December 16th to March 15th | Open Hours: 18:00 – Late | Seating Capacity: 40 | Menu: View PDF | Accepted Cards: MasterCard, Visa, AMEX
Mimi’s Restaurant and Bar
TripAdvisor’s highest-rated restaurant in Hakuba, and the premiere fine dining experience in all of Nagano, Mimi’s is an experience that should not be missed.
Iconic Wine List
Taste of Perfection
Meet the Team
Executive Chef Kazuyuki Shimamoto has a great affinity for all the produce this region of Japan has to offer.
He believes in using the best regional produce as the key to memorable food, combined with modern culinary techniques to provide his guests a truly unforgettable dining experience.
His tenet is that all flavours and textures should never conflict and must be balanced with skill and passion to provide something truly exciting and surprising.
Kazu, whose family are supermarket owners from Kobe, remembers his father bringing home new food from work to taste. It was this that inspired him to become a chef. Studying geography during his university days, he would be more interested in the food of the different regions than the landscape. One such discovery was when he was learning about the Silk Road and the spices that were carried along the road, changing the food taste of two different continents.
After graduating, Kazu landed a job in the port city of Formia, on the Italian coast. Here he was able to learn the Italian style of cooking as well as working with a wide variety of seafood. Not knowing the language was a steep learning curve, but Kazu persevered and became renowned in the town as the Japanese chef who not only could speak the language, but could also serve up a dish that was even better than the locals.
Ask any elementary school girl in Japan what they would like to be when they grow up and one of the most popular answers will be a pâtissier, however not many will strive to attain this ambition, much less work in a top restaurant, yet Yuki has achieved this. From a young age, on her way home from school, Yuki would stare into the windows of the famous cake shops in Osaka wondering if one day her dream would come true. Kazu was very happy it did.
Whilst most people are drawn to Hakuba for their love of winter sports, Kazu & Yuki were inspired by the abundance of fresh ingredients that were literally on their doorstep. This was very unlike Osaka where every product had to be delivered daily.
The couple opened their restaurant, Forte, deep in the heart of the Hakuba countryside. With no advertising and sometimes only one customer per day word quickly spread and it became a local favourite even though the drive took thirty minutes up a lonely country road.
The owners of the Phoenix Hotel soon got word of this amazing Italian themed restaurant and enticed the talented couple to set up their kitchen in Mimi’s. Kazu & Yuki then spent four months in Australia learning a little more about the difference in tastes between Japanese and western palates. Not only is size more important but so is engaging all the five senses while eating. At this time Yuki also perfected the art of pavlova, though she prefers to call it a meringue.
Mimi’s Restaurant and Bar is located within the Luxurious Boutique Hotel, the Phoenix Hotel. Learn more about the Phoenix Hotel here.