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TLDR? The best Asian food in Medellin can be found at Bao Bei!
There’s been a remarkable boom in Asian restaurants in Medellin in the last five years. That’s very much an indication of the city’s rapid transformation into an international foodie hub and the fast-changing palette and affluence of some sections of the local population.
A talented Itamae would have struggled to find work in Medellin 10 years ago, these days they are worth their weight in gold. That’s thanks to the fierce competition amongst the city’s top restaurateurs for the title of best sushi or Asian restaurant in Medellin.
Here we’ve focused on the restaurants that take Asian cuisine to the next level, serving up an altogether more incredible experience.
Ready to grab your chopsticks and get chomping? Here are our top picks!
Chefs Nathaly Montoya and Ian Vacolbe Delfin have nailed it with the small but mighty, Bao Bei, pound-for-pound the best Asian restaurant in Medellin.
You know a restaurant’s good when they shun reservations and there’s a queue round the block to get a table.
People line up every night to squeeze into this petite, El Poblado diner for the Jiaozi dumplings, Bao buns, and world-class ramen.
The menu is so tantalizingly tight you can literally order blind. Drop a pin on anything and we promise you will not be disappointed.
Favorites include the ribs or the chicken prepared with lemongrass and coconut milk served with spinach with garlic rice and green papaya. The best bit is when the bill arrives as it’s still remarkably well priced compared to some of its rivals.
Start with steaming dumplings, share a couple of sticky KFC Bao’s stuffed with Korean fried chicken and kimchi followed by the Tonkotsu ramen. Three fantastic reasons to wait patiently for a table at Medellin’s standout Asian diner.
The go-to sushi joint for free-spending gourmands, Hanami is an upscale restaurant. This spot offers sushi and teppanyaki hangout tucked away in an exclusive Poblado cul-de-sac.
Medellin’s beau monde hit this place up with their special plus-ones when they want to celebrate a big occasion. Here, you can celebrate special moments with a boat full of tantalizing nigiri, sashimis, makis, and uramaki.
As well as its sophisticated sushi menu, Hanami lures its big-spending regulars with a culinary spectacle at Medellin’s top Teppanyaki table. It pays to book ahead to bag ringside seats for the show. Chop chop.
A boatload of superior sushi or the Teppanyaki Hanami for two. And, don’t forget to try the lobster, octopus, king prawn, sirloin, and a culinary spectacle to boot.
This upscale Asian restaurant in Astorga by Medellin’s most celebrated chef, Juan Manuel Barrientos.
It’s as close as it comes to Nomu in the mountains.
Cuon’s extensive menu, crafted by the only Colombian chef to be awarded a Michelin star, is arguably the most sophisticated selection of Asian platters in Medellin.
Boasting specials from Vietnam, Thailand, and Japan, there are standout dishes from three of the powerhouses of Asian cuisine.
We love the tantalizing makis and the city’s best selection of lip-smacking ramen, and the Japanese Robata grill gives lovers of Japanese food another dimension to explore. All of it served in the most delightful of settings.
Where to start with Cuon’s upscale menu? The tuna tataki is “brutal” as they say in these parts. We also love a couple of special salmon nigiri with white truffle oil.
Or, try the robata grilled scallops with wok-fried spinach, and a roll of shiitake sushi. And, the basil and cardamom white chocolate mousse should do.
Rob Pevitts and Carmen Angel named this creative Colombian sushi restaurant after their cat, Moshi.
The trendy venue is every bit as sweet and playful.
Found two doors down from their runaway success in the Marquee Hotel, this is their second Medellin hit. It astutely converts the finest local ingredients into creative Asian cuisine with a Colombian twist.
Their devilish attention to detail and kickass cocktails make ordering the Omakase tasting menu a necessity. With seven refined dishes, the taste sensations just keep coming and rarely hit a sour note.
If you decide not to order the Omakase tasting menu (your loss) make sure you try the Spicy Crab temaki the Ca Kho Encocado, the fresh fish of the day braised in a clay pot and served with lobster, shrimp, and coconut fish sauce. Drink your way through the creative cocktail menu.
Niku Cava Bar by the Tesoro Mall pulls out all the stops to leave an impression with its bling bar and opulent sushi combinations.
You’re more likely to find Medellin’s old money on the other side of Poblado at Hanami, but this place is fun to see up close how the city’s rich kids splash their cash on a night out.
The staff keeps the drinks free-flowing and there are some luxurious and spicy maki combos that are worth making the trip up the hill for.
Oh, and the brunch is also a riotous all-you-can-eat affair that pulls in a hedonistic crowd.
Dip into some of Niku’s more extravagant rolls – including the Zenji with salmón, octopus tempura, caviar, avocado, rocoto honey, pink pepper, and a ceviche topping.
Or, try our favorite: the Kizu with crispy shrimp, fish, octopus, crab, tuna with spicy sriracha sauce, avocado, and yellow chili. Don’t forget to work your way through the high-end cocktails, either!
These restaurants all have some truly divine Asian food for you to try. Regardless of whether sushi is your jam or you love some good ramen, we’re confident you’ll enjoy these picks.
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