Japanese restaurants with home cooking in Milan (no sushi)
Sushi is somewhat the symbol of Japanese cuisine, the quintessence of goodness and refinement. In the collective imagination it is the traditional dish yet in reality the Japanese do not eat it every day, just as they do not eat raw fish in general on a daily basis.
Although in Italy the widespread perception is still that of sushi as predominant in Japanese cuisine (besides having become a fashion), in our country many people do not like to eat raw fish and this makes them feel excluded - as if in a Japanese restaurant they could eat more.
In Japan there are many hot or cold dishes that are not sushi, which are prepared at home, which appear on everyday tables and which, in my opinion, are real comfort food.
If you are unfamiliar with Japanese gastronomy, these home-cooked dishes are a great starting point. In Milan there are restaurants that offer this type of cuisine and often completely omit sushi from the menu. I offer you a selection of these places, which in my opinion are really good for their informal and welcoming atmosphere and good value for money.
If, on the other hand, you want to opt for a refined and important dinner, I would like to point out the list of the best Japanese restaurants in Milan.
Tomoyoshi Endo is a milestone of Japanese restaurants in Milan. Highly frequented by Japanese and businessmen already in the 80s, today it maintains the atmosphere of the past. Perhaps a little too decadent, but still comfortable.
Among the many dishes on the menu, I recommend the black pork tonkotsu, sukiyaki and nabeyaki udon.
More than a restaurant in the Bocconi area, J's Hiro looks like Mrs. Hiromi Arai's dining room who, tireless and passionate, divides herself between the dining room and the kitchen.
The menu offers both traditional home cooking and some very inviting reinterpretations made by the owner. Not to be missed are the various types of tempura (artichokes, chicory, asparagus, octopus just to name a few), the teriyaki tuna, the fig salad with sea bream and the roasted eel on rice.
By now you know how much I love the Nozomi restaurant (Risorgimento area), not only because it offers the best ramen in Milan on the menu, but also for the exquisitely Japanese homely atmosphere.
Selecting just a few dishes on the menu is a tough task because everything here is so delicious. However, don't miss the potato salad (here potato salad is served with pieces of fresh apple that give a very pleasant crunchy note), gyoza, nasu dengaku (miso-glazed aubergine), tempura (especially if it is offered off the menu at based on fresh seasonal vegetables) and various types of grilled fish. The sukiyaki is also excellent.
Go once and you will always come back!
In Primaticcio area, with super kitsch and no-frills interiors, Oasi Giapponese is an institution in Milan because it was the first to offer Japanese pastry (wagashi). Over time, the menu has been expanded and the owners, originally from Kobe, have included all the folklore and color of their city.
Put the sushi aside and concentrate on the hot dishes: okonomiyaki, various donburi (of all types, meat and fish), fish or chicken cooked in teriyaki sauce, soba and udon in broth, omurice, potato salad, gyoza, yakisoba and tonkatsu. The menu is endless!
The cornerstone of Japanese cuisine in Milan, Poporoya grocery store opened in 1977, located in Città Studi, bears all its essence in its name: "shop of the people", or rather where you can breathe the noisy and sparkling air of Osaka.
Known mainly for its cirashi, Poporoya's menu is actually varied and offers many homemade specialties: soups with udon or soba, chicken or fish in teriyaki sauce, tonkatsu and tempura.
A few steps from Moscova, Sumire is one of those restaurants that hide unmissable gems. People come here to eat regional family specialties: kushikatsu (fried skewers from Osaka), fresh homemade udon with red miso, meat, egg, shrimp tempura (a Nagoya delicacy), curry rice with shrimp and fish.
Emoraya is a Japanese home cooking restaurant with a more refined atmosphere than other restaurants in the city of the same category.
The chef is originally from Kyūshū and puts a touch of his land into his preparations.
The potato salad is excellent, as are karaage, unadon and tonjiru (hot miso-flavoured pork and vegetable soup). Do not miss the desserts.
At noon, teishoku (set lunch) is offered, including Japanese steak and curry rice.