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There is gelato and then there is Il Massimo del Gelato (Via Lodovico Castelvetro, 18, 20154 Milano, Italy) ,a small, independent gelateria, 1o minutes drive from the city center. Fresh fruit sorbets like orange, mango, passion fruit and various ice cream are excellent and turn out to be identical to the original flavors , but the real specialty here is chocolate. 100%, 75% chocolate, with rhum, with cinnamon and red pepper,with nuts or Grand Marnier – Il Massimo del Gelato proposes ten different chocolate ice cream, that will be good enough for any chocolate snob…

 

 

 

 

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One of my favorite Milanese dishes is risotto al salto, made by pan frying leftover saffron risotto with a little of butter and some grated Parmigiano Reggiano. And where can you find it better than at a simple, traditional, family owned trattoria like La Bettola di Piero (Via Orti, 17, 20122 Milano, Italy; tel. +39 02 5518 4947), located in a quite residential area and thus mostly frequented by the locals. It was still puntarelle (a type of chicory) season when I was in Milan few weeks ago , so having them as a starter with some salted anchovies sauce was a must.

 

 

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I think half of this croissant with peach jam filling at Sant Ambroeus café in Milan is pure butter, the other half – pure pleasure. As for the cappuccino… Oh well, coffee is just one of the bunch of things Italians know how to do better… ( like shoes for example!)

 

Sant Ambroeus : Corso Giacomo Matteotti, 7, 20121 Milano, Italy; tel. +39 02 7600 0540

 

 

 

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At Koya and Koya bar (49 and 50 Frith St, London W1D 4SG, London; tel. +44 20 7434 4463) the main focus is cold or hot udon noodles and all kinds of traditional or innovative broths that can go with them (think smoked mackerel, beef shabu-shabu or mushrooms with walnuts miso), but the small plates are not less worthy, like the pictured miso marinated mushrooms.

There is a good chance that Koya might become my new “cantine”, if I spend more time in London…

 

 

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The “Yankee” burger at Mandarin Oriental’s Bar Boulud  is seriously good. I think I’ve found the perfect burger in London.(Costs £ 13)