At the heart of Karuizawa, a well-known holiday resort destination lies "Restaurant Meli-Melo," a French restaurant surrounded by an expanse of untouched nature. The restaurant itself relocated twice before it moved to its present location near Shiozawa Crossing in the summer of 2017. Chef Keiji Shinohara originally hails from the city of Komoro, which is right beside Karuizawa. He is a veteran chef with a long history of working in the world of French cooking.
Chef Shinohara focuses on local ingredients from Nagano Prefecture and prioritizes fresh local vegetables from Karuizawa when they are in season. He takes advantage of rare and delicate ingredients that are hard to come by elsewhere in the country by procuring from local farms like "Karuizawa Salad Farm," which has access to carefully maintained plots that grow 30 to 40 types of vegetables a year. By taking in local ingredients like this, Chef Shinohara is able to showcase the best of Nagano. Both lunch and dinner consist of omakase courses only. Omakase courses are specially selected by the chef. At the end of the course meal, guests are treated to a rice dish cooked in a Staub iron pot. The dish ingredients change each month, and it's come to be a staple menu item at "Restaurant Meli-Melo". They use rice with large grains and a textured, dense flavor. To accomplish this they purchase a rice brand called "Inochi no Ichi" from Matsukawa in Nagano's Shimoina district. This rice, in particular, is presented to Japan's imperial household as a special ceremonial offering. Their wine list is mainly centered on wine from France and Italy, and they offer a wide selection of bottles that includes everything from vintage bottles to more recent selections that are a bit more casual. The chef also ensures that each wine that comes in meets his personal approval. They also offer soft drinks and handpicked local drinks, including 100% apple juice made from Jonathan apples picked up from Matsuzawa Apple Farm in Komoro. In addition to their local ingredients from Karuizawa, in the future, they plan on branching out even further to take advantage of special local products throughout the surrounding region in Nagano Prefecture.
Inside guests will find a warm and welcoming dining atmosphere with gentle wood tones. Breakfast and lunch can be enjoyed outside on their terrace, and guests are welcome to bring their pets, too. They offer to counter seating with 6 seats and table seating with 16 seats total. This small, quiet hideaway offers guests the best flavors that Nagano has to offer along with the lush natural backdrop of Karuizawa.
* The availability of an English version of this page does not guarantee that the restaurant can provide services in English unless otherwise stated. Please be aware that, even if stated, there may still be days when English speaking staff are unavailable.
■A 5-minute by car Nakakaruizawa Station, Exit South(Shinano Train)
■A 10-minute by car Karuizawa Station, Exit South(Shinano Train)