8 Niseko Restaurants for Groups and the Family this 2019-2020 Ski Season

How great are family and big group holidays to the snow? We love challenging our friends to bigger and more dynamic runs and spraying our kids with snow as we come to an abrupt stop just above them on a slope. With flights to and accommodation in Niseko booked for the 2019/20 ski season (you have booked already, right?) it’s time to get thinking about where the whole gang is going to eat.

Many of Niseko’s restaurants are small, and you’re going to need to get in touch with the top locations early if you want to get in. To lend you a helping hand, The Luxe Nomad‘s concierge team went ahead and sought out eight of the best Niseko restaurants for groups and the family. Here the crew tells you all about their favourite spots and dishes.

Tatsumi

Tatsumi is a Japanese-French fusion restaurant within Panorama Niseko’s clubhouse in Izumikyo. The restaurant has floor to ceiling windows with stunning views of Mt Yotei and Hirafu Ski Resort. Ingredients are freshly sourced from the Hokkaido region. Tatsumi also has the widest range of sake in the area, as well as a large selection of wine.

The Luxe Nomad says:

You might notice Panorama Niseko as you enter into Niseko. A bit on the outskirts of the main area, the in-house restaurant of this accommodation provides shuttle services to make it easier for you. We fell in love with the breathtaking view of Mt. Yotei as we sat beside the window. The food was hearty and filling, made with the best ingredients in Hokkaido. Although a la carte options are available, we had the course menu for lunch and were completely blown away by the presentation alone. If you need a quick bite, their sandwiches are a great option too. The serving size was more than enough for us, and the food tasted amazing. The first course was a beef stew with so much flavour, and the smoked fish with yuzu miso wine sauce was a group favourite.

For larger groups, a private room is available on the 2nd floor. The owner also has a catering service called Sushi Japan, and two more restaurants: Ground Pub and Hanadai in Kutchan.

Dress: Smart casual
Open: Lunch and dinner
Where: Panorama Niseko, 57-6 Aza Yamada, Kutchan-Cho
Price Point: ¥4,000~¥9,000 per person
What we loved: Grilled Lamb Chop, Dry-aged Red Perch

Read also: 5 Romantic Niseko Restaurants for Date Night this 2019-2020 Ski Season

RyuNabe

RyuNabe serves authentic Chinese hot pot with ingredients fresh from the Hokkaido region. It is located at the heart of Hirafu town and is a large restaurant always packed with visitors. The broths are all handmade.

The Luxe Nomad says:

RyuNabe is exceptional for groups of friends and families as the restaurant is quite large. With four areas spanning different floors, they serve a range of other dishes aside from hotpot. We had the hotpot set and tasted all three broths. We especially liked the Chinese Traditional Fish broth and the RyuNabe Spicy Broth. You’ll learn how to make your own dipping sauce, and all the meats are clearly labelled with their specific cooking time. If it is your first time having hotpot, you won’t be confused since the service is excellent and the staff is always there to help out. The meats are very tender and seafood quite fresh, and serving was more than enough for all six of us.

In case you don’t feel like going out, Ryunabe also has take-out menus available, and they include all the equipment you need.

Dress: Casual
Open: Dinner, and accepts takeout and delivery orders. There are fixed seating times for dinner at 17:00 and 20:30.
Where: Ki Niseko, 191-22 Aza Yamada, Kutchan-Cho
Price Point: For the premium hotpot set – ¥23,800 for 2, ¥31,800 for 3, ¥39,800 for 4
What we loved: Wagyu Harami, Wagyu Chuck Roll, Spanish Iberico Pork, Sashimi

Izakaya Nagomi

A quaint and small traditional Japanese izakaya in lower Hirafu. The restaurant serves various local dishes but specialises in Yakitori and grilled dishes.

The Luxe Nomad says:

As you don’t see much information online, we’re happy to be sharing this secret of ours! A bit off the beaten track and a favourite of locals, the restaurant is an excellent choice for those craving Japanese. Being a very westernised area, Nagomi is an izakaya jewel in the neighbourhood. The restaurant is tiny, and the staff speaks limited English, but it is all part of the place’s appeal. Be careful, though, as they only take cash. The food is phenomenal, and we particularly enjoyed the chicken karage, yakitori pork belly, and deep-fried tofu. A variety of yakitori is also available that kids would enjoy. Nagomi has lots of different sakes available, and it’s a very cosy place for a drink. The wooden design and lighted exterior are beautiful, but don’t forget to look up!

