Rice Ball House
During the quarantine, many thought that the future of restaurants in Italy would be fatally compromised precisely because of Covid-19, while others thought to organize themselves and open a new reality. This is in fact the case of Rice Ball House, a start-up started in early May with the promise of being the first Italian chain of onigiri. A premise that is a whole program, since in fact the partners and founders are three Italians: Fabio Marchesi (fashion entrepreneur), Francesca Sacchetti (event manager) and Barbara Bottarelli (marketing manager). The recipes, on the other hand, are the work of Niimori Nobuya, a former executive chef of well-established Japanese-fusion restaurants (Nobu, Fingers and Sushi B). Rice Ball House also reassures about sustainability, the packaging is in fact completely recyclable and eco-sustainable.
In short, it is a type of format comparable to many other trendy examples in the food sector that Milan has seen in recent years such as, for example, the Japanese-Brazilian and poke chains or the famous Macha Cafe.
For now, two venues have been opened, the laboratory in Piazza Firenze 4 and the first shop in Via Fara 6. To purchase the products, you can order them with the major delivery platforms or collect them directly on site.
But let's talk about the product. Rice Ball House, as already mentioned, offers onigiri, the famous Japanese rice balls omnipresent in manga and anime. Even if you've never been to Japan, you've certainly seen them somewhere.
Here you can choose from twelve recipes, some more traditional (salmon and mayo, tuna and mayo or shrimp and mayo), others clearly fusion (vitello tonnato, avocado, quinoa and yuzu or shrimp, avocado and yuzu).
The idea is that of a versatile product, easy to take with you and simple to consume in any place and occasion, but if on one hand the filling is very abundant, on the other this risks completely flaking the riceball to the first bite. Not to mention that the preparations containing spicy ingredients are not entirely pleasant, since the latter completely anesthetize the rest of the flavors. Not all onigiri are presented in a workmanlike manner, some are somewhat approximate. But there is nothing to complain about the freshness of the ingredients.
The final bill is absurdly high. You will pay for onigiri a figure that in my opinion is simply insane, not to mention that the delivery cost is equally expensive.
In conclusion, Rice Ball House wants to launch a new trend that however has very little or nothing to do with Japan. Now it is definitely in the running-in phase, we will see future developments but in my opinion the premises are not the best.
📍 Piazza Firenze 4, Milan (📞 +39 02 095 0553)
📍 Via Gustavo Fara 6, Milan (📞 +39 02 4977 1556)