In the area of Porta Romana and Brenta there is a place that bears the name of Nishiki. Opened on December 28th 2005, it initially looked like a neighborhood Japanese restaurant. Following a major renovation at the beginning of 2018 by the Neos Design studio, today Nishiki is presented as a refined fusion Japanese restaurant suitable for elegant and important occasions.
I had the pleasure of knowing the property and tasting some of the specialties in a truly luxurious environment, with a strong international character. I walked around the halls and was fascinated by the blue and dark green colors of the rooms lightly softened by the dim lights: these nuances of colors are called “Shaded Spruce”. The restaurant also has private rooms with tatami (where obviously you go barefoot), perfect for a romantic dinner. The counter makes the variety of very fresh fish currently worked by cooks accessible to customers.
The owners are Alessandra and her husband Xiaobo Zhou; he stands out as one of the pioneers of contemporary Japanese cuisine in Milan. In the 1990s he worked in the kitchen of the renowned Tomoyoshi Endo (an institution in Milan for what concerns the authentic Japanese gastronomy) and, subsequently, to the general Compagnia generale dei viaggiatori naviganti e sognatori (now headquarters of Cascina Cuccagna). The owners have designed the menu, the core and first engine of the evolution of this place. The pastry kitchen is entrusted to the pastry chef Sonia Latorre Ruiz. The staff is very prepared, fast and discreet, as well as extremely kind.
At lunch you can choose from the abundant sets that make up the two menus, hot or cold: they are all united by the accompaniment of the appetizer of the day, mixed salad, sautéed rice, three pieces of uramaki and miso soup. Hot dishes include: yakizakana moriawase (mixed grilled fish), sake no teriyaki (grilled salmon with sesame crust), yakizakana sake, tempura squash blossoms, tempura udon, yakiniku, maguro no teriyaki, yakitori, prawn tempura and vegetables, yaki udon. The “cold” menu instead covers various interpretations of uramaki: Tiger (shrimp tempura, salmon and eggs), Nishiki (shrimp and avocado tempura with cooked prawns), salmon, Yu (spicy salmon, prawn, seared salmon and crispy potatoes), mango (mango, salmon, Philadelphia), pumpkin (pumpkin and avocado tempura), Ale (shrimp tempura, avocado, spicy salmon and filo pastry), Vulcano (spicy tuna and avocado), Ranibow (spicy salmon, shrimp and mixed fish), New Tiger (shrimp tempura, salmon tartare and teriyaki sauce) and Light (salmon, avocado, Philadelphia). Finally, you can also order sushi or mixed sashimi, sakedon and chirashi.
If at lunch you are pleasantly pampered by the staff, for dinner Nishiki becomes even more intriguing. The luxurious and comfortable furnishings are the favorite place for a special dinner. The menu can be consulted via tablet and the dishes offered are refined and exotic. We start with the specialties: carpaccio; raw chef selection; mixed sashimi with mango sauce and passion fruit; ceviche; squid julienne with quail egg and sturgeon caviar in dashi broth, soy sauce and rice vinegar; sashimi seared with ponzu sauce and olive oil; thousand leaves with truffle tuna, dried tomatoes and bechamel; king crab with avocado, wasabi and pistachio cream; scallops wrapped with bull carpaccio, red prawns from Mazara del Vallo, ikura, katsuobushi and truffle; smoked salmon with avocado, black truffle, black salt from Cyprus, ikura, smoked in apple oak; octopus cooked at low temperature with cabbage, avocado and shichimi; black cod with miso sauce; wagyu ravioli with truffle and, finally, wagyu A5 meat. We proceed with the appetizers (among which: pumpkin flower tempura with seared salmon and Philadelphia, oysters served with salmon, ginger, ponzu sauce and scallop nest), tartare (tuna, salmon, amberjack or prawns from Mazara del vallo: each tartare includes a specific accompaniment), salads, carpaccio (including Argentinean prawns with yuzu and tobikko sauce and seared Angus fillet) and tempura. Do not miss the noodles dishes (udon and soba) and fish (among which, crunchy sea bass with bean sprouts or steamed with champagne, miso, soy and lemon, seared tuna in crust of sesame). The parenthesis of uramaki is very broad. In addition to the already mentioned proposals also present in the lunch menu, in the evening there are others with captivating names such as: Lobster (shrimp tempura, avocado, lobster tartare flambé), Soft (tempura sea bass, seared sea bass with oil and pistachio), Fashion (asparagus tempura, seared mixed fish slices) and Angus (asparagus tempura, avocado, Angus, foie gras and Nishiki sauce). Obviously there is no lack of sushi and mixed sashimi, cirashi and single piece nigiri. To complete the card there is the dessert tray, over one hundred labels of wines, Japanese beer and soft drinks.
The restaurant is very elegant, a nice setting for a romantic dinner. In my opinion, however, the proposals are a bit too "messy" and therefore the excellent raw material used tends to get confused. What a shame!