Breaking News: The restaurant that was originally called Shiki (described here in the article) has changed its name to Yoji.
In May 2019 it opened in the Garibaldi area, in via Nino Bonnet 11, a Japanese restaurant with brilliant innovative ideas that do not only concern the kitchen. This is Shiki, a very interesting proposal that will intrigue the most daring and contemporary Japanese cuisine lovers.
Entering Shiki is a bit like entering a museum installation. I am not exaggerating when I say this, because even if at first glance the environment may seem cold, a careful eye will notice the subtleties that characterize interior architecture. I am very curious to learn more and fortunately I am immediately instructed by Andrea Botta, founding partner of the restaurant and architect. A very kind person of great cultural depth, he entertains himself at the table to illustrate the great styling work done on the place. On his face a sincere smile, a sign that this job and this restaurant really matter to him and his enthusiasm is really palpable.
Entering the room you have two different situations that interpenetrate. The east wall is the point of contact with Japan: colors, textures, everything recalls the traditional Rising Sun. The west wall, on the other hand, represents the decline of Japanese society at the turn of the 80s and 90s. We wanted to recall the analogy of that period through the use of neon lights (whose luminous intensity can be adjusted at the discretion of the client, ed.) And of specific materials such as marble, which recalls the luxurious desks of high-level electronics, like Sony and Atari. We used the Shou Sugi Ban, the ancient Japanese technique of carbonization of wood, for a panel on the wall: in reality this technique is used for external use, we brought it inside the room to give new stimuli and crystallize impressions . Everything culminates in the omacase, the chef’s wooden table, which has the peculiarity of changing color and luminous intensity. This is our starting point for the tastings we want to organize.
Yes, because Shiki is a forge of ideas still in the making. The interior architecture itself is still a reason for study: I am informed that new, more futuristic, colored neon lights will be added. Everything here contributes to the realization of a multi-dimensional experience, where the customer does not only come to satisfy a mere primordial physiological need, to satisfy the appetite, but also to immerse himself in a stimulating and curious environment. Nothing at Shiki is left to chance and this feeling is obvious.
Our ideas see Kyoto as a starting point for tradition, Tokyo is the maximum emblem of what we wanted to achieve. And the same goes for our kitchen, prepared by chef Yoji Iga. Originally from Hiroshima, he has brought all his knowledge to Italy in these years, even managing to give an innovative imprint to tradition. His pupil comes from Osaka and instead brought the classic recipes of the dishes of his city, like that of the famous okonomiyaki.
Known by lovers of Japanese cuisine in Milan, Yoji Iga is the chef of the famous restaurant Yoji in Sesto San Giovanni and student of the “master-institution” Hirazawa Minoru, known to all as Shiro (Poporoya). A place that opened its doors twelve years ago and was completely renovated and enlarged in March. At Shiki he offers the same menu as the first restaurant, but with unique and interesting recipes placed on a blackboard that is brought directly to the table by waiters. And a note of merit must necessarily be made to the staff for preparation, punctuality, discretion and kindness. Proposing a menu that is a conjunction between past and present, it is pleasant to be advised by the dining room staff, to try new combinations but also much more well-known dishes to be able to appreciate the chef’s personal touch.
We offer a menu of authentic Japanese cuisine. The customer will find innovative preparations, ranging in the modern fusion. But our starting point is always tradition. Our goal is not to overturn Japanese cuisine. For us, innovation means giving a contemporary touch to dishes by using high quality ingredients as raw materials that are nevertheless present in the gastronomy of the Rising Sun.
The leitmotiv of the chef’s kitchen in fact oscillates between two poles: on the one hand we have the tradition of the sushi counter (very strong and structured) and the street food, on the other the reinterpretation that starts from the tradition. A successful mix, the result of a collaboration between parts (the property is in fact Japanese-Italian) winning. The proposal of sushi and raw fish is very broad: tartare, nigiri, maki, futomaki, uramaki (including the more daring “of Yoji”), nigiri, gunkan (to be noted the “king” version, very appreciated) and temaki. To underline the desire to meet the taste of Italian customers in the abundant proposal of sushi based on salmon — which, as is known, is very appreciated in our peninsula. The tradition continues, among many, with donburi (chirashi, eel, salmon), curry rice, teriyaki chicken, takoyaki, kariage, okonomiyaki (pork belly, fish or vegetarian), udon and soba (both sautéed), ramen ( shoyu with chicken broth, tonkotsu, miso with pork, fish with miso broth, gikoku made with miso broth and butter) and udon in broth (kake with fish broth, tempura, curry, kimuri, teriyaki chicken). Mochi and a cake made with white chocolate and green tea are offered as desserts - which are not the best part of the menu, in my opinion. The beverage list is still in the making, but there are soft drinks, green tea, sake (they have some really great junmai) and Italian wines.