For Iyo was love at first sight. Or rather, at first taste. And it was not a momentary infatuation but the beginning of a solid relationship, with fixed appointments at least once a month. Because from Iyo you don’t simply have dinner, you live a unique, almost mystical culinary experience. And you’ll just need to try it once to become highly dependent.
The proposed cuisine is a Japanese inspired with international elements and from the wise mix of Japanese tradition and Western ingredients incredible flavors are born. The passion, the indefatigable desire to experiment and the ability to measure wisely technique and creativity have earned the restaurant its Michelin star since 2015. Chef Masaki Okada is the master at the sushi counter, while the kitchen is captained by chef Michele Biassoni flanked by the Japanese Hiroshi Noda. The owner is Claudio, from the Liu family of Chinese restaurateurs (also owners of the restaurants Gong Oriental Attitude and Be Asian mood).
On the first pages of the menu, Creations and Kobachi, there are the most original proposals, but also the great classics from Iyo are something special. The tempura is light and crispy and the uramaki are among the best you’ll ever taste. You can not miss the “Ebi Flo”, roll with shrimp tempura, salmon tartare, zucchini flowers and ikura.
The flagship, however, are the gunkan: the best is definitely the “Rose” with amberjack, scampi, avocado, tobiko and spicy sauce. You could call them “pastries” because they literally melt in your mouth, releasing flavors that are hard to forget. But you’ll find in the menu also cooked dishes: do not miss the grilled mullet fillet with hot oil, sesame onion, lemon jelly and jalapeño sauce. A delight!
If the dishes are special, the rest is not far behind. The environment is elegant but not formal, expertly reinterpreted by Carlo Samarati and his team in a modern, international key. At the entrance you will welcome a cascade of hanging plants. Inside the room you will find an elegant contrast of shiny and opaque materials, between the dark colors of the marble, the warmth of the brick walls and the dark tones of wood elements and walls, with a soft lighting that highlights this or that detail. To make the room breathe, then, there are other plants and a minimalistic oriental style that you can see in everything, from furniture to mise en place.
The service is commendable: the staff is attentive and diligent without being invasive. Perfection, after all, can only be achieved through care and attention to every detail. Claudio Liu knows this well, thanks to the tireless pursuit of excellence in flavors, environments and hospitality that has made Iyo grow day by day, leading him to become the first starred ethnic restaurant of Italy and one of our favorites as well.