A few steps from the Stazione Centrale, in Via Giovanni Battista Sammartini 19, there is 米蘭 麻辣 道, a truly authentic Chinese family-run tavern.
Organized the evening well in advance, in anticipation of a binge of real ultra spicy Chinese food, my Chinese friends Haoyi and Lucia, together with Denis (who lived in China and the language speaks it perfectly,) brought me at 米蘭 麻辣道. No real sign, a neon says “Calipso”. I absolutely don’t understand where I am and it gets interesting. The place is large and spartan. Very spartan. There are only Chinese customers and this is a great sign. The owner (Ms. Kai Fa Fa) speaks only Chinese, so I let my friends interact with her because I really don’t know what to do. She brings us the menu, entirely written in Chinese and in very uncertain English. For the ingredients of the hot pot without stock there is a separate list, entirely written in Chinese. I really feel in China, in no uncertain terms, and I realize that this is the experience I would have experienced if I had found myself in any Sichuan restaurant. Yes, because at 米蘭 麻辣 道 you can find the best of the spicy cuisine of this area. On the tables around us there are only bowls with a fiery red content.
Making my friends help me, I find out what the menu offers. There are vegetarian dishes (including spinach with garlic, sautéed tofu with onions, mushrooms with pak choi), soups (including eggs and tomato, corn and chicken, sweet and sour), numerous meat dishes based on pork, chicken, offal and beef, casseroles (pork, pork intestine, tofu or beef), preparations in the flame pan — or the wok (of vegetables, chicken, duck, squid or prawns), fried foods (cauliflower, meat or squid ), cold dishes (including the salad of crushed cucumbers, spicy chicken legs, spicy pork ears, jellyfish in sauce) and the first plates (steamed meat dumplings, cold Sichuan noodles, wanton, fried rice dumplings, fried noodles or in broth). As anticipated, there is a separate menu for the hot pot (here you can eat without broth). The ingredients to choose from are numerous and I let my trusted friends choose — and their taste will prove to be a winner. To drink you can order beer, wine or soft drinks, but the girls tell me to drink soy milk, just like in China: with its velvety texture and slightly sweet taste, milk softens and thwarts the spicy effect. With each sip I send down I realize that they are right. The evening ends in the best way, also because the formula is fun if you are in a group. In addition, the courses are decidedly abundant, so perfect to share.