By Mye Mulingtapang
From the prominent signboard and modernist feel, YUM is the kind of place that will you make you proud of Filipino cuisine. Whether you are a first timer to the food or are familiar with it. The ambiance also makes the dining experience truly world class.
It is the first Filipino gourmet restaurant in Milan commissioned by an Italian architect. One of the smallest restaurants in the city, the place only covers 77 square feet. From handmade tiles, cork lamps and framed Tinalak weaves the place is every inch Filipino. Signature Pinoy dishes come with heaps of steamed rice, which surprisingly suit the Italian taste buds.
A comfortable and relaxing atmosphere where guests could have a conversation.
With the miniscule kitchen, a three man team of chefs, and a 28-seating capacity, it is not always easy to get a seat at YUM. People had to call for reservation, wait in line and wait for 20 minutes to get their food. But clients keep on coming back.
When passion in food and art collide. Chef Marvin presents this goat kaldereta dish in an artistic and visually creative way.
Chef Marvin Braceros created delectable rice bowl dishes that are thoroughly modern and with a twist, but still authentically. Pork Jumbled Luzon, Sun-kissed Visayas and Salmon Tropical Mindanao boast of colour and flavour pleasing both to the eyes and taste. “We did these to introduce our food in a modern way at the same time to attract Italians and to penetrate the Milan restaurant scene.. We modernized our food in the European way,” Braceros said.
It is part of the Italian culture to choose the best ingredients and use only natural and fresh choices. In Milan, when Asian cuisine is mentioned people only hear about Japanese, Chinese, Thai or Indian dishes. It came a surprise to the locals when YUM opened in November 2016.
Chef Kid Loyd, Chef Marvin and Chef Mund the masterminds behind the kitchen.
YUM’s menu offers a wide range of flavours, creativity and originality with Filipino and Italian cultures blended in it. Italians relish on Lumpia, Goat Kaldereta, Adobo, Kare-kare, Palabok and Mami. Ube Cheesecake, Yum Tart and Bibingka are dessert best sellers.
Salmon Tropical Mindanao is a mixed rice bowl of salmon, mango, avocado, radish, and zucchini topped with barbecue sauce perfect for quick lunches and dinner.
The freshness of cooking and the care of preparation makes their dishes of high standard. But Braceros added another ingredient to his menu. “It was daunting for Filipinos to break into food in Italy but what’s satisfying is that our customers say that it is seldom to none to find a restaurant that has the sincerity to welcome them with a good heartfelt smile, so accommodating and warm. Aside from the food, they come back again and again because of the hospitality,” Braceros exclaimed.
YUM’s dishes are now making raves and have been the talk of the town. Food bloggers and critics have a given a new perspective on the Filipino food. It has been receiving a lot of positive reviews and accolades from the Milan restaurant scene and foreign guests. They have placed well ahead of other Asian restaurants.
“The food here is great I really loved it. I’ve been to the Philippines myself this was the best I had outside the actual country”, said guest Nicolas Burns.
“It was great, it’s amazing, it’s wonderful new experience that Milano Tortona has to offer and I suggest everyone to come and try it”, said Rocco di Salondon, another guest.
Just like the Adobo, the restaurant offer a right balance of flavors sweetness and a hint of sour, great food and excellent service.
Filipino cuisine isn’t as popular worldwide as Japanese and Italian cuisines but it’s starting to conquer the global culinary scene thanks to chefs like Braceros who continue to share the wealth of Pinoy cooking to people of different cultures.
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Photographs by the author | Additional photos taken from YUM's Facebook account