When a restaurant is good, and it is worth to visit, the atmosphere, the ambiance all play a role but what makes the difference is the menu and the chef. And when a great chef decides to open a restaurant, why not try it out?
We have already talked about Osteria Francescana and its Michelin’s Star Award Winner chef Massimo Bottura. We did not mention the great sous chef of that restaurant. Of Japanese origins, Yojii Tokuyoshi, after working for years side by side by the great Bottura, decided to move to Milano and open his restaurant. If you Osteria Francescana in Modena, then you should not miss out Tokuyoshi in Milan. The main chef of this newly restored restaurant with a Japanese sounding name, but with Italy and its cuisine still at the center of attention, was sous chef of Osteria Francescana, meaning that he must have learned a great deal about high-quality cuisine. However different in styles and menus, Tokuyoshi must have gotten some inspiration from the talented Massimo Bottura. We can easily say that the bar of expectations for Tokuyoshi is quite high. The restaurant has already gained its own Michelin Star, but is visiting it worth it?
Should you visit the restaurant and enjoy a delicious meal at Tokuyoshi? Give yourself an idea by reading this review and then make up your mind.
The restaurant is very well located in the historical center of Milan, less than 500 meters (or 0,3 miles) from the famous Basilica di Sant’ Ambrogio. That’s already a plus.
Let’s continue with the ambiance. Please be aware that the restaurant will re-open in February 2020 after some refurbishments and reconstructions so, some of the details of this review might be different.
The Tokuyoshi restaurant is, without doubt, stylish, but classic and not excessively formal in its design and setting. The tables are blacks and not covered by the «classical» cloth, which gives the room a more minimalistic look. But what is special about it is the presence of some individual tables, all centered around a bigger so-called «social table», allowing for better interactions and a «better sharing» of the restaurant experience. The lights are soft and there is a sense of relaxation and intimacy at the same time which goes against the classical stereotype of «high-cuisine» restaurants.
What about the menu? The entire menu is strictly Italian, characterized by the presence of some of the most traditional classic dishes such as the amazing cannolo or the rich and creamy risotto, only to mention two of them. On the other hand, the Japanese influence is discrete and not invasive, silent on the menu but that can make a big difference to some of the most traditional flavors thanks to many accompanying sauces or the dish composition. As it mentions on the restaurant’s website the idea of the restaurant is to propose an «Italian cuisine seen through the eyes of a Japanese».
The restaurant was offering three different «fixed» degustations before which have now been replaced by a single one called «Omakase», which in Japanese means «I will leave it up to you». It is a fixed price experience directed by the chef who will choose the menu and the dishes for your degustation case by case and depending on the ingredients available for the season. The restaurant also offers its clients the choice to opt for the a la carte menu and there is a different degustation for sake.
To give you a sense of how could be a degustation at this restaurant, here is an example of one degustation called «Italy means Japan» and it is supposed to present a Japanese-Italian fusion version of some classical dishes. It starts with some entrees, including a revisited version of fish&chips, delicious home-made bread with butter, anchovies, and olives and a vegetable broth. There is then a cannolo filled with stockfish. But the real king is the Mackarel filet Gyotaku, which is supposed to be the most representative dish of the restaurant. The presentation is simple and beautiful at the same time and it is a delight both to the eye but especially in terms of flavors. There is then a strong version of eel, followed by a classic traditional broth and a tasting of a special oyster- risotto. It follows a beautiful dish of pork meat and some pigeon. All the dishes are studied in all of their details which makes you feel attended and cared at this restaurant. It is then the time for the dessert, really contemporary and modern, but delicious as everything else.
As you can read, the degustation includes quite a lot of dishes and the portions are quite big and filling.
The degustation costs around 135 euros per person and if you are a lover of high-cuisine or just want to have a different experience at a great, superior restaurant, it is money well spent. You will have to book in advance, but you can easily do so by calling or by visiting the restaurant’s website.
All in all, if you loved Osteria Francescana, you should visit Takuyoshi in Milan too. The two restaurants are different in style but the quality is excellent in both. Not only that, if you want to taste classic Italian recipes with a slight Japanese taste and great attention to details, Takuyoshi is the place for you.
In Takuyoshi the food is not only delicious, but also beautifully presented. The staff at the restaurant is kind and cordial, they describe and explain the dish with details with professionalism but it also knows when to leave you in peace enjoying your meal without being too intrusive. If you are a wine lover, the sommelier does a great job suggesting you the best wine for your good
Are you still not convinced? What are you waiting for? The restaurant re-open soon, consider going there for a sublime food experience that will not pass unnoticed or forgotten! Many people claim that Takuyoshi is a must-go restaurant when in Milan, why would you want to miss it?