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  • Writer's picturecookingwiththehamster

Ta Hua

Moving away from the Milanese China Town there is often doubt about where to eat excellent Chinese cuisine. Fortunately, any concern disappears once you enter Ta Hua in via Fara 15, an authentic Hong Kong Chinese restaurant.

In a late summer evening I am greeted by the very kind and smiling Mr. Antonio at Ta Hua, in a contemporary design environment that takes on the delicacy of Fen Shui harmony (note the Fan Zen painting). I am immediately educated about the style of the kitchen, while I admire the lady in the aquarium who wisely prepares the dumplings one by one and steam them.

Ta Hua opened in Milan in 1979 thanks to my parents, Shou (Paolo) and Sucin (Lidia). Twelve years ago we moved to this building: here the environment is wider and more refined. Our customers appreciate it as well as our kitchen. Yes, we look to the future of Chinese cuisine, but we pursue a specific goal: not to lose traditions. Our dim sum are authentic, all the preparations are traditional and the raw materials of the highest quality. Today I manage the restaurant together with my sister Monica and her husband Mauro. But we have always maintained the same level of quality, authenticity and freshness for over forty-one years.

I sit down and take a look at the very large menu. I am fascinated by the impressive variety of dishes and preparations. Obviously the appetizers are what most intrigues me. The dim sum (literally “heart’s delight”) are a family affair, and they are taken seriously: this culture comes from the tasting of tea (Yum Cha) and here they are prepared with a dedication to say the least maniacal.

Dumplings, like the rest of the preparations, are made daily with top quality ingredients. We do everything according to the Hong Kong tradition, sometimes squeezing the eye of modernity. From appetizers to desserts, here it is all original. In fact, we also have a pastry laboratory in the kitchen.

It immediately strikes the promptness of the staff, fast and precise. Delights diners explaining punctually all dishes on the menu. And so an interesting dinner begins, which makes me discover the cuisine of a city of the most disparate facets. And in fact Mr. Antonio makes me think about a crucial fact:

Hong Kong is a very special city because it is not only Chinese. There is a mixture of different ethnic groups and this is necessarily reflected in the culinary tradition. There are purely Chinese dishes but also preparations that derive for example from Thailand. And this is normal in Hong Kong. We have respected this aspect typical of the city of origin of our family and we always try to make it present to our customers.

So we start with a long list of the aforementioned appetizers, one more inviting than the other, including: lobster clouds, crab roulade, sesame or malayan wanton, Sugiao dumplings, Hai Gao dumplings, prawn toast, jellyfish starter, Ta Hua stuffed bun and Xa Xiu stuffed bun. Continue with soups (including wanton dumplings, crab and asparagus, tom yum kun). And then there is rice (skipped with Ta Sua, Kinlong, Hong Kong in a crust with seafood, glutinous fragrant in lotus flower with chicken) and noodles (rice noodles in Singapore, fried tagliolini style Canton with lobster, rice noodles with Kweityu or Hong Kong style). There are omelettes (with prawns or crab meat) and many fish-based preparations (scallops with broccoli in Xo sauce, lobster with ginger and spring onions, turbot in a crust with vegetables, steamed whole sea bass Hong Kong style, squid sautéed with prawns in Tau-si sauce). A huge parenthesis opens with the meat. From the chicken (in the pineapple shell, Konpao, with shrimp and mushrooms, fried with lemon), to beef (grilled fassona with vegetables, braised with spices, spicy in szechwan sauce, with celery and Xo sauce), with veal (with peppers and bean sprouts, in the seven colors), up to pork (fillet with oyster mushrooms and spicy sauce, caramelized ribs) and duck (stewed with sugar cane, Pekingese lacquered, fried with spices) There is no shortage of vegetables (emperor’s green beans, Sichuan style aubergines, Buddha’s dish, siupàchoi — Chinese cabbage, za-zai — cold sauteed vegetables, chipou — cold crispy turnip) and tau-fu, soy cheese (fried with bamboo and mushrooms, with meat sauce, dumplings in vegetarian sauce). The desserts in addition to those in the tray, also include balls of sesame rice with peanuts, steamed sweet bun with lotus cream, ice cream, fruit sorbets and fresh seasonal fruit. As for the beverage, the wine list has over forty bottles, there are also different qualities of beer and juices (coconut, mango, guava, soy milk and milk tea).

© Cookingwiththehamster

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