The folks over at Mosto never take a moment’s rest. While Beijingers fled the city this National Holiday, the Nali Patio eatery’s crew were hard at work revitalising their space.
Gone is the out-dated decor and disordered bar. The new Mosto is all about sophisticated funk – the soundtrack, the smart neon design behind the bar and a reworked lounge area reinvigorate an atmosphere that had lost its lustre.
The new menu is cheaper and altogether it lends itself to the hip new feel. It’s more accessible and shareable now. Rather than ‘to start’, ‘to follow’, ‘to finish’ (as before), dishes are divided by category – soups, salads, mains, meats. From the small plates, the salmon sashimi (68RMB) has a distinctly Chinese flair, with fresh cucumber, ginger, seaweed salad and a sweet soy dressing. Try not to drain the bowl. The foie gras and saffron risotto (98RMB) is as decadent as is sounds. A crisp sear on the liver adds texture to the risotto, though, for us, it could use more saffron and less cheese. The duck confit salad (45RMB) is a lighter and delicious combination of tender roasted duck and fresh greens.
Mains have received less attention in the face-lift; what we had previously enjoyed has thankfully remained untouched. The pastas are still handmade and well prepared – the seafood tortellini (98RMB) in particular is wonderfully toothsome and nutty. The prawns’ flavour and texture shine, but we would prefer a less rich sauce that doesn’t blanket them.
The classic Mosto beef tenderloin (148RMB) remains a favourite. It’s expertly seared with a pleasing crust that locks in the juicy flavour of high quality, imported beef. The size of the rib eye (298RMB) is enticing, but the sinew and fat might be too much for some.
The bar area has also been overhauled and boasts a new cocktail menu crafted by Migas’ master mixologist Francesco Angotti. The Blood & Sand (50RMB) steals the show with rich layers of cherry, bourbon and bitterness, while the titular Mosto cocktail (50RMB) comes on a bit sweet as the jasmine-infused rum is slightly overpowered by green tea and egg white.
The focus of the overhaul was clearly the Mosto experience as a whole – the atmosphere, the bar, the prices, the menu’s structure – and the team’s efforts have paid off. With a more relaxed menu and across-the-board price reduction, the new Mosto serves up the same great food but is now more affordable, flexible and funkier than ever.
By Nick Gollner