It was 2016 when the first Macha Cafe opened in Milan in the Moscova area. It immediately aroused great curiosity because it was the first Italian format dedicated to the famous and delicious Japanese matcha green tea. At the helm the Italian businessman Antonio Scognamiglio together with his business partner Tunde Pecsvari, both already in charge in Corso Garibaldi di Bento Sushi (closed in 2018 and reopened in May with a new delivery proposal) and Osteria Brunello. Just the chef of this last place, Federico Comi, has cured the recipes of Macha Cafe, adapting them to the Italian palate with a very strong advertising idea that concerns healthy, nutritious eating, with taste at affordable prices for everyone. Even the furnishings have been studied from the first opening to reflect a concept of Zen well-being, but that in fact more than Japanese style we can speak of Nordic style.
Today Macha Cafe boasts six venues in Milan, plus one in Turin.
But what do you eat at Macha Cafe? Everything that has to do with matcha and the gastronomic fashions of the moment. But be careful, if you think you will find quality matcha then I warn you immediately that you have the wrong place: go straight without hesitating at Moko's Matcha. If you are a lover of green tea, this place will leave you enormously disappointed.
The menu, over the years, has been expanded with the addition of trendy dishes, fast but above all photographable for social media. At Macha Cafe everything is cleverly based on sharing via Instagram, and I must say that in this sense the owners have been good from the beginning since they have always exploited the advertising potential of fashion bloggers (the trend setters of before, today there are the food blogger), the same that you will find in the photos attached to the walls of the restaurant.
This is the kingdom of the bowls, the famous ones that are now depopulating in every corner of Milan, based on fish, vegan or in poke version (which have very little to do with the original Hawaiian recipe), and also avocado: with tartare fish, avotoast (who has never eaten avocado and salmon toast in recent years?) or the famous avocado burger (in Italy it was Macha Cafe that launched its fashion).
But the proposal does not stop there: roll (uramaki with a clear Californian imprint), pancakes, açai bowl (in the uncertainty they also added a bit of Brazil), fish burger, salads and then the great parenthesis of the beverage based on matcha which ranges from cappuccino to cocktails, not to mention the desserts always prepared with Japanese green tea (they include tiramisu, plumcake also in a gluten-free version, even vegan cheesecake - the cheesecake is perhaps the worst I've ever eaten in my life).
In essence, trying Macha Cafe means experiencing a mix of gastronomic fashions that derive directly from the American / Californian reworking of what is the Far East and all the healthy philosophy that is part of it. The result is obviously not authentic compared to Japan, but perfectly embodies the US style in this sense.
Personally I have been their client over the years on a couple of occasions but I have not been ecstatic. The culinary proposals are all disappointing, lacking in taste and quantity. There is little to say about the raw material, good but nothing exciting. Surely this is a place suitable for a young clientele, for a quick meal or a snack, without however expecting the fireworks.
📍 Via Francesco Crispi 15, Milan