Dress: Casual
Open: Dinner with fixed seating times at 18:00 and 20:00
Where: 155-55 Aza Yamada, Kutchan-Cho (near some of our favourite bars like Bar Gyu and Powder Room)
Price Point: ¥2,000~¥10,000 per person
What we loved: Yakitori, Chicken Karaage, Deep Fried Tofu in Broth

Yukitei

Authentic Hokkaido cuisine featuring shabu-shabu and sashimi, the dishes use local produce including vegetables, beef, seafood and wine.

The Niseko/Kutchan area is one of the top producers of potatoes in Hokkaido. Instead of the traditional wheat flour udon noodles, Yukitei uses locally harvested “Dandhaku” (Baron potatoes) and the spring water from Mt.Yotei for their signature Gosetsu Udon Noodles. This unique product has been a speciality of the restaurant for over 20 years.

The Luxe Nomad says:

Affordable and worth every cent; the ingredients are all fresh and sourced from local Niseko markets. There is excellent natural light thanks to the large windows, and we found that it was an excellent option for lunch post-skiing. The crowd typically comes in around 1 PM, so try to get in before or after.

They have various affordable lunch sets available, and you would be spoilt for choice. Their tempura batter is light and airy, it doesn’t weigh down the dish and you won’t leave feeling heavy. The seafood rice bowl has a good variety of different kinds of sashimi served in a fluffy bed of sushi rice accompanied by their famous Gosetsu Udon. You’ll definitely want to go for seconds. We particularly liked their Yoichi Apple juice which the kids will definitely love! 

Dress: Casual
Open: Lunch and dinner
Where: Matthew Suites 1F, 170-144 Aza Yamada, Kutchan-Cho
Price Point: ¥1,500~¥10,000 per person
What we loved: Tempura udon, Deluxe Seafood Rice Bowl, Makkari Pork Shabu Shabu Lunch set

Luckyfingers

A relaxed and comfortable mountainside restaurant and bar, Luckyfingers serves traditional Japanese-izakaya sharing-style dishes served in a warm, beautiful alpine atmosphere.

In addition to serving lunch and dinner, Luckyfingers is open for apres-ski drinks and light fare. Since it’s about a 15-minute drive away from the main Hirafu area, they do offer complimentary van pickups and drop-offs for groups of 4 people or more to Moiwa, Annupuri, Higashiyama and Niseko Village, subject to availability.

The Luxe Nomad says:

We loved the casual and relaxed ambience here, which was appreciated after a long day on the slopes. The staff too are very warm and friendly. The chef uses traditional Japanese ingredients and combines them in a unique fusion.

Their homemade liqueurs are incredibly refreshing. The Yuzushu and Umeshu are must-tries! We particularly loved the Crispy Asparagus and the steak was cooked to perfection. Their homemade Ichimi sauce goes well with almost any dish, and the Crispy Shrimp stole our hearts. The sashimi platter was great as it melted straight right into our palates. 

Dress: Smart casual
Open: Lunch and dinner
Where: 482-2 Niseko, Niseko-Cho
Price Point: ¥2,000~¥7,000 per person
What we loved: Crispy Okaki Asparagus, Fried Cheese Sticks with Ichimi Chile Honey Sauce, Hangar Steak with Yoichi Whiskey Sauce, Crispy shrimp in Ichimi cream sauce, Yuzu and Plum liqueur

Read also: Beyond the Slopes: 7 things to do in Niseko even if you’re not skiing

Bang Bang

One of Niseko’s most popular restaurants, having been around for over thirty years, Bang Bang is a cosy family-style izakaya. Bang Bang is particularly famous for its yakitori; various meat, vegetables and seafood on skewers grilled over hot charcoal, seasoned with traditional sauces. Delicious sides, fresh sashimi and original salads are also available.

The Luxe Nomad says:

A very warm and friendly atmosphere, you feel like family when you walk in. The owner personally makes a point to speak to the guests at every table. Although we attended the flagship restaurant, there are two other Bang Bangs in the area serving the same menu.

