Siblings Sreena (age 9) and Jai (6) have lived in Beijing for most of their lives. Their dad, Suresh Rajitha, says their mom cooks during the week but the family likes to eat out on weekends. “The kids love pizza, especially Papa John’s and Annie’s,” he says. “We try to give them salads and tell them vegetables are good for their eyes.”
Fortunately for our two young models, Moka Bros is one restaurant that balances taste and nutrition. The restaurant’s slogan, “Eat well. Feel good.” is borne out by their menu of dishes made from scratch using fresh, local ingredients.
The new Moka Bros branch in Solana Lifestyle Shopping Park is designed with families in mind and is equipped with colorful kids’ menus. Scribbling on the menus is encouraged; kids can circle their own “power meals” (all RMB 48) and “power drink,” either a smoothie or a fresh juice. Meals are served on brightly-colored plastic bowls and plates, and come with kid-friendly utensils. Highchairs are available for families with smaller children.
Once the food arrives, Sreena immediately zones in on the chicken breast sandwich with tomato and cheese on a French roll. Our photographer keeps the kids smiling while they enjoy their lunch. “Do you know why your pasta is green?” he asks Jai. “Because they had to kill like ten monsters to make your food!”
Though initially a little self-conscious about his newly toothless smile, Jai warms up for the camera and digs into the fusilli pasta with pesto and chicken (extra RMB 10 to add chicken).
Sreena also digs into the kid-sized version of one of a signature “power bowls” with red rice, red beans, avocado, yellow corn, red
onion, cilantro lime sauce, and steak. Sreena says she loves her chicken sandwich and that the red beans and rice are “really yummy.”
The kids guzzle their watermelon juice and two smoothies; one is a mango, pineapple, and banana mix and the other contains berries and banana.
A kid-sized power bowl is large enough for grown-ups with smaller appetites. We were also big fans of the goat cheese sandwich – a creamy concoction of basil, mushroom, and sundried tomatoes on walnut bread.
The design of the new Moka Bros branch is similar to the Sanlitun location, with high ceilings, an open kitchen, and a large outdoor terrace. The overall feeling is industrial yet comfortable; muted walls and visible pipes are balanced with cozy chairs, low wooden tables of varying sizes, and a raised platform with smaller stools and bean bags. There’s also a large blue bean bag on the terrace – sure to be a hit with kids.
There isn’t a bathroom on the premises, so customers will have to make a short trek to the mall. Though there isn’t toilet paper, the bathrooms are very clean and include changing tables. After you’re done eating, you can do some shopping at Solana or head to Chaoyang Park to play.
Moka Bros Solana
Daily 10.30am-10.30pm. Lakeside Dining Street (east of Element Fresh), Solana Lifestyle Shopping Park, 6 Chaoyang Gongyuan Lu, Chaoyang District (5905 6259, email@example.com) www.mokabros.com 朝阳区朝阳公园路6号蓝色港湾商业区湖边美食街
This article originally appeared on p28-29 of the September 2014 issue of beijingkids. To view it online for free, click here. To find out how you can obtain your own copy, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
photos by Dave PiXSTUDIO