A few steps from Cadorna and Parco Sempione, Nobuya has opened, the highly anticipated and elegant restaurant by chef Niimori Nobuya.
Originally from Akihabara (Tokyo), Nobuya san has worked in Italy for over twenty years: his CV boasts experience at La Madonnina del Pescatore by Moreno Cedroni, Nobu Milano and Sushi B.
After about two years of planning, Nobuya finally opens, in collaboration with Andrea Lin, a successful Chinese entrepreneur in the field of oriental restaurants in the province of Varese.
The restaurant is inside a 16th century Art Nouveau building, once the home of Marshal Radetzky. It was the chef himself who showed me all the peculiarities of his restaurant, such as the beautiful tatami-patterned stone floor, the precious design that adorns the tables representing the hemp leaf and the wooden beam roof, which has purposely remained unchanged. A refined environment, created thanks to the collaboration with the architect Maurizio Lai (formerly Iyo Aalto), embellished with glass and crystal elements.
The atmosphere is intimate and suffused, warmed by a highly trained but never excessively "plastered" staff.
It is possible to choose the omakase route (also totally vegetarian) or the à la carte menu. Surprisingly, the chef explained to me that nigiri are not included: his desire is to "play and experiment", maintaining a very high level of raw materials and execution. Enraptured by what was explained, I left the ordering to his creativity.
Radish mayonnaise with soy milk, teriyaki, miso with hazelnut, cabbage chips. Salmon tartare, rice chips. Dry-aged gurnard, oil, ginger, soy, celeriac cream.
Amberjack carpaccio, mullet bottarga, aji amarillo boiled 7 times with different water, all seasoned with leche de tigre sauce.
Hokkaido scallop carpaccio, red prawn, Venetian cru caviar, red prawn head powder and yuzu.
Grilled josper octopus with delicate smoky tone, mashed potato, mayonnaise with paprika, lettuce, onion sauce.
Karaage monkfish previously marinated with sake, soy, mirin, garlic and ginger, salad, tempura green beans, oroshi ponzu.
Toro zuke roll, tuna tartare, avocado, tempura flakes. Nikiri soy sauce. All seasoned with fresh wasabi freshly grated on shark skin.
Unagi don with whole Chioggia eel processed and dipped in josper, wasabi and sansho pepper. Takikomi hogan (rice seasoned with eel sauce) and nori seaweed.
The Mandarin: mandarin in different consistencies, biscuit kumquat.
Yuzu parfait, raspberries, white chocolate and yuzu gel.
The tasting was a succession of dishes, all excellently balanced, delicate, where the chef played above all with flavor and was able to masterfully mix his Japanese heritage with the Italian and Peruvian one, clearly referring to his experience at Nobu.
What is certainly striking is the attention to the highest quality raw materials, as well as the study and research on techniques such as maturing the fish: the chef in fact showed me the special cell in which he keeps the whole fish and the bottarga. The result is interesting but never too "intrusive", leaving a very pleasant sensation between one course and another. The sense of lightness also concerns tempura: the frying is done with starch, resulting very delicate.
And speaking of raw materials, I would like to point out that the fish used is of Italian origin, just as the Wagyu meat and soy sauce come from Gunma (Japan). The seeds of shiso, rocket, radish and wasabi also come from the Rising Sun, which will soon sprout right here in Italy.
The desserts are all vegan, gluten-free and lactose-free.
The menu is seasonal, so it will undergo changes. The wine list is interesting, featuring numerous French labels and champagne. There is no shortage of Japanese sake and whiskey.
The final bill is consistent with the proposal offered and, in my opinion, accessible for an important evening.