Remember a few years ago, when Japanese cuisine was mostly associated with sushi? Sushi bars and restaurants were opening left and right, some of which were exceptional, some… not so much. Well, if sushi was all the rage in 2000, eighteen years later there is a new Japanese dish that is all the rage: ramen.
Although I have been to Japan twice as a child, I was introduced to ramen much later, when I was in college: a staple for penny less American students, packages of ramen were less than one dollar at the grocery stores in Florida, where I lived, and they were absolutely disgusting. Fast forward a couple of years. I started working for the Naples Daily News as a restaurant critic and, finally, I tried real ramen, prepared from scratch and not coming from a bag.
It was a revelation. I don’t know if I have mentioned this before, but there is something about a bowl of broth, noodles, and meat that makes my heart sing. What can I say? I’m a simple girl: gimme broth, and I’ll be happy 😉
Of course, when I noticed that all kinds of ramen restaurants were opening in Milan I decided that I absolutely had to try them all, starting from Zazà Ramen in Via Solferino, in the heart of the beautiful Brera district. I dined there with my great friend Carolina, another ramen enthusiast, and we absolutely loved it. The restaurant itself is as modern and stylish as one could expect from a restaurant in Brera, while the menu is short, essential and to the point – another plus, if you ask me.
As a starter we tried the gyoza: Japanese dumplings stuffed with pork, cabbage, onion and spring onion, garlic and ginger, lightly browned on the griddle. Crunchy on the outside and an explosion of flavors inside, they were the perfect way to begin our dinner.
Then, of course, we had ramen, which comes in different varieties at Zazà’s. My friend opted for the pork ramen, prepared with pancetta, roast pork, soft-boiled egg, Savoy cabbage, glazed carrots, spring onion, aromatic herbs, fresh pasta, and meat broth; while I had the meatball ramen: beef and pork meatballs seasoned with Japanese 7 spices “chichi togarashi”, soft-boiled egg, seven mild peppery flavored oriental greens, red onion, fresh pasta, and meat broth.
Both were absolutely delicious. Meaty, rich and flavorful, they were so satisfying I could have eaten two portions if my stomach had let me!
But that’s not all: if you happen to visit Zazà Ramen for lunch on a weekday, they offer a killer deal with the “ramen of the day”, an appetizer, water and coffee for less than 15 euros per person. How can you beat that?!?
I will definitely go back to Zazà Ramen, after all there are so many other ramens to try and I’m already looking forward to my next visit. If you want to learn more about the restaurant visit their website.
Via Solferino 48
+39 02 3679 9000
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