Apulia’s famous Antichi Sapori,
just behind the door
Get a taste of the original,
faithfully reproduced in Japan.
Antichi Sapori is a famous restaurant in Southern Italy’s Apulia region that has received the highest evaluation possible from Gambero Rosso, Italy’s most trusted food and wine magazine.
In order to reproduce the restaurant in Japan, everything was brought from Italy, from chairs and flooring to tablecloths and nails.
The wooden tables are spaced comfortably far apart and give the room a sense of warmth, and the pale rustic colours of the rest of the interior are also faithfully reproduced, helping to transport diners all the way to Apulia.
If Italy is shaped like a boot, then Apulia can be found in its heel. Its cuisine may not yet be well-known among Japanese diners, but this restaurant will help fix that, as they pile dish after dish of antipasto onto the table.
Chef Daisuke Yamazaki trained at the original Apulia restaurant and he tells us that “hospitality is about providing lots of food.”
Yamazaki brings great skill to the kitchen here. Apparently the head in Apulia even once said that his vegetable-focused antipastos “taste more Italian than what you can find in Italy.”
Orecchiette, which mean "little ears" is a hand-made pasta from Apulia.
Made from grano aso, a flour made of burnt grain, the orecchiette here is given a subtle aroma and gently sweet flavour when combined with broccolini, mushrooms, and pureed broad beans.
Crunchy bread crumbs are sprinkled over top, providing more texture to this traditional Apulian dish.
Dessert provides yet another source of joy. Apulian almonds are rare in Japan, but at Antichi Sapori they are candied for hours in a mixture of rosemary and brown sugar.
The method is simple, but it results in a bittersweet harmony that is nothing less than perfect. In this one dish one can truly experience the rich depth of Apulian food culture.
Home-grown almonds and amaro liqueur are available for purchase at the restaurant as well.