Did we need a new Japanese restaurant in Milan? I would say yes. Did we need a place like Sakeya? I am not sure. I tried this brand new restaurant behind Corso Genova for dinner and I was left with mixed feelings. The format is very simple: fantastic interior, an aperitivo or after-dinner bar, restaurant for dinner and an amazing range of sakes, the typical Japanese alcoholic drink. In case you are planning on going, here are the traps you should avoid.
They call it ‘Sake House’, but it is actually called Sakeya and it is the name of a restaurant with big ambition. The menu is not very long, but it includes everything you need to please your palate. And so it was: I ordered a mix of starters which was a great welcome opening: battered oysters, grilled amberfish, potato salad, wakame with orange and crab, spinach and quinoa salad. I would have liked to order further six portions, but I consoled myself with a “This is only the starters”. In the meantime, we had some sake cocktails that were kindly suggested by the staff. They were excellent and served by a barman who was apparently taking care of not making me drink too much. Or better, of not making my lips too wet.
Our dinner continued with two main dishes: some very well-presented scampi with passion fruit and some octopus with great sauces and a perfect purée. The feeling was the same nonetheless: “I could order other six portions, and this is the end of my dinner”. Of course, the dishes were exquisite, but the portions were more than minimal.
We ordered another dish, hoping to alleviate out hunger, along with two glasses of sake: a little bowl of donburi, a bed of rice topped with delicacies such as egg, daikon and chicken. That was the moment I thought: “Now I am starting to feel that I am having dinner”.
Too bad that the dinner was finished. And there had been only three scampi, a two octopus pieces. But they were good, hey!
Sakeya is located in Via Cesare da Sesto, right behind Corso Genova. There are many nice new places in this area: right next to the restaurant you can find one of my favourite meat restaurants, Bove’s (on which I wrote here). I suggest using public transport to get here since finding a parking is not an easy task in the area. Take one of the many trams passing in the district (2, 14) or take the metro and get of the green line Sant’Agostino stop!
It’s impossible to say any less: Sakeya is a beautiful restaurant. The atmosphere is enchanting, the interior is perfect and, in general, you feel like you were transported to another dimension, very similar to both a Japanese bistrot and a pretty Italian restaurant. If you go there as a couple you can reserve the table at the ‘lovers room‘, a separeted space where you can enjoy dinner with your significant other. A last positive note: the staff were very kind and they will give you the best of advice.
The final bill for the described dinner was 120 euros for the couple. More in general, keep in mind that the mix of starters costs 20 euros, the main dishes around 18 euros and you won’t spend less than 13 euros for a glass of sake. There are also several tasting menus from 50, 70 to 100 euros with respectively 5, 7 or 10 dishes each with a side of a different sake. End of the sad story: once we got out of there, we went to grab a burger. The location is central, the ingredients are excellent, the atmosphere is superb, but 120 euros for what you saw above are really (way!) too excessive. What a pity, because the preconditions were good. Believe me, try Sakeya for a glass of sake and for a Japanese dinner go here.
Via Cesare da Sesto 1, Milan
+39 02 94387836
Open everyday (6pm-2am) except on Mondays
Read the original article on Conosco un Posto. This English version translated by Tamara Ilic.