Life is beautiful because it is varied. But often we forget this. When it comes to choosing where to go for lunch or dinner, we always focus on Italian. Maybe this is because we certainly know it will not disappoint us, or maybe it’s because of the typical diffidence we tend to have towards all that is unknown.
Therefore, international cuisine is often forgotten, or worse, seen with reserve and distrust.
The reward, however, greatly outweighs any perceived risk. So, the time has come to break down any prejudice. Today we are putting Chinese cuisine in the spotlight, in defense of values, culture – and food of course!
We promise you that with this guide there will be nothing to fear and even the most skeptical will not only change their minds, but will readily arm themselves with chopsticks.
Without further ado, here is the ranking that will dispel any false myths about a gastronomy that deserves to be discovered – and savored!
Via Raffaello Sanzio, 22
Let’s start this ranking with a bang. Indeed, let’s do it with 3 words: quality, evolution and personality. These are the 3 fundamental pillars on which our first treasure rests. Ba Asian Mood is not simply a restaurant, but as already deduced from the name, a mood. It is a lifestyle that is 100% Chinese. The restaurant is owned by Marco Liu, Claudio’s brother, owner of another starred restaurant (Iyo), and Giulia from the Gong restaurant (which we will talk about soon after). Needless to say, talent in the kitchen is certainly a family gift. What we want to specify instead – in the case of Ba Asian Mood – is that having lunch or dinner here is absolutely mandatory. The environment is elegant and suitable for a special occasion. But it is the food that truly stands out. High-quality fresh ingredients are used for noteworthy and refined dishes. The aim here is to redefine Chinese gastronomic culture in a refined way. And let’s just say, they do it perfectly.
Via Corso Concordia, 8
Culinary talent must run in the family, because the next restaurant on our list is run by Marco’s sister. Giulia Liu opened Gong in 2015, and it has since become a success, hands down. In a place like Milan where choosing a Chinese restaurant is difficult and often confusing due to the numerous possibilities, Gong resounds as strong as its name, both in Milan and in our ranking. The location is disarmingly beautiful and elegant, but does not overshadow the equally refined dishes. In an almost surreal, warm environment, you can take a seat at one of the numerous tables and indulge in the extensive menus. There are “tasting” and “creations” menus, alongside menus focused on Dim Sum and seafood. Gong is an experience that goes beyond a simple dinner. It’s a true sensorial journey through the typical Chinese aromas and flavors, revisited in a modern key.
Via Lodovico Castelvetro, 16/18
Born in 2010, from the collaboration between Chef Zhang Guoqing and the Italy China Foundation, we welcome you to the most authentic Celestial Empire to be found in Milan. Chinese regional haute cuisine is what it’s all about here. A specialty menu that enhances the typical and original dishes of all Chinese regions is ready to make the most skeptical change their minds, and further charm the fans of this cuisine. But before you fall in love with the menu, let yourself be enchanted for a moment by the atmosphere and the environment in which the culinary and sensorial experience will take place. Everything is bright, elegant and cared for, in brilliant shades of red. The restaurant lends itself perfectly to dinners and business lunches, therefore it’s excellent for the frenetic and tireless Milanese reality. As a mirror of Chinese culture, Bon Wei wants to offer gastronomy whose quality reigns supreme.
LE NOVE SCODELLE
Viale Monza, 4
Directly from Southwest China, we continue our journey in the boundless Chinese lands with Le Nove Scodelle. With typical cuisine of the Sichuan region, originality and authenticity are the characteristic features of this restaurant. Here, as the name suggests, there are only nine dishes. This comes from the number of dishes eaten during the ritual feasts of the ancient Chinese empire. Among the nine dishes, the pork dumplings with sweet n spicy sauce are a stand out. The carp fillet with vegetables and chilli is also exceptional. There is nothing on the menu that betrays the spirit of the place. The authenticity here resounds with every customer. Here’s one last word of advice. You’ll need to hurry if you want to try all the current specialties, since the menu changes each month.
