Starting from Porta Venezia, an area develops where Korean restaurants are catching on, quietly, but they don’t always go unnoticed. Fortunately. Still little known, Juga is one of them. Located in Via Lecco 15, it is a restaurant that reserves very welcome surprises.
Juga is a traditional Korean restaurant that opened its doors two years ago in what was once an important building: the restaurant is in fact a work from the 70s by architect Achille Castiglioni, frequented at the time mainly by by designers and architects. Today it is a minimalist environment, with smoky tones, with a delicate floral installation on the roof of the main hall. But what is immediately striking is the presence of only Korean customers. Well yes, not Asians. Korean only. Even the staff, very kind and attentive, is formed only by Koreans. All this is exquisitely promising. And in fact the dishes, abundant and cared for, are delicious. They are the work of two Korean chefs, one of them from Seoul. The maid who serves me stresses that the dishes follow the tradition of the South Korean capital, in particular the recipe of the bulgogi.
The menu is varied but above all authentic. Here the specialty is the Korean barbecue, which is recommended to be booked in advance. Among the types of meat offered for grilling directly at the table are: daepae (thin pork belly), belzip (thick pork belly), moksal (pork bowl), roosters (marinated pork chops), jokbal (paw) pork) and the American asado. The other types of meat include fried chicken, bossa (pork served with vegetables), osam bulgoghi (spicy bacon with grilled bean sprouts), sogalbi jjim (steamed beef rib), dak doritang (stewed chicken ), bulgoghi (marinated beef), jeyuk bokkeum (sauteed pork belly), bulgogi deopbap (sautéed marinated beef served with white rice), ttukbaegi bulgogi (marinated beef soup with noodles in traditional pot), yukgaejang (soup beef with spicy sauce). The traditional soups and broth preparations (hot and cold) are not lacking: doenjang jjigae (Korean miso soup), kimchi jjigae (kimchi soup), dontae jjigae (whiting soup), gochujang jjigae (gochujang soup), haemul jjigae (seafood soup), sundubu jjigae (tofu soup), kimchi jeongol (kimchi soup and vegetables) and cold noodles always in broth — naengmyon, bibimmyeon, kong-guksu (noodle in cold milk soup of soy), or without broth — japchae (sweet potato noodles with sauteed meat and vegetable), japchae deopbab (sweet potato noodles with sauteed meat served with white rice). There are several fish dishes: ojingeo bokkeum (calamari sauteed with hot sauce), golbaengi muchim (freshwater snails with vegetables and noodles), hachihoe (squids tartare), ojingeo deopbap (squid sautéed with vegetables served with rice white) and godeungeo (grilled mackerel).
Speaking instead of more popular dishes, we have: jinmandu (steamed ravioli), gunmandu (stir-fried ravioli), teokpokki (rice dumplings in spicy sauce), dubu kimchi (tofu and kimchi sauteed), kimchi jeon (kimchi frittela) , haemul pajeon (seafood and onion fritters), gyeran mari (rolled omelette), kimbap (rice roll with external seaweed stuffed with vegetables, beef and tuna), kimchi bokkeumbap (sautéed rice with kimchi), yokhoe bibimbap (bibimbap with beef tartare), dolsot bibimbap (served in a traditional pot), dolsot bulgogi bibimbap (with marinated and sautéed beef), kare bap (rice with curry), dosirak (traditional Korean bento). The traditional preparations that are usually very difficult to find in Korean restaurants, and which for this reason made me very happy to find, are instead: rabbonii (rice cakes with ramen noodles), yukhoe (beef tartare), budae jeongol (mixed meat soup and vegetables), kong biji jiggae (soybean pudding), maewongalbijjim and the famous haejang ramyeon (the “hangover” soup). It can be accompanied with soju, makgeolli, Korean beer, Korean green tea or grape juice.