My research for non-Italian food in Rome has been going great so far. Most of Romans are complaining that they can’t fine any incredible ethnic restaurants, however they are so wrong. And I have something else to add: I fell in love. I totally fell in love with a Korean restaurant near Termini called Gainn.
First impression: elegant and clean restaurant. Second impression: it’s 7:30 pm and every single person is Korean. Awesome! Apparently after 9:30pm the kitchen shuts and everyone goes to sleep, so you need to hurry up!
The waiter gives me an old plastic menu with all the names,prices and detailed descriptions of every single dish… i feel like an English tourist in a cheesy Italian trattoria! Still loving it ;)
The courtesy of the owners, Chung and Bae is disarming. They are always making sure you are eating properly, and that nothing is missing on your table. I start my dinner with friends with some small appetizers at the center of the table called banchan… be careful, they are quite spicy, there’s a lot of kimchi in there!
One of my favorite dishes at Gainn is Japchae, sweet potato starch noodles with mixed veggies and meat. I remember my Korean friend Jj cooking it for me in London a few years ago. The noodles are soft and irresistible. Then we had a tender beef marinated in soy and sesame oil called Bulgogi, served with some crunchy salad leaves.
I couldn’t resist to Bibimbap, one of top mouthwatering dishes in Korea, a mixed rice bown with white rice, thinly cut zucchini. carrots and mushrooms, and a few drops of red chili pepper paste gochujang.
My precious advice is to go with as many friends as you can, so you will be able to try every single dish on the menu and get a cheap bill.
You are welcome to try the desserts… I always eat so much that I have no more space for it in my poor foodie stomach!
Via dei Mille 18
Hi guys, just a quick comment on why I hate take-away, at least in Rome. When I was living in Harlem everything was easier, my flatmate had a wonderful collection of take-away flyers, plus in New York every single citizen orders food at home at least twice a week: it’s affordable and easy, plus the food is good. And surprisingly tasty!
I’ve ordered food here in Rome a few times, and each time it happens… I’m so so so disappointed. Tonight I got some sushi and some pad Thai from a really cool Asan Fusion restaurant next home… The pad Thai was a serious joke, it tasted old and crappy. I can’t even explain it, it just doesn’t taste the same as at the restaurant. And it’s not even the atmosphere that is missing, or the service, the problem is the food. I know you don’t care and you can’t stand me ranting, I just wanted to know whyyyyyy, why in Rome take-away food is so shit! When it’s 11 pm, you come back from work so late and you can’t stand another Cheerios bowl for dinner you need some foodie satisfaction, that’s all! X
I met Alex Atala last year at Identità Golose, and I instantly fell in love with him: he looked so casual, smiling at me from the beginning. I didn’t even have the chance to introduce myself, he was already pouring some strange colorful sauce on my finger asking me “do you like it?”. WOW! What an incredible personality… plus a lot of sexy tattoos ;)
He is now publishing his new book D.O.M.- Redescovering Brazilian ingredients, and I firmly believe this is THE perrrrfect summer present!
Atala is on a constant mission, he is like an anthropologue, recognizing the strong presence of native ingredients in his country, Brazil, raising awareness on the fragility of the rain forest eco-system, and constantly studying Amazonian lifestyles.
OMG! Check out this video from Frantzén restaurant, ranked 12th Best Restaurant in the world.
I seriously would eat every single dish in that video. Yum!
The other night I was craving smoothies like hell… every morning when I was living in London I used to press my fresh juices and, I have to admit, it always felt pretty good. Some friends were telling me I was becoming a freak with my bright green super expensive juicer, however it made me happy. R.I.P. the lovely juicer which is still in my good friend Fatima’s garage. I know it is unfair. Story of a nomad.
Coming back to the smoothies, thanks to a foodie friend I found a Columbian/Peruvian fast food place called Il Bananito in Porta Maggiore who makes some incredibly fresh juices and milkshakes. It’s a tiny bar full of colorful paintings as you can see in the horrible low-quality picture I took (I beg you pardon, but I seriously was in a hurry to sip my papaya, strawberry and banana shake eh eh, plus the owner Javier was entertaining me talking about Peruvian cuisine).