Via Panfilo Castaldi, 21
Same owner, same excellence. This is the clear signature of Agie, who owns Le Nove Scodelle and Ravioleria Sarpi. With Wonton, she can crown it as her third success. Unlike the other two, specializing respectively in typical Sichuan dishes (very spicy) and Dim Sum (dumplings), Wonton moves away and aims for a new approach, rooted in gastronomic excellence. Agie confesses that this time the intent was to create non-spicy Chinese specialties with a more delicate taste, which would be suitable for every type of palate. Here you can find smoked quail and chicken, broken spring rolls, kong pao prawns, egg marinated in soybeans and Chinese noodles. The service is polite and friendly and contributes to creating an atmosphere of hospitality. This is also immediately perceived by the style of the place. It’s informal, but well cared for, with beautiful soft pink walls that frame wooden tables, open kitchen, and two small and cozy rooms. Wonton does not disappoint and lends itself perfectly to intimate dinners for couples or friends. Come here if you’re looking for a unique flavor profile.
Via Lazzaro Palazzi, 15
In one of the most enchanting neighborhoods of Milan, we find our sixth Chinese food gem. We are in Porta Venezia, precisely at via Lazzaro Palazzi 15. This is you’ll find Asian Bistrot. Rumors say that no Milanese have ever been disappointed by the talent and cuisine of this recently opened restaurant. If we had to use a term to describe Asian Bistrot it would be “freshness” or “innovation.” The environment is minimal, simple but well cared for, with lush plants and Scandinavian-style wooden tables. It is undoubtedly comfortable. The courses are tasty, authentic and prepared with care and attention by the expert hands of the chefs. They took the typical dishes of their respective areas and created a mix of modern flavors. It is perfectly in line with the avant-garde spirit of Milan, which is constantly looking for new flavors and experiences.
Via Carlo Tenca, 12
If your dream has always been to try a noteworthy Peking duck, the next restaurant will let you fulfill your not too hidden desire. Experiencing true gastronomic China has never been easier. This is what Su Garden, a restaurant with a certificate of excellence near Repubblica, demonstrates. Among lush palms, modern furnishings, soft lighting, and bleached bricks, Su Garden offers decidedly remarkable flavors. Choose the seafood salad, a soup with three flavors, special dumplings or Peking duck, for a truly decadent dining experience. Of many Chinese restaurants, Su Garden definitely knows how to stand out and give prestige to its gastronomic culture on Milanese soil. Another thing that stands out is the service, which is always attentive and impeccable.
Via Garofalo, 22/a
From one certificate of excellence to another, the time has come to mention Mandarin 2, a real Chinese institution on Milanese soil. From the founding of the very first restaurant in 1974 until today, Mandarin is a love story in all respects. It was born from the love between a man from Hong Kong and a Sicilian woman who together have created something magical. Its well-known reputation does not disappoint expectations. With a modern atmosphere, Mandarin 2 has been able to attract not only admirers of the Chinese culinary tradition, but also well-known professionals and critics of gourmet cuisine. And after seeing the menu, it’s no surprise. Cold chicken in Chinese wine, crispy shrimp in Kataifi paste and shrimp sticks in plum sauce are just some of the specialties served by the historic restaurant. The staff know exactly how to put customers at ease, just like at home. But in China!
Via Giulio E Corrado Venini, 54
Speaking of places that make you feel at home, Tiglio is surely one of them. It’s a vintage Chinese restaurant, with a rustic and rural mood specially designed to make the customer feel at ease. If, for example, you order the Hong Kong prawns, accompanied by a small appetizer, such as red beef or radish and eggplant skewers, you will immediately notice the highest quality of fresh ingredients. Tiglio is not just a restaurant, but a cultural-gastronomic project that aims to introduce the marvels of Chinese cuisine to the Milanese. It’s a cuisine that deserves to be discovered more deeply, and which goes far beyond the typical spring roll.
Via Nicola Antonio Porpora, 5
We conclude this journey through the flavors of the East with a real gastronomic delight. Is it really necessary to specify that the place is inspired by Mao Tse Tung? If the name wasn’t enough, the walls, furnishings and dishes will make it clear, because Mao is practically everywhere inside the room. And by everywhere we really mean ‘everywhere.’ Even on the menu, you’ll find the Chinese emperor ready to dispense his wisdom under the “Mao’s advice” section. We assure you, however, that in this case you will not be forced to follow the orders of the dictator. You can choose from a remarkable variety of typical Sichuan dishes, all delicious and noteworthy. The quality of the food often leads to a very long waiting list. Therefore, reservations are recommended.
With this place, and all the previous ones, we can finally reach a worthy conclusion. By following this guide, Chinese cuisine will finally have the redemption it deserves. So, enjoy and let yourself be charmed by the vast range of unexplored flavors of the Celestial Empire.