In the heart of China Town, right in the center of Via Paolo Sarpi, there is a restaurant that over time has become a real neighborhood institution. Topped by numerous slates and photographs depicting the specialties, the Tang Gourmet sign.
An always crowded outdoor area and a long line of people ready to order at the cash desk make it clear that they have arrived in the restaurant famous for its dumplings and Shanghai cuisine.
Tang Gourmet at first glance may seem like a fast-food restaurant, but it is not. It is necessary to book and pay in advance at the cash desk, where the menus are stacked, all translated into Italian and containing photographs of the numerous dishes. Then he takes a seat and waits to be served. On the first floor you are perhaps a little more comfortable, while on the ground floor you risk being a little cold during the winter (since there is an automatic door) but, at the same time, you can enjoy the mastery of the cooks since there is a fully open kitchen.
The atmosphere is spartan, sauces and chopsticks are arranged on the tables and the staff is quick and discreet. Here you come for a quick meal or a savory snack. The incredibly low prices have also designated the success of this place, which is always hyper crowded.
The menu is divided into sections. In the first place stands the house specialty: dumplings. Impossible to come to Tang Gourmet and not take at least a portion. The best known are the xiao long bao, typical of Shanghai but also present in Hunan and Jiangsu. They are traditionally steamed in a bamboo basket. A curiosity: in China they are served for breakfast or a snack.
The gigantic version, otherwise impossible to find in Milan, is the tang bao (from which the restaurant takes its name). It is a very large dumpling with a hole in the top center from which the diner must suck the hot broth with a straw (which will be brought to you immediately), before biting into the dumpling. Eating it is not easy, because the sauce inside is really scalding, but with a little practice you will come to fully appreciate it.
Then there is the large section of fresh noodles, made in many different ways. Dry, in broth, hot or cold, there is something for all tastes. To note at this point also some dishes of clear Korean extraction, such as transparent sweet potato noodles and mandu (Korean ravioli).
There are also unique dishes (composed of different combinations of rice, meat and vegetables), the famous Chinese crepe (made famous in the neighborhood by Ravioleria Sarpi) and the Hirata buns, steamed buns cut in the center and stuffed with various ingredients (here they are really big, so much so that my friend Silvana, who accompanied me, was very impressed).
In conclusion, some desserts, to drink beer and soft drinks.