Describing Tiglio Chinese restaurant is not easy but the experience is a lot of fun. This is because it is not a simple home-style bistrot (in the true sense of the word: it is like being in a grandmother's sitting room) but a real cultural project (or experiment).
Located in Nolo, in the increasingly lively "north of Loreto", Tiglio was born from the idea of Qiji, a young Beijing artist who moved to Milan for some time (now she has returned to China, the maid explained to me, but she goes back and forth from Italy).
The microcosmic venue accommodates no more than ten people and consists of just four tables. The reservation is obviously mandatory.
The room is furnished in a vintage way and coats and photographs are hung on the walls. The same waitress shows me a huge album of photographs on film made by Qiji and explains that meetings between artists and events related to the tea ceremony are organized by Tiglio.
The menu is written entirely by hand on a simple white sheet placed in a transparent folder and it changes continuously, as it is seasonal. The (slow) cuisine is curated by Jue Zhue, who, however, prefers not to be seen. His dishes relate to Sichuan cuisine but many are interpreted in a personal key, they often also refer to neighboring countries such as Thailand (one of the most appreciated dishes is pad thai, cooked however according to the Chinese method).
Dining at Tiglio is like taking a surreal journey, a bit like Alice through the mirror. China is able to surprise western customers in an ever new and artistic way (in Milan, always on this style, there is for example Ang. 56 in the Porta Genova area).
The environment is alienating and the food is delicious. The ridiculous bill. The dishes are all very tasty and very abundant.
Among the dishes tasted I recommend the vegetable appetizers (the cold aubergines are delicious), their pad thai (but there are also several dishes of Chinese noodles and the somen) and their crispy caramelised second courses (I tried the chicken nuggets, very tender inside and sweets outside with a delicate peanut breading). There are also dishes of only vegetables: in this case you must absolutely try their famous spiced potatoes.
As a dessert there is only Tang Yuan on the menu, or mochi with a warm heart of sweet azuki and out of coconut. A real surprise!
To drink there are Chinese beers, soft drinks, herbal tea and wine by the bottle or glass.
📍 Via Giulio e Corrado Venini 54, Milan
📞 +39 338 235 8390