Let's be honest: if we were to eat Asian in the Duomo area, how many valid and interesting choices would we have? In my opinion, unfortunately, very few. The neighborhood is full of expensive and often touristy restaurants.
However, under the arcades between Duomo and San Babila, next to the famous Hoepli bookshop, there is a window where it is possible to see a lady always struggling with the closure of fresh dumplings. This is an Asian restaurant that I think each of us has passed through dozens of times but has never stopped, namely Pasta B.
The history of this place dates back to 1989, when the Han family opened the first restaurant specializing in artisanal noodles and dumplings in Singapore, the Jing Hua Xiao Chi. The second generation then brought this format to the West, opening in Milan and other European cities and also experimenting with Japanese fusion (Sushi B in Paris today is a starred restaurant).
In our city Pasta B is proposed as a Singapore restaurant. If this type of cuisine is already complex due to the many influences that characterize it, here it is possible to taste an even more curious mixture of tastes: there is a bit of Thailand (you will find the Pad Thai style noodles), a lot of China and especially Japan in the preparation and translation of the menu. I was in fact very impressed once I was seated to find the typical Japanese chopsticks (hashi) in the mise en place, as well as the totally Japanese staff.
I recommend to take a seat at the counter overlooking the open kitchen (there are many more seats in the basement, but the atmosphere is much less characteristic).
As the name of the place suggests, the specialty is fresh homemade pasta. Fresh noodles are offered in broth or sautéed: among the latter I point out those with sautéed vegetables and katsuobushi, Hokkien noodles (with shellfish, squid and fresh lime) and those with vegetables, chicken marinated in teriyaki sauce and katsuobushi. I tried those with Chinese pork ragout with miso, bean sprouts, spinach and cucumbers.
In my opinion, however, dumplings are the real stars here, prepared both steamed and grilled. The ingredients are interesting, but also the types of closure of the individual ravioli, of which the craftsmanship is denoted. Among those tasted, and that I recommend, the "Syorompo" stuffed with pork (if you like xiaolongbao these are for you, stuffed with tasty and fat hot broth) and the grilled ones stuffed with Chinese cabbage, chives, pork , shrimp and crab.
I also recommend the giant gyoza stuffed with Chinese cabbage, chives, pork, shrimp and crab fried in deep oil, an extra-format reinterpretation of the famous Japanese dumplings proposed here with thin and super crunchy dough.
Among the off-menu, baozi stuffed with pork, ramen with seafood and salad (perfect for those who are vegan or vegetarian).
As a sweet green tea tiramisu or sweet sesame meatballs. To drink Japanese beer and tea (green and oolong).
How do you eat at Pasta B? Well and in correct portions. All the preparations are delicious but at the same time extremely delicate. Do not expect to find a cuisine loaded with strong or spicy flavors, here everything is calculated to be tasty but never invasive. For this reason I find that this place is perfect for a quick and light lunch break (given the location it is in fact besieged by employees and tourists). Fortunately, it is open all day, so if you want to try it without haste you can easily avoid the rush of peak hours.
The staff is very polite and friendly, the place is cozy and the final bill, in my opinion, is not particularly expensive if you plan to be behind the Duomo and are eating fresh and handmade preparations at the moment under the your eyes.