Hokkaido is known for its excellent seafood and you could spend weeks simply sampling the best catch from the cold waters off the island. But if you're like me, you might prefer a little variation in your food groups after a while. Luckily, a trip to the Wine House restaurant in Furano should cure you of any lactose lacking in your diet.
As the name implies, the Wine House is attached to Furano's local winery and you're sure to get a good glass of the local vintage with your meal, should you desire. (For designated drivers, I recommend the full-bodied grape juice.) But in my opinion, wine goes best with cheese and the fondue set at the Wine House restaurant is not to be missed. The cheese is sourced from Furano's own cheese factory, located down the road in a pastoral setting at the edge of town. The fondue automatically comes with a plate of cubed bread, mini hot dogs and various veggies - notably steamed broccoli, carrots and pumpkin. For those with considerable appetites, it might be wise to order a second helping.
There is plenty more on the menu at the Wine House, should you desire to venture beyond the fondue. For meat lovers, there are platters of pork sausage, prosciutto and extremely tasty Canadian-style bacon as well as larger steak dinners. A few pizzas and pastas are on offer, mostly made with flour from Hokkaido. If you want to supplement your main course, the menu also has some soups and salads.
While the food is enough to draw the crowds here (though admittedly the dining room was fairly empty early on a midweek evening when I went), it's really the views that deserve mention. Large pictures windows stretch across the entire length of the dining room, looking out on the roofs of Furano town below. Beyond that, the flower-filled fields of the area stretch all the way to the base of the mountains in the southern region of Daisetsuzan National Park. Even in the evening, as the clouds gather over the peaks, this is still a tableau that won't fail to impress.