Sunday, 4 January 2015

Living in Niseko during December

Started winter with lots of restaurant tasting invitation, best thing ever!

As I'm helping guests book restaurants (Not the best job ever), the good thing about this is i'm in frequent contact with the restaurant's reservation team so they will remember me and invite me to the tasting party!

Tasting 1: Cheese raclette on warm potatoes. Best dishes in my opinion.

Tasting 1: Seafood and vegetables terrine

Tasting 1: Beef  

Tasting 1: Salmon

Tasting 1: Apple pie and brownie brulee (My favourite brownie and brulee in one. I am speechless)

Tasting 2: Quite interesting presentation for me, best to use fingers to eat. 

Tasting 2: 20 types of vegetable salad

Tasting 2: Abalone and risotto. Best dish of the night for me! Best abalone I've had.

Tasting 2: Before and after. I noticed others didn't touch the black part which is the eggs, it was so good though.  

There were many more restaurants I manage to visit, the above 2 were the memorable ones. And also which were the ones where the pictures turned out bright and clear at least.

We had a lot of snow in the beginning of december and then it kinda stopped snowing after that. It even rained one night for goodness sake! I can understand when everyone's not in a good mood with no new snow. The weather picked up only towards the end of December with lots of fresh snow. But still I find that this season's quite slow and the snow is just not meeting our expectations... 

Apart from the snow, it's so great to have more friends to hang out with as compared to summer. I'm totally enjoying myself with my roommates! Thank God for my funny roommates and all of us get along so well with each other. Also for ex-university mates that's also working in Niseko, we had a few cook off session already and I truly appreciate my friends inviting me over and prepare 3 course meal for me (no joke). I'm truly blessed.

My favourite part of it all was to hang out together and just chit chat, snacking, drinking and playing games! Last season I found a pictionary game left by a guest and i took it home with me, I didn't touch it at all during summer and when winter came, I played it for the first time with my roommates. We laughed so loud and so much! Definitely a great way to bond. After that I took it with me to for the staff party and we had a blast. Now I know my drawing skills needs more improvement.

And of course the fact that most of the restaurants are opened by mid of december, yay to more food choices! But surprisingly my total spending for Dec was only less than 30,000yen!

Tsubara-tsubara is opened throughout the year which is absolutely crucial for me.

French crepes! I always opt for the sweet ones.

Chilling with a cup of affogato. One of the rare days where I drink coffee related beverages.

Work wise, it's quite nice to finally meet the guests that I've been corresponding with for months. I really like the fact that I took care of them from the beginning till the end. Beginning would be when they enquired about the room rates, then to booking guest services, then to check them in, and take care of their needs during their stay, and send them off when they check out. This is so awesome! Its something I won't get to experience if I were to work in a big hotel. 

Thankfully most of the guests I've taken care of are super nice people, feels like I've known them for a long time now. For certain guests, I liaised with the secretary instead and we became really comfortable with each other! One Indonesian lady even asked her boss (that's coming to niseko) to pass me a gift which was a bag full of indomie. Likewise I asked the guest to pass some cookies to her secretary as well. 

Since this is my third season, I'm already so confident with guests asking me any sorts of questions. Probably not like advanced skiing related question but I'm already very familiar with the basic information of Niseko. I had a few colleagues who were struggling with the sudden rise of numbers in guests and their demands and one eventually broke down in tears. It pains me to see them struggling and since then I've reminded myself to make sure to help them and just check on them if they are doing fine or not.

For now, winter has been very exciting, it's time for me to put on my skis and get out to the slopes!

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