Trattoria Cinese Long Chang
How many times have I passed in front of Long Chang in my life? Hundreds, and I bet you too. How many times have we turned up our noses seeing that the only customers are always and almost exclusively Italians, big consumers of sautéed soy noodles and chicken with almonds. True, Long Chang does not appeal to purists of Chinese gastronomy. Yet we have learned that Sino-Italian cuisine has its own history and is now part of our culture (I told you about it here).
In fact, Trattoria Cinese Long Chang has been open for many years now, exactly since 1998, and since then we have seen the sign change, but not the noisy spirit that animates it. Today it is managed by Andrea, the son of the first owners, together with his wife Giulia.
Entering Long Chang you are greeted with warmth and sympathy in a modest and no-frills environment. Then we expect a banal, outdated and boring menu, but in reality the à la carte proposal is unsettling, because the dishes on offer are endless. You go from Cantonese and Wenzhou type dishes to the more sought after and spicy ones of Sichuan - you wouldn't have expected it, would you?
There are so many traditional dishes, I wonder why most people always order the same things - probably because they are good and cheap and, eating here, I realize that they are.
Many preparations are not homemade (like most dumplings - these dishes are marked with an asterisk, for frozen foods), so I discard them and throw myself among the most interesting homemade dishes.
I start with something classic: fried wontons and shrimp toast. Both crunchy but not too flavorful, so toss with soy sauce of your choice. Then I continue with the specialties that always drive me crazy, the pans of fire. I order her aubergines and beef: both succulent! All this is accompanied with good Yangzhou rice - if you have read the article on Sino-Italian cuisine you will know that Cantonese rice was made from this fried rice recipe!
As anticipated, the menu is endless: experiment, get out of the ordinary because you will be positively surprised. The same goes for the bill, you will spend a lot of nonsense while dining on wine. Now I understand such a great success: for a free-range lunch or an informal dinner this place is the right place.