Review: Kyushu Karnival – Dining at Hoteiya Yufuin

Introduction
Cathay Pacific The Cabin Business Class Lounge Hong Kong
KA 380 HKG – FUK 333 J
Grand Hyatt Fukuoka
Seikai Beppu
Dining at Seikai Beppu
Exploring Beppu
Hoteiya Yufu City
Dining at Hoteiya Yufu City
Exploring Yufuin
Lounge Fukuoka Fukuoka
KA 381 FUK – HKG 333 J

At the Hoteiya, like at the Seikai, we had dinner at the hotel (which was part of why the package was so damn expensive). Now, before I start all my raving, let me first rant about the absence of child meals. Out of all that was sold at the hotel, my sister only managed to eat the sashimi, the rice, and a few other things. 😦

Dinner was served in-room both nights, and while the most memorable night was the second night, the first night was also pretty awesome.

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Hoteiya Yufuin In-Room Dining Hot Towel

The fact that the menu was Japanese didn’t help, but at least we did figure out a few words on the menu (since Japan and China share many common words).

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Hoteiya Yufuin In-Room Dining Menu

To start us off there was an appetizer platter (I first thought it was our meal given how extensive it was, but I was soon to figure otherwise).

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Hoteiya Yufuin In-Room Dining Appetizer

All the sashimi was refreshing, high quality and not stale, so top marks.

Next up was a lovely soup and a flavourful potato salad. More than anything I wonder how this hotel manages to pull up 10/10 on all of their dishes.

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Hoteiya Yufuin In-Room Dining Appetizer

After that was a fish course and a course of something delicious that I can’t remember, and both were great.

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Hoteiya Yufuin In-Room Dining Appetizer

The main course consisted of beef shabu-shabu. It was f*cking delicious.

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Hoteiya Yufuin In-Room Dining Main Course

That was followed by some rice, miso soup, and soon dessert to end the meal. As full as I already was, I couldn’t turn it down.

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Hoteiya Yufuin In-Room Dining Rice and Dessert

Suffice to say that dinner was spectacular, and the service was too. The escort was personalised and sincere.

Breakfast the second morning was served at the hotel’s private restaurant (i.e. the restaurant for max. 4 people), Suehiro (末広). Suehiro means “folding fan”, and it showed didn’t show.

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Hoteiya Yufuin Suehiro Restaurant Signage

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Hoteiya Yufuin Suehiro Restaurant

No restaurant is complete without a Category 3 toilet.

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Hoteiya Yufuin Suehiro Restaurant Bathroom

Breakfast at Suehiro consisted of a salad, a yam dish (that I really came to like), egg, tempura and a few other dishes. As expected it was high quality.

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Hoteiya Yufuin Suehiro Restaurant Breakfast

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Hoteiya Yufuin Suehiro Restaurant Breakfast

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Hoteiya Yufuin Suehiro Restaurant Breakfast

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Hoteiya Yufuin Suehiro Restaurant Tea

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Hoteiya Yufuin Suehiro Restaurant coffee

That night was the greatest meal that we had had during the trip. The meal featured fugu – pufferfish, which you need a special license to serve as the poison in most parts of the fish could easily kill. There was fugu in every single dish, which is ironic because fugu is ultra expensive and rarely found elsewhere than Japan.

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Hoteiya Yufuin In-room Dining Hot Towel

To start us off was fugu sashimi. It was accompanied by some other sushi.

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Hoteiya Yufuin In-room Dining Fugu Starter

To follow was steamed fugu, which was fresh and nice, though I still can’t determine a clear difference between fugu and other kinds of Japanese fish. 😛

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Hoteiya Yufuin In-room Dining Fugu Appetizer

After that there was a congee.

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Hoteiya Yufuin In-room Dining Fugu Entrée

The congee, rich and flavourful, was served with the highlight of the meal – fried fugu. As fugu is crazy expensive even within Japan, I think the HK$10,000 per night at this hotel was all paid off.

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Hoteiya Yufuin In-room Dining Entrée

After that, I was pretty much full and prayed that that would be the last course. Unfortunately, it wasn’t. The good news though was that the next course was rather light, though still was creamy and had a flavourful chocolatey flavour. The chocolate cake actually surprised me, as I did not know a Japanese hotel amidst the middle of Kyushu would make such a good Western dish as well.

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Hoteiya Yufuin In-room Dining Dessert

Breakfast our final morning was served at the hotel’s restaurant, 九重 or Kokonoe (lit. Imperial Palace).

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Hoteiya Yufuin Kokonoe Signage

Breakfast that morning was rather unmemorable (especially compared to the night before), but everything was still fresh and high quality, so I’ll just mention that.

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Hoteiya Yufuin Kokonoe Breakfast

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Hoteiya Yufuin Kokonoe Breakfast

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Hoteiya Yufuin Kokonoe Breakfast Soup

Bottom line on Hoteiya Yufuin’s food

Four awesome, awesome meals. While the last one was comparatively unmemorable, I think the dinners for our four nights layered from really good to f*cking spectacular (the barbecue dish we had the first night was really awesome too so I can’t really layer it at the bottom), so I’m really happy to have eaten in these pricey Japanese ryokans, though alone I’m probably not going to redo this for quite a long time.

If I’m treating my parents or my sister to a Japanese trip though, here I come, Japan, watch out.

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