Milan’s Pasta B Jinghua is the Italian outlet of Singapore’s well regarded Jing Hua Xiao Chi, which is known for its home-style Chinese cooking. Pasta B Jinghua’s first floor is dominated by an open kitchen that looks out onto the street and a dumplings making station with a hand cranked pasta machine, while the dining room is in the basement. The first time I was there the restaurant was playing an awesome playlist of roots reggae and ska: dumplings and ska is Dumpling Hunter heaven. The restaurant is 2 or 3 blocks from the Duomo and is a great alternative to the tourist Italian restaurants that populate the blocks around the Duomo. The homemade noodles with vegetables is a delicious vegan option, as is the homemade noodles with soup and vegetables. I ate at Pasta B Jinghua three times while I was in Milan and highly recommend it.
The Dumplings: Jing Hua Xiao Chi serves a wide array of dumplings but is known for its pan-fried pork dumplings, and Pasta B Jinghua seems to be replicating the original’s menu in Italy. The pan-fried dumplings have thicker wrappers than is typical for a pot-sticker or gyoza and the wrapper is closed with a single long pinched fold rather than a series of crimped folds and the ends of the dumpling are left open. They reminded me of mini English sausage rolls. The dumplings are filled with Chinese cabbage, Chinese chive, pork, shrimp and crab, although the pork flavor is most assertive. The flavor of these super juicy dumplings was sensational, one of the best pork dumplings I have tried. After my dinner at Pasta B Jinghua, I went back for lunch just to order these dumplings again.
The “Little juicy steamed meat dumplings “Syorompo” stuffed with pork” were Shanghai soup dumplings that had been overcooked to the point that the wrappers broke and could not contain the soup and meat filling. Although Pasta B Jinghua’s web site describes these soup dumplings as the stars of the menu, they were really disappointing. The vegetarian steamed dumplings are vegan and contain Chinese cabbage, shiitake mushrooms, kikurage mushrooms, carrot, fried tofu and vermicelli. This was a very good veggie dumpling with a strong cabbage flavor and savory umami from the mushrooms. The Gyoza Pie was a large, fried, flat disc shaped pie, with a flaky crust and the same filling as the pan-fried dumplings. The Gyoza pie was tasty but less juicy than the pan-fried dumplings and I preferred the dumplings.
The Location: Pasta B Jinghua is at Via Ulrico Hoepli, 3, near via Agnello, about two blocks directly north of the east end of the Duomo square. This square is one of the major tourist attractions in Milan and is surrounded by Italian restaurants catering to tourists. Pasta B Jinghua seems to attract patrons who know great Chinese food.
They have a slightly thicker crust than the average pan-fried dumpling and are folded to leave both ends open.
Their bottoms are crisp fried to perfection and the juicy filling gushes into your mouth when you bite into them.