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Release | Daisuke Sato

Italian restaurant “marmelo” is famous for exquisite work in dishes and has moved to Muroran from Sapporo!

“Noren Yokocho” is located in the corner of Nijo Market in central Sapporo, where many tourists visit. 

One Italian restaurant called “marmelo” moved from Noren Market, where lots of unique restaurants gather, in 2014. Many foodies missed the restaurant. ​
The restaurant moved to the iron city Muroran, which is 130 kilometers away from Sapporo. 

Italian cuisines prepared carefully by a couple

If you could get a seat without a reservation, it would be a lucky day. The place is trendy now that it is hard to get in without a reservation either for a lunch or dinner. 

The owner and the chef Kiyoshige Takeda and his wife Kana runs the restaurant marmelo. 

“I feel delighted when I put enough time and work to dishes,” Kiyoshige told like this. He set up his own restaurant after getting trained at a restaurant in The Windsor Hotel Toya. He is a handsome artisan and a skillful chef. 

▲The Takeda couple smiles charmingly. 

Kiyoshige has a unique cooking philosophy. 

Example one: 
There are no standard or signature menu in marmelo. He doesn’t want people to get bored. Therefore, he changes the menu slightly every day. 

He doesn’t make a particular time to develop new dishes. He thinks about the new menu all the time. I hear that a professional cook can make the flavor he/she imagined by just mixing ingredients and seasonings. Kiyoshige is certainly one of them. 

Example two: 
marmelo closes when they get a certain number of customers. He doesn’t like to make customers wait. 

Therefore, customers get their dishes ready much faster than usual Italian and French restaurants. The secret is his thorough preparations

He takes as much time he can for preparation to make the time from order to finish as short as he can. According to his wife Kana, he does much work to prepare dishes although the preparations. My expectation kept raising. 

Kiyoshige says he wishes to finish providing lunch one day. This means that he wants to take the time to prepare for dinner

▲He starts preparation for dinner as soon as lunchtime ends. 

And Kana, who is in middle of raising her child, says that she loves dishes made by Kiyoshige. She serves during dinner time to explain Kiysohige’s dishes and choose wines that match well with the dishes. 

Kana says she is a fan of Kiyoshige’s dishes. “We offer various dishes; familiar pasta to Japanese and authentic Italian cuisines. I think you can further enjoy his dishes when you learn the process of preparation and the difference in flavors!” She told me enthusiastically. 

▲The iconic illustration in marmelo. I thought this face looks like Kana. 

Why did they move from Sapporo to Muroran?

The biggest reason for their moving was Kana’s hometown was Muroran. There are also different reasons. 

One of them was the size of the restaurant. 

The restaurant in Noren Yokocho was approximately 20 square meters. It was “nice and cozy” restaurant, but he felt a little too small as a cook. He could find a bigger space in Sapporo, but the price of real estate was a challenge. 

Kiyoshige had a dream to build a restaurant/home. He decided to make his dream come true in Muroran. 

▲The restaurant has a warm atmosphere from the woods. There are plenty of spaces between tables and feels very spacious. 

Another reason is that there was quite a small number of restaurants provided lunch in the Nakajima-Cho neighborhood where marmelo is located. 

There are quite many restaurants, but most of them are bar and izakayas which open only at night. He researched the area before he decided to move, and had found out that there is a very limited number of restaurants to have a nice lunch. 

Also, the Takeda couple has a one-year-old child. Kiyoshige grew up in Sapporo, but he wanted to try raising his child somewhere other than Sapporo. 

They opened the restaurant in space for rent in 2014. His long dream restaurant/home completed building in April 2018! His dream came true! 

▲There is a parking space for three to four cars in front of the restaurant. You can stop by marmelo while a road trip, too. 

By the way, were there any difficulties in stocking ingredients comparing to Sapporo where the center of distribution?

“I stock meat and vegetables from a company I have a relationship since I had the restaurant in Sapporo, so I don’t feel inconvenience at the moment. Michi No Eki in Date City where close to our neighborhood is famous for vegetables. I visit there once a week to stock vegetables I use for a week. I don’t change the menu and price from what I provided in Sapporo.” Kiyoshige said. 


Try some a la carte from dinner after trying satisfying lunch set

Well, it’s time to try their dishes. 

marmelo’s lunch set works like this. Choose one main dish from pasta, pizza, or meat dish and add either of the sets below: 
A set 200 yen - comes with a drink
B set 500 yen - comes with a drink, appetizer, and bread
C set 700 yen - comes with B set +  dessert

This time, I choose “Spaghetti in the snow crab tomato sauce (1,200 yen)” which he provides throughout the year and added B set that most customers choose. 

▲My expectation got high when I saw this amount of pasta. 

▲The appetizer of the day was cold corn potage, salad, and bread. 

I will try the appetizer first. Cold corn potage had a smooth texture, and the smell of corn was powerful. I wanted to scream that I would like another bowl but made myself calm. 

Salad and a big portion of ham matched really well with bread. I thought females who don’t eat much would satisfy by just the salad. He uses bread from Boulangerie Felicite, which is also located in Muroran. 

The pasta was chewy, and the sauce with the flavor of snow crab and sourness of tomatoes mixed well. 

I noticed a yellow ingredient with a crunchy texture. I asked what this is and told me it was a kind of pumpkin that he found in Date. 

These are delicious! 
Not only delicious but also has plenty of amounts! 

I strongly felt that the softness and hardness of noodles and delicious flavors are too ordinary for marmelo and won’t be a compliment. 
As I felt like that, I still want to say that the pasta has plenty amount of toppings

I asked Kiyoshige about it, and he told me that he intends to put lots of toppings. The lunch made me want to try other dishes. 
I was full by the time I was enjoying coffee after lunch. It was very satisfying. 

I told you a lot about their amazing lunch, but Kiyoshige’s skill is most significant in a la carte dishes served during dinner time. 

Kiyoshige showed me pictures of dinner menus. 

Oh, these look amazing for sure! 
“marmelo” made me want to visit during dinner time after trying casual lunch sets. 

Having curry ramen and Muroran yakitori in Muroran is, of course, nice, but choosing an Italian restaurant in Muroran is also a great idea

  • Italian restaurant “marmelo” is famous for exquisite work in dishes and has moved to Muroran from Sapporo!

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Daisuke Sato