Piazzale Baiamonti 1, Via Sarpi corner. A large, bright and modern room, with large windows. When you enter the Milanese China Town, you’d expect everything except to find such an elegant restaurant. Away from the traditional trattorias we’re all used to, Chateau Dufan is a Chinese restaurant that looks to the future, keeping its roots strong in Sichuan cuisine.
The owner is Fan Zhang and his project began in 2003 when he decided to open an ice cream parlour. In 2011 he decided to transform it into “Chateau Dufan Gelateria — café” where you can eat both breakfast and lunch. In 2015, Bubble tea, the renowned Taiwanese drink, was added, but the big breakthrough came in 2017, when Mr. Zhang opened the restaurant and became Chateau Dufan Restaurant.
The bar leads directly to the elegant restaurant. Here the service is courteous and discreet.
The menu is varied and a separate card is also presented with the hottest proposals. There are noodles with or without broth, different types of rice preparation, curry, soups, meat prepared in terracotta, fish and shellfish, ramen (the recipe has a strong Chinese connotation, but then it is a dish that comes from China). The great protagonists, in my opinion, are the dim sum. Typical of southern China, their history is strongly linked to the tradition of “yum cha” (drinking tea) which dates back to the travelers of the Silk Road: numerous tea rooms were opened along their route where they also sold snacks. Among the proposed ones: xiaolongbao stuffed with meat in broth, vegetable dumplings, with grilled or prawn meat, chashao bundles with braised bacon, black dumplings with cuttlefish and squid, beef and black truffle, duck and foie gras, with shiitake mushrooms, shrimp shao mai or scallops. The wine list is very wide, many Italians. Sake is also present.
The bar is always very busy with many young people use the inner room to study and work on computers. It’s a quiet and relaxed environment.
The staff describes the menu: the proposed ice creams are classic or innovative tastes, invented for the ice cream parlour itself while bubble tea (with green jasmine tea leaves or black tea mixed with milk and fruit syrup) there are three types: classic (milk), exotic (with mango or passion fruit) and creamy (with taro or matcha). The jellies on the bottom are coconut milk and fruit syrup, popping boba with fruit juice and jelly while, finally, tapioca pearls are honey-flavored.
The chic atmosphere of Chateau Dufan makes it perfect for a couple dinner or an important evening. Surely the final bill is not comparable to a traditional Chinese venue, but the quality and service are really top notch.
🌎 http://www.chateaudufan.com 📍 Via Paolo Sarpi 2, Milan 📞 +39 345 411302 💰 $$$