Shimokita arrives in Via Archimede, Porta Venezia area, among the captivating and trendy local Milanese managed by Luca Guelfi. And it destabilizes us immediately, proposing a totally different Japan from the one we are used to. Forget about Zen music, veiled curtains and water flowers. Shimokita takes us to a Tokyo a lot more street, chaotic, pop. The name in fact refers to the hipster area of the capital, Shimokitawa. Little known by tourists, it is a labyrinth of small roads in constant evolution, a forge of innovative ideas, art and fashion.
The mood of the neighborhood is entirely reflected in the room, which looks like a comic book theater. The walls are covered with graffiti and murals inspired by icons of the 90s manga, curated by the artist Mr. Wany. A chandelier by Venini invades the lounge bar, almost ignoring the robots, the game room and the pink neon lights that stand out in the soft light.
Colorful seats host those who decide to sit at the counter, tasting signature cocktails with oriental inspiration, based on sake or umeshu. An example is the Fujiko, with sake, amber martini, lychee juice and passion fruit. During the aperitif you can taste what is the focus of the place: Japanese tapas with European, Asian and South American contaminations.
The menu has been conceived by Marco Fossati and Atsushi Okuda, who have managed to compensate different tastes from each other, indulging in rolls and tapas. These include the tempura shrimp popcorn with ponzu sauce and spicy salmon tacos. The contamination of flavors is exceptional even in rolls, which combine unusual ingredients such as lobster, miso mayonnaise and red prawns. I then loved the tuna roll with buffalo foam and balsamic vinegar.
The pastry chef Ilaria Forlani, the food designer of the year 2017, has created three different combinations of sushi ice cream exclusively for Shimokita.
I definitely recommend you try it for a rather unusual aperitivo with friends, choosing to order various dishes and taste the incredible combinations proposed. And, of course, toasting to the qaurtiere Shimokitawa, waiting to really visit it!