Hello! I’ve got second part of Taste Vegan Milan guide. You can find out how taste vegetarian cuisine with Michelin star, how was Mantra with 100% raw menu and how vegan ramen tastes in Milan.
Taste Vegan Milan, Vol. 1
- BIKES AND PLANTPOWER
- MILAN, CHINA TOWN
- SPECIALITY COFFEE & NAVIGLIO GRANDE
- FONDAZIONE PRADA
Taste Vegan Milan, vol. 2
Joia is a vegetarian restaurant, which was awarded one Michelin star in 2007. I cannot imagine being in Milan and not to go there. It’s a vegan foodie’s dream. We decided to visit the bistro, less pricey version of Joia. We booked a table via e-mail and we waited, imagining how good it all might be.
In bistro, you can choose from two options: seasonal or regional menu. Here you can check out the dishes in details. We decided to try Menu Piedmontese. We were curious how the variation of traditional Italian kitchen in Joia may taste. Not all dishes in this menu were vegan, but there was no problem to make them that way.
The interior of Joia is minimalistic. Simple ceramics and decoration (though there was a plate in shape of cabbage leaf and ceramic artichoke- totally in love with them). There was no music, just a bird singing or splashing water sound from time to time.
As you can imagine the service was very professional and there was no mistakes or misunderstandings. First we got small side, then our 4-dish Menu Piedmontese. We finished our dinner with cup of strong, but delicious espresso.
1. Amuse Bouche Raw Vegetables with mayo, plus selection of breads
3. TEMPEH and Jerusalem artichoke with sauce- a lot of earthy flavors
4. RAVIOLI with mushrooms and pea sauce with aromatic herbs
5. Vegetables in tempura ( broccoli, cauliflower, brussel sprouts, tomato, apple) with pestos
6. chocolate mousee with three sauces
It’s hard to choose the best dish, because everything was prepared perfectly. Every element of the dish was delicious, but when you tasted all together, it was really amazing experience. My favourites were ravioli and vegetables in tempura, both equally perfect. The dessert also was very good, but for me a bit overwhelming with sweetness.
Food that can surprise, flavours which brings smile on your face. A story on a plate. Definitely worth visiting. I would recommend Joia especially to those, who cannot believe that vegan and vegetarian kitchen can be as good as regular one.
If you are planning dinner in Joia, reserve minimum two hours of your time. And don’t worry you won’t be hungry after. The portions are not tiny and the plethora of flavours will definitely satisfy your stomachs. Our menu cost about 50 euros per person plus wine and water.
JOIA, VIA PANFILO CASTALDI 18, MILAN
MANTRA RAW VEGAN
Near Joia there is another vegan restaurant worth visiting, Mantra serving totally raw food. There is a lot of Italian influence in menu: pastas, lazanias etc. There is even raw tiramisu! It’s hard to choose, so you better visit Mantra with empty stomachs.
We tried two main courses and a dessert. I ordered carrot and parsnip pasta with cashew-orange sauce and pesto. R. chose balls made of dried mushrooms with edible flowers and delicious sauce made of tomatoes and bell peppers. Sooo good. But the best one was their raw tiramisu. Heavenly delicious.
Another plus for a good service, they ask about food allergies and intolerance. Really thoughtful.
Few years ago I was fascinated with raw kitchen, so I experimented a lot. Visiting Mantra reminded me how delicious and refreshing raw kitchen could be. Definitely I need to go back to my experiments. There is a pity that the raw restaurant in Cracow didn’t survive. It was delicious too.
MANTRA, VIA PANFILO CASTALDI, 21, MILAN
Last spot of our culinary journey was Mi- Ramen Bistro. I always look for vegan ramen in cities I’m planning to visit. We are kind of ramen freaks. One of recommended places was even in TOP 5 or something the best ramen in Milan, so we decided to try it no matter what. Even when we passed nice looking ramen near Taglio (in vegan version with avocado), we just kept walking to Mi-Ramen Bistro.
Our stubbornness paid off. Their ramen was amazing, with rich broth and simple but well-prepared ingredients. And the pasta was one of the best I’ve ever tried.
MI RAMEN BISTRO, VIALE COL DI LANA 15, MEDIOLAN
If you are looking for vegan meat and dairy alternative, you will not be disappointed with Milan. You can find yogurts, cheeses, tofu, seitan in every market. There is plenty of vegan sweets. Some of them taste really wired, like croissants, but some of my friends crave for such treats. I don’t like such products very much, maybe from time to time. But there is one thing I’m crazy about and I look for it always when I’m in Italy. Vegan mozzarella made of rice milk. You have to try it, it’s really good, with fine texture. Yum.
Once again I want to recommend China Town for shopping. It’s haven for vegans.
Will I come back?
Before our trip, I’ve read that Milan is not a recommended place to visit. It’s large, overcrowded, lacking of true Italian spirit. Some even says that one day in Milan is enough to ‘everything’. Whatever that means. How on Earth one day is enough? How you get to know the city in one day? Once again, I’ve learned that typical guides are not for me. I need to taste the city, know its flavours, drink more than one coffee, get lost few times. Even I barely taste Milan I have to say I enjoy this city. Maybe it’s not love at first sight like it happened with Lisbon, but definitely there is some chemistry. Milan is adorably eclectic, with plenty of art at every corner. There is something magnetic in Milan, something that make me feel almost like home.
If you are planning to visit Milan, I strongly recommend „T City Guides: Milan”. If there were more time, I would visit Potafiori (cafe with plenty of flowers) and Villa Necchi (in which ” I am love” was shot). Next time Milan! I’m coming back for sure!