You could taste the freshness of every ingredient used in all the dishes, and at the same time, it all tasted like home. They also have local drafts on tap if you’re looking to enjoy the meal with a cheeky pint! The sashimi platter was divine, and the Hokkaido spinach and potatoes (albeit a simple dish) rang so many bells in our tummy. One of the must-tries is their Haku fish. Although it looks like a mini crocodile at first, don’t let the dish fool you! You could taste the soft and clean flavour of the fish as they do this in a simple deep fry, to avoid losing the natural flavour. It’s not always available as they only have this if they get fresh Haku during the season, but a definite win for sure.

The owner’s wife makes all the desserts from scratch and you can definitely taste the difference. The Tarte tartan and yuzu sorbet were both invigorating and a perfect seal to end our meal! 

Dress: Casual
Open: Dinner
Where: 188-24 Yamada Kutchan-Cho
Price Point: ¥6,000〜¥12,000 per person, or ¥23,000 for the set course
What we loved: Sashimi platter, Wagyu steak, Hokkaido spinach and potatoes, various meat yakitori, Haku fish (must try!), Tarte tartan, Yuzu sorbet

Steak Rosso Rosso

A casual American Steakhouse with contemporary flavours, Steak Rosso Rosso offers high-quality Australian and Japanese wagyu beef. Just a short walk from the Hirafu Intersection, you can’t miss the iconic red and black exterior of the restaurant that’s starkly contrasted against the powdery white snow of Niseko.

The Luxe Nomad says:

This place is a wonderful option for casual parties, family gatherings and special occasions. As seats are limited, we highly recommend booking a table for your group, especially during peak season.

Although it is primarily known as a steakhouse, there are quite a number of a la carte and vegetarian options available for all types of foodies. One shouldn’t leave the restaurant without trying their bacon-wrapped scallops which are locally sourced and served in a delectable red wine sauce.

We especially loved the fact that their steaks are served on a hot stone plate with a circular cooking stone attachment so you can control precisely how your steak is cooked (in case it is served rarer than one desires). For the winos, you should have a look at their extensive red wine selection. If you’re looking for a great time with good food and excellent service, this is undoubtedly the place to go!

Dress: Casual
Open: Dinner with fixed seating at 18:00 and 20:30
Where: 167-61 Aza Yamada, Kutchan-Cho (near some favourite spots like Bar Gyu, Fujisushi and Otsukisama)
Price Point: ¥5,000 – ¥15,000 per person
What we loved: Bacon Wrapped Hokkaido Scallops, Hokkaido Tokachi Beef Sirloin Steak, Kobe Beef Fillet Steak

Read also: #Japow! HK Restaurateur Lindsay Jang on Niseko and its food!

The Alpinist

Serving traditional Swiss alpine fare, including fondue, crepes, galette and raclette, The Alpinist is an ideal place to gather apres-ski as guests can cosy up around a crackling fireplace.

The Luxe Nomad says:

A perfect spot for casual gatherings, The Alpinist is ideal for families and groups. We particularly enjoyed the fondue as they use a curated mixture of cheeses, including some imported from Switzerland.

The fondue was served together with French onion soup, a side salad and a basket of bread cubes. Despite best efforts, we lost our bread at the bottom of the pot several times. Thankfully, we were rewarded with bread cubes covered in gooey and stretchy cheese. With a glass of white wine on hand and a fondue fork ready to dip into the well of cheese, we couldn’t contain the happiness we felt with each sip and bite!

Dress: Alpine chic
Open: Lunch and dinner
Where: 190-13 Yamada, Kutchan-Cho (Musu Tapas Bar, Koko Cafe, Sushi Wakatake are in the same building)
Price Point: ¥5,000 – ¥8,000 per person
What we loved: La Cêpe Fondue, La Raclette Galette, Crepes

Feeling hungry yet?

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The Luxe Nomad

Like you, we love to travel but we think that staying at beautiful places shouldn’t come with a hefty price tag. That’s why we’ve gone out there and snagged the best design and luxury hotels and resorts in the Asia Pacific region at rates you won’t believe. WanderLuxe is our little corner of the world where we share our inspirations and thoughts about travel!

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