Today, more than ever, Milan finds itself obsessed with the search for the authentic flavors of Chinese cuisine: in recent years there has been an ever-increasing interest in typical restaurants that deviate from the Italian contaminations typical of Chinese restaurants in our country of the years' 80 and 90 (I'll talk about it here). Yet, at the same time, the new generations of Chinese born in Italy, who also grew up with that type of gastronomic contamination, today want to give it a new, more refined and sought-after course. This is undoubtedly the case with Serica.
Serica is the emblem of Chinese-Italian cuisine 2.0 whose mission is to create a "gastronomic journey along the silk road". Mauro Yap, together with his wife Elisa, had the idea of realizing this project: second generation son of Chinese restaurateurs in Milan (mother of Wenzhou and Singaporean father), known to be in charge of important structures such as Dou (since 2013, Asian cuisine very close to the Italian taste), the Thai Bussarakham and Singapore.
Open since 2019, Serica immediately established itself in the city thanks to the creative flair of chef Chang Liu, who previously worked in the kitchens of Noma and Tokuyoshi (Bentoteca spin-off during the pandemic): during Covid-19 he was then switched to MU dimsum, so Serica presented the new chef Nicola Bonora on Instagram totally quietly.
Very little is known about him but it is already clear that he is putting in place a new chapter of the restaurant, judging by the new menu (which promises weekly variations) available for the spin-off delivery Serica lab.
If initially the idea was to combine the gastronomic traditions of Italy and China, now the goal is much broader, that is to draw inspiration from all the cuisines and cultures of the various countries that are in contact with the silk road.
So, I decided to try Serica using the very valid Sergio platform, born during the pandemic.
It is a delivery and takeaway service that operates in collaboration with some exclusive restaurants in Milan (including Kanpai, Casa Ramen and Serica lab), reserving the dishes at least one day in advance to guarantee their quality. It does not rely on third party delivery services and encourages take away. Excellent customer care service, I just hope they expand the choices of payment options.
So what's the new Serica menu like? Essential: few dishes but great attention to the Chinese tradition and seasonal vegetables. Among the proposals tried I indicate and highly recommend bao with barbecue octopus, red curry and lime and coriander (two portions will arrive), the he fan (abundant and delicious bento) with white rice, four side dishes of seasonal vegetables and curry veal yellow, the delicious fresh pork lamians, pak choi and bean sprouts (simple and very quick to prepare) and the incredible dan tan (Chinese egg tart similar to Portuguese pastel de nata, in my opinion clearly superior).
Each dish is made with care and skill (this time the inspiration from more distant and exotic countries such as India and Thailand is very clear), the portions are correct, there is also a proposal of wines and everything is perfectly enclosed in packaging as sustainable as possible and chosen ad hoc according to the content.
A further credit goes to the attention to detail that make this experience even more pleasant, such as the amouse bouche of puffed rice, tuna ham and rousong (a product based on dried meat with a light consistency, typical of China) and the accompanying toasted curry bread.
It is very difficult to create a coherent, tasty and tempting path, which goes from the appetizer to the explosion of the wonderful taste of the dessert, but chef Bonora has fully succeeded and moreover in delivery format. I can't wait to go to the restaurant as soon as possible!
I would say an excellent premise that it would be a crime not to try, moreover at a really fair price.