Huan is a fusion restaurant in all the possible meanings of the term: fusion in the sense that it merges the restaurant and the cocktail bar; fusion in the sense that even if its cuisine mainly looks to China, it blends oriental inspiration with Western raw materials and creativity. In short, it’s one of those places that should have been in Milan for years but were only in London or New York. Instead this gem has opened up to the Navigli, a perfect area, full of trendy bars and fusion explorations, where the nightlife is more intense.
The walls inside are made of exposed brick, and the interiors feature vintage-style home armchairs and round tables. The two prevailing colors are the gray of the rough cement and the cerulean of floors, furniture and walls. The design furniture does the rest, thanks to all the light that comes from the large windows. The counter, however, is gold and the set of backlit blocks that composes with the bottle behind it’s really elegant.
Since Huan is an oriental bistro where the proposal for food and drink are almost complementary, the best thing is to start with cocktails and order dishes from the kitchen (mainly dim sum and Chinese dumplings) as an aperitif that, if desired, can become a real dinner. Three cocktails to break the ice: the Huan, two, three … splitz with its self-referential name and citrus flavor, the Cardinal Eretico, which is a sort of Moscow Mule with an oriental twist thanks to the bamboo liqueur and the Spicy Margarita, a sort of Mexican fantasy with tequila, agave nectar and freshly made Habanero syrup. Three great cocktails.
Drinks must accompany the food: small wasabi peas and dragon clouds. Then, to continue the happy hour, the samosa with vegetables in a bamboo basket, the spring rolls of vegetables and shrimp, the dumplings and two small steamed mantou sandwiches, one with minced pork and the other with shiitake mushrooms and radish salad.
Why do not turn an aperitif it into dinner? Try the Let’s Tango dumplings with shrimp and almonds flavored with fresh lime, ginger and coriander; and The Forbidden Dumpling with pork fillet, orange and sansho pepper served with freshly poured rose tea. Do you want to continue? Don’t miss the Lost in Bejing with duck breast, onions and persimmon and soy sauce or the Mr. Daikon Rabbit with rabbit, dates, daikon panissa and turnip greens.
The atmosphere of the restaurant is international, full of foreign guests who, perhaps, are more accustomed than us to sniff out the news, as if Huan abroad was already more than famous. Despite everything, however, the overall vibe is relaxing, the chaos of the Navigli is far away and the furniture and lights seem to be those of a living room. The time spent dining flies, no one notices that hours have passed. When we go out we feel regenerated, as we always feel when we come across something new. We’ll return. And you will, too.