As Expats Living in China, especially Shenzhen, a culinary void, black-hole if you will, we are deprived of “Fine” cuisine especially when it comes to European tastes. One has to trek across the border, and run the immigration gauntlet to get a chance to taste a good steak, perfect pasta or a simple dessert. Traveling nowadays across the border has become increasingly painful, especially with the current visa predicaments, so we have been relegated to eating substandard western food masquerading as fine cuisine.
So when we read on Shenzhenparty about some fine dining Italian restaurants opening in the neighborhood of Futian district we were curious to say the least. Curious because we over the years have been consistently disappointed with what ends up on being served at these places, Mexican canteras serving everything under the sun from tacos to pastas, to noodles and pizzas.
After a roll of the dice, we decided to hop into Milano a newly opened restaurant run by three friendly paisan’s (Italian for friends). Conveniently located at a laowai friendly destination in Anwhe Tascha on Shennan Dadao. Milano’s décor is a mix of modern and contemporary styles, with Glass walls, Red chairs and Roman Balustrades holding up a convivial and inviting dining space. We were are once put to ease by the Guilio the Maître’d who also happens to be the owner of the place. We were a table of 5 with varied experience with fine Italian, Guilio guided us through Menu advising us through its intricacies.
The Menu itself is a wonderful mix of Classics Haute cuisine, and also simpler offerings or the new comer to Italian food. Plenty of Antipasti (Appetizers), followed by both, home-made pastas ( thick flat pasta) and the other favorites like Spaghetti and Penne in home-made sauces. A sizeable collection of Secondi (mains) of Carne (meat) and Pesce (fish) offer classics done to perfection under the Chefs who hail from South Italy.
We asked for the Chefs to help us through the selection, knowing full well that being brand new, they would be more comfortable serving certain dishes over others. Under the watchful eyes of Guilio and the chefs we ordered a spattering of appetizers and mains, served with a clean crisp Frescata (white wine). The Antipasto(appetizers) were fantastic, the Antipasto Mare e Monti , Grilled Vegetables with Seafood was highlighted by the simplicity of the dish, the Veggies perfectly marinated, not too much vinegar, nor where they drained in Olive oil. The Caprese di Bufala, buffalo Mozzarella with Fresh Sliced tomatoes and Basil, was perfect, The Mozzarella had just been flown in from Italy and had all, the old world flavor one could ask for. The meat eaters amongst us had opted for the Carpaccio which was topped with Rocket salad, Parmesan and drizzled with olive oil, which featured fresh and tender slices of raw beef that we cleaned off the plate right away.
A glass of Frescata wine complimentary from the Guilio set up the stage for the Secondi (main course). I had the Filetto Di Manzo Al Marsala, Filet of Beef with Mushroom in a Marsala sauce. The beef was extremely tender and the Marsala sauce added to the perfection, on the side I had a Penne Arrabiata cooked perfectly Al-Dente and just enough spice to tantalize the pallet. My wife a vegetarian had the Ravioli Ricotta & Spinach in a light pink sauce, The light sauce complimented the generously filled ravioli with the fresh Ricotta bringing the dish together in harmony. Other guests had the Scaloppina Al Vino Bianco, Veal escalopes in a white wine sauce was served with some wonderfully marinated eggplants, the veal itself a marvel in Shenzhen, procured via Milanos secret sources was fork tender and cooked to perfection.
It is needless to say that we were utterly satisfied by the meal, but what stole the evening was the Tiramisu, it was simply put the best Tiramisu this side of the Vatican, not the gooey glop you get around the world. It left us speechless and asking for more and more.
I told the owners and Chefs that I will send back as many people as I can to this gem of a place. So my fellow Shengers, build up your appetite and head to Milano’s. Bon Appetito’s
Address: 1/F, An Hui Building, Che Gong Miao, NO.6007 Shennan Road, Futian District.
Contact Giulio at 13509628146 for reservations.