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Crossing cultures

Italy and Japan meet at the Milan Nobuya restaurant, on Via San Nicolao, a few steps from Cadorna square. Two heritages of traditions, techniques and ingredients belonging to chef Niimori’s life. The menu includes omakase dishes: two tasting paths including eight courses each, one of which is vegetarian. “Omakase” is a Japanese phrase that translates to “I leave it up to you” or “trust the chef”‘, and that’s what people in Japan, at the end of a hard working day, prefer to do: not make decisions.

“Italy and Japan share a lot in the cuisine, such as long cooking, stews, frying, fresh pasta. I chose to focus on top quality ingredients and on the apparently minimal, but technically superb processing, to put flavors first”, says chef Niimori Nobuya.

The interiors, designed by Maurizio Lai, in partnership with Rugiano, a luxury furniture maker, well represent the blend of these two cultures. The restaurant’s spaces recall Japanese homes, from the wall furniture, similar to the typical sliding doors to the boxed wooden floor the size of the tatami. The symbol of hemp is the project’s starting point, a good lucky charm, sacred in Japanese culture, which here appears stylized and essential: the leaf is inserted into a hexagon corresponding to the number six and composed of 12 triangles and represents the origin of all shapes. It was picked as the restaurant’s logo and is reproduced on the wooden table tops. Among the materials used, in fact, wood and porphyry from Milan play a central role. 

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