You will fall in love with Javier, I’m telling you… He was feeding me like a pigglet. I tried his empanadas which were not bad at all, plus he cut a slice of a very big glazed cake and asked me what I thought about it. Clearly it didn’t look like an average Italian sober-elegant-cute cake, it looked stately, massive and awesome. It tasted like melted caramel, wow, I just remembered I was supposed to be on a diet…oh dear.
When I arrived in Rome almost a year ago I could have never imagined to find some intriguing food porn little corners like this, I am proud of my research!
Remember! If you are on your lunch break and you are around Porta Maggiore stop by Il Bananito, they will serve you some aphrodisiac oily food such as alitas y pollo, tamales and papas rellanas… you can’t miss that!
See ya amigos x
Is it a fair judgement or not? We will never know… however we do know that every single chef in our foodie planet earth is waiting all year praying to be positioned on this list.
So let me say well done Massimo Bottura for his third place! Plus… I am happy that Noma gave space to another incredible restaurant such as El Celler de Can Roca.
Can’t wait to try them all! <3
1 El Celler de Can Roca Girona, Spain ▲1
2 Noma Copenhagen, Denmark ▼ 1 +45 32 96 32 97 noma.dk
3 Osteria Francescana Modena, Italy ▲2
4 Mugaritz San Sebastián, Spain ▼ 1
5 Eleven Madison Park New York, USA ▲5
6 D.O.M. São Paulo, Brazil ▼ 2
7 Dinner by Heston Blumenthal London, UK ▲2
8 Arzak San Sebastián, Spain =
9 Steirereck Vienna, Austria ▲2
10 Vendôme Bergisch Gladbach, Germany ▲13
11 Per Se New York, USA ▼ 5
12 Frantzén/Lindeberg Stockholm, Sweden ▲8
13 The Ledbury London, UK ▲1
14 Astrid y Gastón Lima, Peru ▲21
15 Alinea Chicago, USA ▼8
16 L’Arpège Paris, France =
17 Pujol Mexico City, Mexico ▲19
18 Le Chateaubriand Paris, France ▼3
19 Le Bernardin New York, USA =
20 Narisawa Tokyo, Japan ▲7
21 Attica Melbourne, Australia NEW ENTRY
22 Nihonryori RyuGin Tokyo, Japan ▲6
23 L’Astrance Paris, France ▼5
24 L’Atelier Saint-Germain de Joël Robuchon Paris, France ▼12
25 Hof Van Cleve Kruishoutem, Belgium ▲17
26 Quique Dacosta Dénia, Spain ▲14
27 Le Calandre Rubano, Italy ▲5
28 Mirazur Menton, France ▼4
29 Daniel New York, USA ▼4
30 Aqua Wolfsburg, Germany ▼8
31 Biko Mexico City, Mexico ▲7
32 Nahm Bangkok, Thailand ▲18
33 The Fat Duck Bray, UK ▼20 +44
34 Fäviken Järpen, Sweden = +46
35 Oud Sluis Sluis, Netherlands ▼14
36 Amber Hong Kong, China ▲8
37 Vila Joya Albufeira, Portugal ▲8
38 Restaurant Andre Singapore NEW ENTRY +65
39 8 1/2 Otto E Mezzo Bombana Hong Kong, China NEW ENTRY
40 Combal.Zero Rivoli, Italy RE-ENTRY
41 Piazza Duomo Alba, Italy NEW ENTRY
42 Schloss Schauenstein Fürstenau, Switzerland ▼12
43 Mr & Mrs Bund Shanghai, China NEW ENTRY
44 Asador Etxebarri Atxondo, Spain ▼13
45 Geranium Copenhagen, Denmark ▲4
46 Mani São Paulo, Brazil NEW ENTRY
47 The French Laundry Yountville, USA ▼4
48 Quay Sydney, Australia ▼19
49 Septime Paris, France NEW ENTRY
50 Central Lima, Peru NEW ENTRY
A casual evening where I get to share succulent dishes with my Roman best friends, that’s the best part of my week end.
Living in Rome for almost a year now, I have been willing to explore the most ethnic hidden restaurants ever. I was very surprised to find an Oriental bistrot not far from my apartment. Mezé bistrot is an adorable tiny restaurant full of positive energy. Not too decorated, yet sober and casual serving oriental comfort food.
We could read so many dishes on the hand written board that we couldn’t make up our minds… so we almost ordered everything!