Kon-ya ga Yamada
A restaurant has just opened in Porta Romana that offers Japanese home cooking, a formula that was certainly lacking in the area where sushi is king.
After a pleasant chat with the very kind room manager, I discovered that the property is owned by the sushi chef and owner of Neta and that the kitchen is headed by chef Itakura Takao, formerly of Tenoha Ramen - who never fails to show up during the meal, bringing the dishes to various tables smiling and helpful.
The restaurant is located in a space that previously housed a Tuscan cuisine restaurant: the interiors have not been modified, therefore it does not seem at all to be in a Japanese restaurant; but I hope some changes will be made in the future. Moreover, the opening was done in silent opening and this explains the almost exclusive presence of Italian customers in the area.
The menu includes classic homemade dishes such as udon in broth with tempura, donburi, small proposals to share such as pumpkin korokke and obviously, given the chef's curriculum, a couple of ramen in the proposal of the day. To drink besides soft drinks and beers there is also a selection of sake.
Before starting, a taste of potato salad is served, very good and creamy. As an appetizer to share, I opted for the meat gyoza: since there weren't any pork gyozas, I ordered the chicken ones, obviously less tasty than the classic ones but still pleasant and certainly lighter.
For main courses I enjoyed a tendon (whose tempura was crispy and light and the topping sauce tasty and thick) and butadon (also tasty and garnished with nitamago, the marinated egg used to flavor ramen). Both bowls were so filling, I honestly struggled a bit to finish my portion.
The desserts are not homemade but are purchased from a trusted company that makes them by hand: the azuki mochi I ordered was in fact good and different from those normally found on purchase.
Eating at Kon-ya ga Yamada was an overall good experience. The proposal is simple and sincere, perfect for a hearty lunch break at a fair price.