Milan / Serica: the Silk Road
Yangzhou, 1988. Milan, 2018. There are 30 years in between these 2 dates and a distance of almost 9,000 km. Two worlds apart on both the chronological and the geographical side. In the middle, history has made its way through, from the Tiananmen Square to the economic boom on one side, from the beginning of the Second Republic to the government of Salvini-Di Maio on the other (not everything was bad in Italy though.. we won the World Cup too).
So, what is the link between these 2 dates? One name, Chang Liu.
Chang Liu was born in Yangzhou in 1988. When he was 18, an international school program brought him to Italy, to Friuli, and since then, he decided not to leave the country. Italy has brought him on a journey to discover new ingredients, consistencies and cultural approaches to food. China has followed him with memories, techniques and spices.
In 2018, Mauro Yap, heir of a family of successful restaurateurs in Milan, offered this young guy, with a CV starring Rene Redzepi, Daniel Boulud and Yoji Tokuyoshi, the key of a new restaurant counting 28 seats and the wine supervision of Alfonso Bonvini: Serica.
Chang Liu at Serica becomes a modern Marco Polo, building a new route to connect China and Italy, with a personality that would usually requires a few more kilos (optional) and certainly several grey hair. A personality that shows a deep level of understanding and due reverence to the Italian traditions, without falling in the trap of losing its own identity and genealogical roots.
The real question is: is Serica an Italian restaurant with Chinese influences or a Chinese restaurant with Italian ones? To the opinion of this writer, Serica is a modern Italian restaurant. It’s a restaurant that pays tribute to the country it is settled in, to its products, recipes, customs. And pays tribute to its spirit, to the openness to the world, to its inclusive culture, to its multicultural heritage. And does it in a place, Milan, that is a metropolis in the space of a city, the hearth of a country in lieu of being just its wallet, that is the new Rome of the Italian empire.