Authentic European Style in the Heart of Mohandessin which easily puts it on the map of the best restaurants in Mohandessin.
Mantra: “We’re all about the food”
There was a time when taking a quick jaunt to Europe if we craved traditional Gallic food was relatively simple. However, moving swiftly on… let’s celebrate the arrival of Mo Bistro to help us assuage those pangs of nostalgia. Transitioning from popular café to a full- fledged bistro, this stylish bijou eatery captures the mood and cuisine with the right élan.
Type of cuisine:
In the time-honoured tradition of any self-respecting neighbourhood bistro, the emphasis is on slow-cooked fare, using local seasonal produce. Embracing advances in technology, this is now done using a sous-vide method, supported by blast chillers to ensure ready availability of dishes as required. The comprehensive menu offers everything from starters, salads, soups, poultry, fish, meat, pizza and pastas, something to please all tastes. A word of caution, many dishes are rich and substantial, so come armed with a healthy appetite.
Mo Abdel Hak, (the man behind Mo Bistro), stresses that equal love and care goes into everything they prepare, so all dishes bear their signature.
While we were settling in at our table a wooden bruschetta platter with freshly baked bread and two ceramic pots bearing herbed tomato and equally delicious eggplant miraculously appeared. Two artistically arranged bowls of salad came next, one starring beetroot, with arugula, goat cheese and avocado and a dressing that had us salivating for more. The other salad combined palm heart, bresaola, goat cheese and pear. Again, a fresh and innovative mix. That kept us happily entertained until our starters arrived. Our shrimp came stuffed with raisins and Gorgonzola, all wrapped in beef bacon, an intriguing combination. The other platter was Honey Slow Glazed Lamb Ribs, with the glaze unashamedly being mopped up with that crusty bread. Both starters went down in a flash.
A huge plate of homemade fettuccine with caramelized onion came alongside a creamy mushroom risotto. Both were delicious, and we will definitely try them again, but we needed to conserve our strength for what was to follow. Our main dishes were Slow Cooked Short Beef Ribs, with meat that simply fell off the bone. The side of creamed potatoes was just right as well.
The good thing about being in a group is that you get to taste a bit of everyone’s dish, so we descended upon the Wild Berry Glazed Duck with abandon. Tender, with a sweet yet piquant sauce, it was a winner. There was barely space for the Red Mullet, which came stuffed with shrimp and mushroom, resting on a bed of mashed green peas.
Other menu options that appealed:
The menu is lengthy, so we earmarked dishes to try on our next visit. The honey-glazed flank steak, served with teriyaki sauce is a ‘must try’, as is the oxtail with spicy frekah.
The dessert menu is still being finalised, so that will be something worth waiting for, based on our experience.
Décor and ambiance:
Design house Alchemy, headed by Karim Mekhtigan has morphed the previous café into a two-level space with an interesting fusion of traditional bistro elements with a contemporary twist. The entrance area is dominated by a massive marble bar, holding all you need to create a perfect coffee. The upper level has been created as both an eatery and shisha zone, with special air circulation to reduce any smoke, may we add. The main level is dedicated to food, from breakfast, through lunch, dinner and supper. Vintage-style tiled floors, demure café curtains on rods, heavy Carrara marble tables and black retro wooden chairs team up with a predominately grey palette and modern lighting to create a relaxed yet animated space.
Beverages available: All soft options, with plenty of fresh juices, frappés, coffee and tea. No alcohol is served.
In the short time it has been open it appears that Mo Bistro has attracted quite a few regular customers. We saw groups of friends, couples, with a range of ages. As it opens from early morning to the wee small hours, it is a perfect spot for a fortifying breakfast, business lunch or after work meet-up.
Take-away and home delivery:
Future plans include delivery of sandwiches, pizza and lighter items.
Price range: Moderate.
Address: 14 Midan Aswan, off Gameat El Dowal Al Arabia Street.
Opening hours: 9am to 1am, and 2am on weekends.
Tel: 0122 722 3366
Facebook page: Mo Bistro
2 tablespoons unsalted butter or extra-virgin coconut oil
1 onion, chopped
About 1 tablespoon red curry paste, or to taste
2 pounds carrots, peeled and chopped – 1/2-inch chunks
1 14-ounce can full-fat coconut milk
1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt, or to taste
1 1/2 cups / 360 ml of water, or to cover
1 lemon or lime
To serve (topping ideas): micro greens/cilantro, chopped, toasted almonds, chili oil
Add butter and onion to a large soup pan over medium-high heat, stir until the onions are well coated. Stir in the curry paste, and then the carrots. Let it cook another minute or two, and then add coconut milk, salt, and water, adding more water to cover if needed. Leave to simmer until the carrots are tender, 10 – 15 minutes, and then puree using a blender or hand blender until the soup is completely smooth. Add more water if the consistency needs to be thinned out a bit, or depending on the consistency you like your soup to have. Make sure to squeeze lemon juice. Serve topped with whatever you have on hand – we like it with a little something crunchy (croutons or almonds), and a lot of something green (micro greens or cilantro).