Milk Kobo ニセコミルク工房, Niseko

Whenever people heard I visited Niseko, those who had been to Hokkaido would likely ask if I’ve tried “Milk Kobo“?  This brand seems to be represent Niseko instead of their star agriculture product – potatoes.

Unfortunately my answer was “No” when I visited in 2013. I was busy maximising my time on the snow mountains than to make my way to this place which is “in-the-middle-of-nowhere“.  The nearest landmark seems to be Niseko Village where Green Leaf/Hilton is located and you most likely need to catch a local bus or shuttle bus to get there or face a 15-20 minutes walk in the snow.  Subsequently I gathered that most people who visited Milk Kobo were either brought there by tour bus or they were on self-drive tour in Hokkaido.

The operating hours of this well-known patisserie is shorter than the operating hours of the chair-lifts (if you include night ski time). Despite having passed by this place several times during our previous visit, they were already closed in the evening. The irony was we stayed in Niseko Village last time, which was nearer to Milk Kobo than where we stayed this time.

Anyway we decided to make a stop at this raved-about place when we ended our day early due to the unfavourable weather (too windy and low visibility) on the mountains. Decked in our sports gear and lugging our boards we arrived at Milk Kobo near tea time. As expected most of the customers there were in casual wear and we felt slightly out-of-place.

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As we needed to catch the Niseko United Shuttle Bus back to Hirafu, we only have less than an hour to spend at Milk Kobo.  Quickly ordered their star products: Soft Serve (cone) and Yogurt. Although the soft cream has a rich milk taste, the texture was not as velvety as I expected. Similar to the soft serve I had in Hakodate, this felt slightly icy. As for the Yogurt, I must say I wasn’t prepared to be tasting unsweetened yogurt in its original form – which has a natural sour taste. I thought most yogurt drinks are sweet and flavoured?

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After having the soft serve and finishing the yogurt drink, we purchased the Cream Puff and Cheese Tart for takeaway. I must emphasis that we ate them on the same day of purchase which shouldn’t have compromised the quality too much. Perhaps we had too high an expectation for the pastries here, although they were nice, both the items failed to WOW us. The cheese tart was not as tasty as the BAKE cheese tart (originated from Sapporo) that created much deserved hype when they opened a branch in Singapore.  Perhaps its personal preference but I felt that the cheese flavour was missing. The cream puff has a smooth velvety cream inside but the puff itself could have been better.

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I wouldn’t say this was a wasted trip but it’s certainly not a stop that renders a detour simply for the soft serve or pastries if people are self-driving in Hokkaido. However if you are looking for a rest stop, this would fit the bill. Especially if you are travelling in other seasons (except Winter), this spot will allow families to enjoy the sights of expansive green fields with Mount Yotei as backdrop on a clear day. P.S We didn’t get to see Mount Yotei throughout our 5 days of stay in Niseko this year – cos sunny days were so rare though that meant plenty of fresh snow! We saw it back in 2013 while up in the mountains, so no regrets. 

Earlier photos taken:

Didn’t have good weather to start with in the morning at Hanazono but the condition got worse.

hanazono_niseko-village_01

Heavy snowfall by the time we had late lunch at Crab Shack in Niseko Village. The dark coloured traditional Japanese-style structure formed an exellent background showing contrast to the snow.

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