“That touches your heart.” Among the many definitions of Dim Sum, this is the most beautiful one. And it is also the truest one. Trivially associated with the “Chinese dumpling,” dim sum is not simply a bundle filled with meat or vegetables, but much more. It is certainly one of the typically Chinese dishes that is increasingly popular in Milan these days thanks to its simplicity combined with remarkable flavor. But what really represents dim sum is just a feeling, an emotion, a moment to share quality time, joy and peace with loved ones.
The story of our small envelopes filled with food and feeling, has its roots precisely in the concept of a “social moment,” or what we would presently refer to as “social eating.” The legend tells that at the time when travelers of the ancient silk road walked for days and days without stopping, a moment of rest was necessary. So, inspired by the ancient tradition of Yum Cha (drinking tea), they thought of opening tea houses along the way in order to rest and enjoy a hot meal. This is why dim sum in China is designed to be consumed and shared with loved ones, in tastings aimed at more types and varieties, in order to extend even the moments of social pleasure.
We know for sure that you, dear Milanese friends, have little time, and we don’t blame you. But, if on the one hand you cannot savor every single moment because it is time to go back to work, we hope you will be able to enjoy at least the aphrodisiac taste of these small steamed, stewed or fried morsels, following the advice of our ranking.
Ready? Here are the best dim sum in Milan.
Via Casale, 3
This place praises sociability, love and also brotherhood. From the name, Fratelli Ravioli, it suggests a reality of sharing and peace. And that’s right. It’s a minimal, small and well-kept restaurant with an open kitchen where you can enjoy moments of unique pleasure. Unlike many dim sum places in Milan, Fratelli Ravioli is different. In fact, you can sit, which is not a common luxury in Milan where the frenzy reigns supreme and our bundles are typically served in a “street food” formula. The restaurant is certainly small, but if you find a place you will be greeted by kind and friendly staff who will serve you really enjoyable dim sum. They have dumplings made of white pasta with pork, veal or vegetable filling, with spinach or saffron, but we recommend the mixed Cantonese ones so as to try various types.
LA RAVIOLERIA SARPI
Via Paolo Sarpi, 27
Ravioleria Sarpi not only makes Dim Sum its only creed, but it does so in via Paolo Sarpi, the emblem of the Chinese kingdom on Milanese soil. It’s a perfect match, to say the least. This is demonstrated by the dumplings they offer, in 3 versions: beef, pork or vegetables. They’re simple and effective, but very tasty. The ravioli are served on a practical take away saucer, and the restaurant operates in a street food format. But do not be fooled by the idea of a kitsch stand placed in the middle of the street, because you would be wrong. Ravioleria Sarpi consists of transparent glass. On the back, the cooks are a few steps away from you, ready to cook in less than 10 minutes some tasty dumplings right before your eyes.
Via Nino Bixio, 29
A seemingly simple wrapping conceals a preparation that actually requires technique and great parsimony. Often the cheapest dim sum are too claggy, with the dough too thick or the filling too poor. If anyone wants to avoid this unpleasant inconvenience it’s Dim Sum, as if the name was not enough to make you understand that their dumplings verge on the perfection. Using a beautiful thin dough, it contains a rich and full-bodied filling. These are the main features of one of the most loved and popular Chinese restaurants on Milanese soil. From Hong Kong via London, Los Angeles and New York to Milan, Dim Sum offers anyone the opportunity to live the evocative experience of an elegant and contemporary China. It’s an ode to the elegance of oriental gastronomy with refined dumplings worthy of note, in an environment conceived and created by the designer Carlo Samarati.
KUNG FU BAO
Viale Monza, 37
Among fried dim sum, in broth, steam, pork, beef, or vegetables, Kung Fu Bao also stands out in this ranking. Another element that must certainly be mentioned for this place is the bao, as already understandable from the name. It is steamed white sandwiches stuffed with meat (also available in a sweet version). But let’s stay focused on dumplings and see why Kung Fu Bao ranks among the best. We have a wide choice here: Shaomai dumplings with grilled shrimp, Taro with potatoes, Fan Gor with mushrooms and sausage, or meat, beef and vegetarian classics. Simplicity, taste and tradition are three elements that make this place an authentic Chinese dumpling temple in the heart of NoLo in Milan, precisely at Viale Monza, 37. Take a seat: the space, furnished in a modern way, with Chinese urban decoration and cage-shaped lamps, lends itself perfectly to dinners with friends or couples. There is an informal and relaxed atmosphere, great for enjoying your dim sum calmly and peacefully.
MAOJI STREET FOOD
Piazza Aspromonte, 43
Can the art of street food be considered refined? Well, it looks like yes thanks to Maoji Street Food. It’s a unique venue of its kind, with dishes that are unlikely to be found elsewhere. Among the most daring discoveries, mention must be made of the fine Cantonese salami or taro with bacon. It is a testament to the idea that it is not necessary to have the certificate of excellence if excellence is already served on the table, or better yet, in the bamboo canestrelli where we will consume our stuffed bundles. Once you enter Maoji, the perception of China is practically undeniable, but with a vintage halo of the past. Bright retro signs with Chinese writing, reddish bricks, striped curtains, close and intimate tables contribute to creating a pleasant and comforting atmosphere. The Dim Sums are excellent, and have allowed this place to earn a reputation worthy of admiration and esteem on all Milanese soil. You just have to stop by Loreto and you’ll be delighted.