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  • Writer's picturecookingwiththehamster

Varese and province: Asian travel guide - where to eat is the chief town of the Lombard province of the same name, otherwise known as the "garden city" due to the numerous parks, villas and gardens.

In recent years, both the city and its hinterland have seen the rise, albeit timidly, of some interesting realities in the Asian restaurant sector.

So, here's where to eat Asian food in Varese and province.


In 2019 a Japanese home cooking restaurant in Saronno that bears the name of Murataya - Made in Tokyo opened, whose meaning translated into Japanese is "Murata home". Chef Murata san, originally from Yokohama and Italian by adoption, has in fact proposed in his restaurant all the warmth and his family history in a welcoming, informal but at the same time elegant environment, full of trinkets, memories, showcases and objects. More a living room than a restaurant, where you can relax and enjoy an excellent traditional but at the same time imaginative dinner: Murata san, thanks to the many years now spent in our country, wanted to mix the flavors of his land with Italian ingredients, thus creating dishes tasty, special and unique.

The menu includes a few appetizers, noodles in various variations (soba, udon, ramen both hot and cold), a full-bodied list of uramaki and no nigiri (I think to adapt to the local taste) and some donburi.

Among the most eccentric proposals that I have tasted, and that I recommend, the Japanese-style gnocchi stand out (Lurpak butter creamed with homemade soy sauce, sesame cream, chopped toasted hazelnuts, chives) and the kaisen salada (with fish raw ham, carpaccio and tofu, accompanied by a special amazing peanut sauce). Both dishes are very tasty, a joy for the palate. The first, above all, stands out for the consistencies.

Remaining instead on the traditional, I indicate the gargantuan and delicious katsu curry (whose sweet sauce is creamy and rich in meat and very soft carrots, as well as the pork cutlet, which literally melts in the mouth) and takoyaki (they are sprinkled with chili pepper, which gives it an edge).

I asked if it was possible to order nigiri although they are not on the menu and I was offered red tuna nigiri with yuzu zest and chives and salmon nigiri with red mallotto eggs and crumbled red basil - both delicious.

Alternatively, there are also vegetarian options.

All this can be accompanied with sake or really niche Japanese beers. To conclude, homemade desserts (including the brownie with salted caramel), mochi and dorayaki.

Is it worth getting out of Milan to eat Japanese? If it is Murataya absolutely yes! The dishes are all impeccable and abundant, the final bill is honest with respect to the proposal offered.

Congratulations to chef Murata san and his very kind staff.

🌎 📍 Via Tommaso Grossi 2, Saronno (VA) 📞 339 717 9417 💰 $$$

Murataya saronno Cookingwiththehamster
Murataya | © Cookingwiththehamster

Murataya | © Cookingwiththehamster

Murataya saronno Cookingwiththehamster
Japanese-style gnocchi | © Cookingwiththehamster

Murataya saronno Cookingwiththehamster
Kaisen salada | © Cookingwiththehamster

Murataya saronno Cookingwiththehamster
Red tuna nigiri | © Cookingwiththehamster

Murataya saronno Cookingwiththehamster
Salmon nigiri | © Cookingwiththehamster

Murataya saronno Cookingwiththehamster
Takoyaki | © Cookingwiththehamster

Murataya saronno Cookingwiththehamster
Katsu curry | © Cookingwiththehamster

Murataya saronno Cookingwiththehamster
Dorayaki | © Cookingwiththehamster

Taeko Ramen

Since 2018 in the center of Varese there is a small welcoming place that offers quality ramen for the first time in the city: Taeko Ramen.

Taeko Murata san is the owner, always present at the restaurant, ready to welcome customers and to explain the menu to those who have not yet had the pleasure of enjoying one of the best dishes of Japanese cuisine.

The menu is essential: the protagonist is obviously the ramen, then some tasty appetizers and traditional desserts.

Among the ramen on offer I tried tantanmen (meat broth, sesame pesto, spicy miso and meat sauce) and tonkotsu shoyu (pork broth, soy sauce and clams). The noodles are really excellent, the broths tasty but not so warm and the serving is really inviting. The portions, in my opinion, are unfortunately small. I then tried gyoza and korokke, both good.

The final bill? A little too high compared to the quantity served.

Taeko Ramen is still the place that was missing in Varese, if you live in the area or if you are passing through I recommend a visit.

🌎 📍 Via Camillo Benso Conte di Cavour 39, Varese 📞 0332 143 3572 💰 $$$

Taeko Ramen varese Cookingwiththehamster
Tantanmen ramen | © Cookingwiththehamster

Taeko Ramen varese Cookingwiththehamster
Tonkotsu shoyu ramen | © Cookingwiththehamster

Taeko Ramen varese Cookingwiththehamster
Gyoza | © Cookingwiththehamster

Taeko Ramen varese Cookingwiththehamster
Korokke | © Cookingwiththehamster

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