In north of Milan, a few steps from the Niguarda hospital, there is a restaurant run by an affectionate Chinese couple that bears the name of Jinyunfang.
Seen from the outside it is rather anonymous, the same goes for the interiors: the atmosphere is free-range, it seems that they have taken over an old pizzeria or tavern without changing the furniture. The kitchen is managed by the owner, while the dining room by his wife.
What is striking about this restaurant is certainly the menu, a mix of recipes in pure Cantonese style and spicy and refined dishes, more typical of Sichuan. So I decide to try a bit of everything, to understand more.
To begin with, I order grilled shrimp dumplings (which are served steamed to me, however) and a classic spring roll. The dumplings are forgettable: they are not fresh, but defrosted. Even the roll is not at all special, a little burnt but above all too greasy for my taste.
I then opt for something more decisive, such as long chao shou, or wonton dumplings dipped in a spicy sauce with crumbled peanuts and spring onion - it is a typical snack from Chengdu ("chao shou" is a term used in Sichuan to indicate the wontons). Unlike the others, this dish is simply delicious!
Then I move on to the boiled shrimp meatballs: do not be intimidated by the fiery red color of the sauce in which they are immersed, it is not so spicy. To be served with steamed rice.
Finally, I am a bit disappointed with the fen pi with sesame and wasabi sauce: this latter condiment is really too present, I really struggled to finish my portion.
As you may have guessed, the main dishes here are those of Sichuan: in addition to those I have mentioned, among the many, I point out the jiao ma chicken, the pork ribs with black bean sauce and the classic mapo tofu.
The lady in the dining room is very kind and helpful but, in my opinion the final price is a bit high compared to the average of the restaurants that offer the same type of cuisine with the same service and dining room environment. The courses are all extremely generous, but they don't justify the bill.
I recommend Jinyunfang if you live in the area and want to try something special without having to cross the city or come to the center.