“Antlers restaurant”:http://www.theridgehakuba.com/our-facilities.html is located in The Ridge Hotel, in the ski resort of Hakuba. It was originally built as a luxurious retreat for members of the Japanese Imperial Family as a base during the 1998 winter Olympics.
Our god-daughter, Fee, who was working in Hakuba, had heard good reports about it, but it was too expensive for her pocket and so with us and Mum and Dad arriving with our wallets and purses, it was selected for our first meal together.
The hotel is now Australian owned and many of the young staff were Australian and trendily, but smartly dressed. We were invited to have pre-dinner drinks in the Apres Lounge Bar over a roaring log fire. There antler theme is everywhere: on cushions and walls and chandeliers are even made from antlers. One feature wall was made completely from carefully arranged cut logs.
The dining room was surprisingly small with room for around 30 diners. We were slightly unfortunate in that we sat down just after a group of 6 and consequently found service slow.
The French bread was delicious and the bread basket came around again presumably to mask the lack of food. We chose a variety of dishes: lamb chops, beef shin, Japanese curry and macaroni cheese with salad (priced between Y1800 and ¥3000 or £12 and £20).
Having waited around 40 minutes, we asked where our food was and found the culprit was the lamb chops which we were told, took 25 minutes. We said this hadn’t being pointed out and were told rather brusquely, we hadn’t asked.
To be fair the food was very good and I loved my macaroni cheese and salad which came with thick bacon lardons and a soft poached egg. However, the service let the meal down and we decided not to have dessert.