In a moment as hard and complicated as the one we are experiencing due to Covid-19, I never expected to be able to write a new article about an Asian restaurant in Milan. To my immense surprise, I find out about the Korean bistro Li-sei deli which has decided to open its doors in this period with a take away and delivery formula!
The two brave and very kind owners are Okhee and her husband Kihyuk, both engaged in cooking and managing this delightful place with a retro connotation.
I have the pleasure of speaking on the phone with Okhee, who explains their brand new project to me:
Our secret dream was to open a Korean restaurant. In fact, Korean culture is where we come from, a very ancient culture that we want to make known to Italians too.
While discussing with her, I browse the menu. I notice that there are some very modern proposals, which make me think of contemporary Korean cuisine. Even the packaging and presentation of the dishes immediately refers to the Seoul bistros.
The freshness of the ingredients is evident, at Liseideli everything is studied in detail and made in an artisanal way. Such a genuine product is the result of a very specific personal journey:
The inspiration to open this place came from my mother, who owns two cafes called 李青 (green peach, "Li sei") in Kyoto. I am Korean but I was born and raised in Japan, my parents are second generation Koreans in Japan, I am third generation. In her cafes, my mother wanted to blend the Korean gastronomic culture of origin with that of Japanese adoption, through simple and genuine choices. And this is what my husband and I also wanted to do: our goal is to make all this cultural heritage known through food, thus making people healthier and happier. After all, Korean cuisine is made up of nutritious dishes, which has always been considered a natural medicine for the body. I myself learned to cook from my mother: in her kitchen there was never a lack of vegetables, vegetables and obviously fermented ones.
The encounter with the Japanese tradition is what characterizes Liseideli. The proposals here are not simple fusion choices but a real mélange born from a life experience and which can be found, as already mentioned, in the most modern South Korean bistros.
And the menu itself is as beautiful as it is intriguing - by the way, it's fully illustrated by the talented Japanese artist Kie.
There are classic proposals such as bibimbap (a real triumph: rice, barley, white and black spelled with 15 different vegetables all in season), fried chicken and ssam (Korean roll made with fresh lettuce stuffed with different ingredients, without bread).
Among the most delicious contemporary recipes there are the very tasty sandwiches (they are more enjoyable than the other but don't miss the rainbow one or the egg one - in Japan it is a real must) and the delicious Korean onigiri: absolutely try the one with bulgogi and kimchi. And kimchi is the basic ingredient that you must not skip for any reason: here it is handcrafted and I can assure you that it is one of the best ever eaten.
There is no shortage of desserts: slices of soft cake in multiple flavor options (including mugwort, matcha and azuki or ginger and lemon), chiffon cake or even cups of granola with yogurt (matcha, cocoa or kinako).
The beverage proposals are also really interesting: Korean herbal teas (omija, jujube, ginger, gingseng or green plum), Ade herbal teas in multiple flavors, soft drinks, beers, natural wines and the famous filtered coffee, now ubiquitous in K-drama!
For me, Lidesideli is promoted with flying colors: a seasonal cuisine that goes well with the logistical needs of today and tomorrow, a varied menu that offers healthy and nutritious recipes at a truly honest price.
I invite you to consult the website to learn more about the menu and discover the home delivery or take away formula.