A few steps from the Darsena, in the Navigli area, there is a small and curious place that bears the name of Okja. Opened in 2018 and located at Viale Gorizia 8, it is absolutely worth the visit because it is not only beautiful, it is also very good.
Okja is a small Korean restaurant that offers traditional cuisine, whose menu focuses mainly on street food. It is very popular not only generally in Asia, but in South Korea in particular. In Seoul, street food is literally everywhere. Often preferred to restaurants, street food is cheap, versatile and varied. The capital is dotted with stalls and there are neighborhoods with lots of huge food markets that serve as mecca for visitors and tourists from all over the world. And Okja’s property comes from Seoul, as does Kaja, the girl who takes care of both the kitchen and the dining room. Working mainly with home deliveries, there are few seats, some covers have been recovered at the counter with high stools, a long sofa, neon peeling off the walls and a minimalist mise en place are some peculiarities that characterize this restaurant. At first glance, color is definitely its strong point: all the furniture is in pastel pink. Nothing childish or too feminine, don’t worry: this is just a style choice. Everything contributes to the creation of a K-pop habitat and in the spirit of that mood that in 2016 led to the consecration by the Pantone Color Institute of the color Rose Quartz, now very much in vogue. The name of the place? It is taken from the film by South Korean director Bong Joon-ho, but apart from anonymity the two have nothing in common — if not perhaps the muffled idea of a fairy tale.
Together with Lucrezia, I decided to try different dishes and, although the place can be defined as a bistro, the ingredients are fresh and the portions abundant. In short, quality is not only evident in the stylistic code of interior design, taste is also satisfied. Street food yes, but quality. Finally, I would add, because in Milan the tendency to want to invest in more beautiful than good places is really getting out of hand. The menu is overall quite varied. There are many known dishes, all tasty and well-seasoned, such as mandu (chicken, kimchi or vegetables), kimbap (fish and vegetables, classic with kimchi, buloghi or egg rolls and fried rice with kimchi, ham and cheese ), noodles (classic ramyun, jjajangmyeon — Korean noodles with black sauce; bibim neng-mion — cold; japchae — sweet potato noodles), tokpokki, rice cake and noodles, jeon — savory pancakes (kimchi or seafood) , rice with kimchi, bibimbap, rolled egg omelette and, of course, the famous Korean-style fried chicken, optional with soy sauce, honey or hot sauce. There are also house dishes such as soups (soondubu jjigae — spicy with tofu, clams and shrimp sauce, den jang jjigae — fermented soy bean paste, tofu and shrimp sauce) and jumeok-bap (vegetarian rice balls typical Korean). Even the beverage card is quite complete. Among the noteworthy items, of course, soju (classic or in various fruit flavors), teas (yuja cha — with grapefruit; seng-gang cha — with ginger and honey), juices (of rice, avocado or orange), light Korean grappa with bamboo, Korean rice wine, Korean beer (excellent with fried chicken) and, finally, some Italian wine available by the glass or bottle. The desserts, a few, include rice cake, mochi (raspberry, chocolate, green tea, mango) and the ice cream mix (ginger, sesame, wasabi).
📍 Viale Gorizia 8, Milan 📞 +39 366 327 4999 💰 $$