Mandarin 2 Chinese restaurant is a place that carries with it an important story, fundamental because, through the generations that have managed and carried it forward, it represents one of the most important legacies of Chinese cuisine in Milan.
We must go back to 1962, when Mr. Sing Cheng King (Franco) became chef of La Pagoda, the first Chinese restaurant in Milan. In 1974 he decided to start his own business, opening Mandarin restaurant in via Bellotti. It is a "forge", a very successful personal experiment which will be followed in 1978 by the famous Lon Fon restaurant - one of the best Chinese restaurants in Milan still today.
But it is in 1979 that King Yan Sang, son of Mr. Franco, opens his restaurant together with his Sicilian wife, Mrs. Carmela, in Viale Piave: it is finally the time of Mandarin 2.
After 20 years of exercise, the couple decides to move the restaurant to Città Studi, where today it is an institution in the Chinese gastronomic panorama in Milan. Arrived at the third generation and managed by Mr. Chun Yi together with Mrs. Carmela, Mandarin 2 is the concrete union of the excellent Chinese cuisine from Hong Kong and the obsessive attention to the raw material typical of the Italian heritage.
Eating at Mandarin 2 means taking a seat at a family meal. The restaurant is cozy (located on the ground floor and a basement), tastefully decorated, but above all frequented by many regular customers. The hospitality here is an essential factor: forget the élite restaurants, here the customer is pampered by Mrs. Carmela as if she were an affectionate aunt. She will stop to discuss with you at the table to understand what you like most and to give you advice on off-paper proposals.
The menu consists of very classic dishes. What makes the difference is the freshness of the ingredients, cooked with great talent. So don't expect the usual flat flavors, here you will be pleasantly surprised by the goodness.
I suggest you start with a scramble of dumplings, all prepared by hand and very tasty. Personally, I found all the prawn dishes delicious (my favorites are the prawns with broccoli and ginger) and the pork in sour-spicy sauce. But what you should not miss for any reason in the world are the turbot with vegetables and Shanghai noodles, the latter being the signature dish of the restaurant. Absolutely delicious!
However, there is no lack of preparations based on noodles, rice, beef, chicken, tofu and veal, as well as a selection of mixed dishes with vegetables.
The desserts, however, are of Italian extraction, except for the Chinese fruit salad and the timeless fried ice cream.
I recommend Mandarin 2 for a couple dinner or with friends, it is obviously perfect for a family dinner. The final bill is a bit higher than the average of the restaurants offering this type of cuisine, but the price is justified by the quality of the ingredients, their preparation (not least: the portions are really abundant) and by the attention of the staff. Absolutely recommended!