of food come with the standard package, and it’s really a lot of food. There are assorted cuts of pork, beef and lamp. Then we also had a lot seafood. We had giant shrimps and scallops, and sliced squid. Plus bread to roast and even onigiri.
Of course, there are also vegetables for grilling like tomatoes and asparagus, and traditional Hokkaido food like corn. Dessert is also roasted on the grill, just like everything else.
DESSERT ON THE BARBECUE
Towards the end of dinner, the waitstaff brings a package wrapped in foil. “Place that on the grill and it’ll be ready to eat in a few minutes,” our waiter told us, with a smile. We did as we were told. The result was a delicious mash of warmed up marshmallows, bananas with brown sugar and some crumbled cookies. It was so good that I wouldn’t have minded getting seconds.
THE BEST GRILLED CHEESE
Aside from the dinner package, there’s also an a la carte menu. We ordered a Hokkaido Camembert cheese for roasting from this menu just to try what it was like. It arrived with slices of bread and toast. Again, we were told to place the Camembert cheese on the grill for a few minutes.
When we finally opened it up, it was warm, soft and gooey. Perfect for spreading on toasts for an appetizer. Who would have thought that grilled Camembert cheese could be so delicious?
Just as we were enjoying dessert, there was a commotion at the other end of the Kiroro Tribute Portfolio. It turned out that the fireworks were about to start, so many people were on their way to the field to watch. Of course we joined the crowds to watch. So in this sense, we actually had two desserts.