Monday, June 2, 2014

Nun, Taste of Middle East



I just can’t seem to get back to a normal pace of things.
I have gone to bed more than once in the past weeks thinking “finally tomorrow I have a couple of free hours to finally post on my blog” and then something unexpected happens at work, or the kids’ social life takes over as usual and it just doesn’t happen. For the same reason, things have not been particularly active in the kitchen lately either (or on FB, IG, Twitter for that matter), so now that I have finally gotten around to writing something, it is lucky that I had these pictures of a great little place we discovered recently sitting in a folder waiting to be published.
It is not a fancy restaurant. It is not even a restaurant per se, and it does not serve Italian food, so it will mainly interest those who live in the city (because no matter how delicious Italian food is, and it is, we are allowed to sometimes crave other cuisines, n'est pas?) or tourists that have had one too many plates of pasta, if that is even possible. 
There are three reasons that make it noteworthy, the first being that it is pretty much always open (Tuesday to Sunday, 12:00-23:00 - or 11:00pm)... refreshing given that so many places  in Milan close between lunch and dinner. The second being that it is cheap. The last, but not the least, being that it serves all those Middle Eastern staples that I often crave, homemade and fresh .  
Of course there are other places here where you can eat these things, but having hummus, baba ghanoush or falafel is not usually a spur of the moment decision because it usually involves booking and going to a restaurant or making them at home. And sure, there are a gazillion take out falafel places in this city, but most of them don’t look very appealing and they certainly fall into the fast-food category. The kind of places that leave you feeling guilty, sickly and greasy once you are done ,and more than a little worried about what kind of meat you just ate.

This place is very casual yet pleasant, light, airy and clean (bathrooms included). The food is extremely affordable but the ingredients are fresh, the food is made on the premises and you can watch it being prepared in their open kitchen. The kebabs are made with  100% guaranteed Italian poultry (for a lighter kebab), and the falafels are homemade and fried express.

As the website informs us, Nun was founded by eight friends from three different continents who love Middle Eastern food and wanted to create a different, lighter, healthier approach to a beloved fast food item, the kebab.

You have two choices:

1) Menu for €6,90: kebab, drink and a side (+ extras)
2) Just a kebab for €4,00 (+ extras)
Most extras cost €0,50.

Whether you order just the kebab or the menu, you can choose all the fixings - from the kind of pita to the filling and sauces - from their list.

-          Pita: traditional, kamut, farro and EVO oil

-         Filling: meat – chicken, 100% Italian - or vegetarian - homemade falafel (chickpeas, onion, garlic, parsley, cumin, salt, pepper)  or fried eggplant. Extra ingredient €0,50 each.

-         Sauces (vegetarian and some vegan): white sauce; harissa; yogurt sauce (low-fat yogurt, cucumbers, dried mint, salt and    pepper); hummus (chick peas, salt, oil, cumin, tahina, garlic and lemon).
       Baba ganoush (eggplant, salt, oil, tahina, garlic) and bademjan (eggplant, salt, pepper, oil, onion, turmeric, mint and sour cream) are considered extras

-         Other ingredients: green salad, tomatoes, red onions, fried yellow onions, shirazi salad (tomato, cucumber, onion, salt, pepper, dried mint, lemon, oil), Israeli salad (tomato, cucumber, salt, pepper, lemon, parsley, oil), green olives, capers, pickles, boiled potatoes, hard-boiled eggs (extra), mozzarella - we are in Italy after all! (extra).
If you are having the €6,90 menu, you can choose from these sides:
-         French fries, shirazi or Israeli salad, hummus, fresh fruit in pieces, 3 falafels (extra), baba ganoush (extra), bademjan (extra), yogurt special (extra; low-fat yogurt, cucumbers, dried mint, nuts, raisins, salt and pepper).
And your drink:

-          mineral water, soft drinks, juice, beer (+€1,00). 
They also have special sandwiches: Keb (€4,00): pita, chicken, hummus, harissa, shirazi salad; Vegan(€5,00) EVO oil pita, falafel, baba ganoush, Israeli salad, capers; Sabich (€5,00): pita, fried eggplant, hummus, harissa, boiled potatoes, hard-boiled eggs, fresh mint; Nor (€5,00): pita, chicken, pomegranate molasses, green salad, green olives, chopped nuts.
Naturally, besides the fixed menus, you can order any of these items individually, and more (dates, fruit, pita bread etc.).

For four menus with extras we spent €17,90! Not bad for a family meal.

Via L. Spallanzani 36
Tel 02/91637315



  1. The food looks really good there! And yay for fresh, real food that doesn't make you feel unwell afterwards :D The setting almost looks like someone's home kitchen!

  2. Wow, I would love to eat there! I am planning on making homemade falafels soon. I hope they don't embarrass you! :) I just made baba ghanouj and it was really tasty and smoky from blackening the eggplants on the grill. ~ David

    1. Embarass me? Hah! I posted about baba ganoush and hummus because I make them often. I also once made falafel but ended up not posting them because I wasn't 100% convinced about the process, I wanted to perfect it. It was pretty easy however, I definitely suggest you try... that way I can try your recipe ;o)

  3. I know what you mean by things getting in the way, just when you thought you had a few spare hours. I love the interior of this restaurant and Middle Eastern cuisine is a favourite of mine as well. The food does seem extremely well-priced so how fortunate you are to have this restaurant in your neck of the woods xx

  4. A very 'honest' offering! Look at the amount of filling!!! And the delicious sides! One plate of moreishness . . . wish this place was in my neck of the woods :) !

  5. I know what you mean! I've been MIA myself!

    And I have been meaning to try that place forever! One of the owner is a very good friend of my brother! Glad to see you liked it.

    1. Oh, wow! I wish I had known that, I could've gotten more information about the founders... what they wrote on the website definitely made me curious about their different stories

  6. Interesting! It's always amazing to read about how international the restaurant scene in Italy is becoming. I remember when I first move to Rome (in the mid 90s) there were hardly any non-Italian restaurants around, just a few Chinese places that most of my Italian friends were afraid to try. So much changed over the 10 years I lived there, and from what I can gather from reading blogs and mags, things have continued apace since then.


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