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Sabrina Bozzoni

December 18, 2019

Flavours from the world in Florence, the restaurants where the cuisine comes from faraway lands

Where to go if you're looking for unusual dining experiences

From the aesthetic and philosophical rigor of Japanese cuisine to the ancient soul of Chinese cooking, the intimacy instilled in kosher food and the opulence of Russia, as well as the intoxicating smells of India. Restaurants to discover the flavors of the world in Florence

An ‘L’ instead of the usual ‘R’. This marks the departure of the city’s first Tuscan-Japanese-Korean restaurants ideated by one of Florence’s most symbolic chefs, Fabio Picchi. Ciblèo - Tortelli e Ravioli could be none other than the epilogue of Chef Picchi’s love story for a tiny restaurant in Kyoto, a relationship that began in 1988. Everything the chef learned in those five years of work in Japan started right then and the East influenced his cooking once and for all: Korea with its surprising food and China with its ancient knowledge. Just 16 covers, 8 of which are at the counter with a Korean chef and Japanese sous chef alongside Fabio Picchi in the kitchen (Via del Verrocchio, 2r - ph. +39 055 2477881).

Outside a typical late 19th-century Florentine palazzo, inside a refined and revelatory ambience that looks to China at its most authentic. Leave behind your stereotypical expectations of Chinese food and be transported by the Fulin Luxury Chinese Experience, in a blend of select design and dishes. At Fulin only Pechino provincial cuisine is served, reworked in a gourmet style, to be paired with studied Tuscan wines. Two young Chinese chefs work alongside an international brigade. Check out the attractive terrace for Eastern-influenced aperitifs, food and cocktails (Via Giampaolo Orsini, 113r - ph. +39 055 684931).

As you can already guess from the name, even in the paper of Dim Sum Restaurant ravioli are the main ingredients, proposed in their most traditional garments or revisited in order to impress the guests with unusual combinations. But there are other tasty dishes, such as noodles prepared at the moment by a handful of noodles, then cooked in broth, or sautéed (via dei Neri, 37r - ph. +39 055 284331).

The restaurant on the left bank of the Arno takes its name from the boulevard on the left of the Huangpu River, one of the symbolic landmarks of Shanghai, known for the elegance of buildings and premises. The cuisine, however, ranges between the various regional specialties of China, with a team of chefs specialized in all types of preparation, including the famous Peking duck and the colorful Dim Sum. A 300-square-meter venue wanted by the Xia family, already owner of the Japanese restaurant Koko, with which it is internally connected via one of the two refined privé (piazza Ferrucci, 1r).

Let's move on to Japanese cuisine starting from Koko. Elegant restaurant and sushi bar. The menu reserves a lot of surprises including a boundless selection of carpaccios, chirashi and maki. Do not miss the Gunkan Fire (salmon chive cream cheese with flambé chef's sauce), and the Dragon Maki (fried shrimp chopped tuna with mixed seafood and chef's sauce), to be enjoyed at one of the tables in the refined Tatami room ( piazza Ferrucci, 4 / 5r - ph. +39 055 6587428).

In the Santa Croce area, Kome is the temple of Japanese cooking on three floors. You walk into Kaiten Sushi, where an assortment of sushi (and other foods) are arranged on a conveyor belt that runs across the counter. Upstairs, Kome serves Yakiniku cuisine, where diners grill their own food, while the top floor hosts the Sushi Gallery Izakaya, a private space with a wine corner and saké bar (Via dei Benci, 41r - ph. +39 055 2008009).

Vaulted ceilings, minimalist design, pastel shades and soft lighting mark the beginning of a journey into the Japanese flavors of Momoyama, in the heart of the Oltrarno. The raw cuisine directed by Gabriel Camara proffers a classic Japanese menu of sushi and sashimi, inside out rolls and tempura rolls, the locale’s signature dish. The Japanese food cooked by Chef Lorenzo d’Agnello is just as delicious (Borgo San Frediano, 10r - ph. + 39 055 291840).

An innovative, out of the box culinary experience. Adjacent to the Gallery Hotel Art, the restaurant offers the best of Fusion and Nikkei gastronomic culture, ennobled by nonstop research and experimentation. 33 covers inside and 30 spots on the covered outdoor terrace, plus the stunning Library, bringing the overall number to 80. The chefs at The Fusion take traditional Mediterranean ingredients and reinterpret them in the fashion of the finest Japanese cuisine, crafting original combinations of stile and savor. Nikkei Tapas, Sushi and Cocktails. The food will transport you to a world of unexpected pairings and flavorful tastes: have fun discovering the Tapas menu and ask the barman to tailor a drink just for you (Vicolo dell’Oro, 3 - ph. + 39 055 27266987).

Let’s get away from the city center for some flavor in Fiesole, home to India, one of the oldest Indian restaurants in the Florence province. Established in 1994, it was the first locale to serve Indian cuisine, the brainchild of owner Edoardo Castorina and the Drogba family. India is inevitably the star in all its nuances: the meat-based menu of chicken, lamb and pork cooked according to the traditional tandoor oven method together with unique spices, spicy and not (Viale Gramsci, 43/a - ph. +39 055 599900).

A slice of Russia in one of the most striking locations in Florence: piazza della Signoria. Prepare for a culinary grand tour served up with Dostoevskij’s writings. Florence welcomes Fëdor, the city’s first Russian-inspired bistro. Among Fifties furniture imbued with a contemporary spirit, Fëdor is a restaurant where Italian and Russian cuisine meet. The result? An exclusive liaison worth savoring. Ordering caviar is a must, of course (Piazza della Signoria, 37r - ph. +39 055 210496).

Strictly kosher food cooked in two separate kitchens so that the dishes cannot become “contaminated”, as tradition dictates. A vegetarian hangout where you can eat a nice vegetarian couscous with harissa, Israeli hummus, cheese boreks, Jewish caponata and really delicious falafel. Plus, the restaurant is welcoming, a meeting place for travelers with drawings and designs hanging on the walls. A touch of Jewish culture at the table (Via Luigi Carlo Farini, 2/a - ph. +39 055 2480888).


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