Some years ago, a friend of mine asked me to eat something together. She heard about a typical Japanese restaurant called Fukurou, placed at Via Trivulzio 16, Milan. Why not? I love Japanese food, so I said yes. Once we arrived at the doors of the restaurant, I noticed a small pile of salt on the little stair outside: I would have seen the same thing years later outside the geisha halls in Gion, Kyoto. Inside, the atmosphere was minimal but warm. It was a very cold winter evening, so we decided to eat something hot. Ramen was the best choice. We choose also some edamame (salty at the right point), gyoza (made without garlic) and the octopus with wasabi (a literally explosion). And when the ramen arrived, I went back with my memories, to a time when I used to read manga, dreaming to eat those hot noodles. Ramen was excellent to see and to taste. Warm and dense, rich in flavour. The noodles were handmade. I was surprised, because it’s so difficult to find a place to eat a ramen which taste can be compared to the ones you eat everywhere in Japan. And the Fukurou one was incredibly good.
I went there thousands of time since that first great impression.
Fukurou has two different menu, one for the lunch and one for the dinner. Both of them represent a journey in the Japanese culinary tradition. For example, I had the chance to eat natto for the first time. Unfortunately, ramen is available only for dinner.
Soba, onigiri, daifuku are some of the other traditional proposals you can find there. And every month there is a special plate.
Fukurou is my point of reference, without any doubt. But I must admit that you can be satisfied by this kind of cuisine only if you really know about Japanese food. The taste is so genuine that you can appreciate it only if you know it in advance. Its complexity stays in its being authentic. The owner is the former motorcycle racer Noriyuki Haga: his choice to aim at the bare and raw Japan has meant that the customer travels in space once seated at the table. I recommend you to get some advices from Haruyuki Hirai before ordering, to relax (like at an izakaya) and to admire chef Yoshikazu Ninomiya at work while the dinner (kaiseki style sort of way) is coming.
Discussing with Ninomiya San, I discover something more about the place and also about his path as a chef:
The character of the word Fukurou, “owl”, also means “happy”. I’ve been working here as head chef for five years now, before I was at Osaka. I’m the one who’s going down all the dishes on the menu. Previously, I worked for just over a year at Sakabar, where I was director. My dishes respect the Japanese tradition, I myself studied kaiseki cuisine: the presentation for me is very important and in fact I am inspired by it too. I started working as a sushi chef at the age of 17 in Japan, in Kyushu, and I arrived in Milan in 2009. This is my path.
🌎 https://m.facebook.com/fkurou/ 📍 Via Trivulzio 16, Milan 📞 +39 02 4007 3383 💰 $$ — lunch; $$$ — dinner