Mouson 14, 22664444, LEFKOSIA (NICOSIA)
Food: [rating:3.5] 3.5/5
Service: [rating:3] 3/5
Ambiance: [rating:3.5] 3.5/5
To my mind we could split restaurant in the following 3 categories in:
1. Classics: They have always been there and everyone knows them.
2. Hidden gems: Old or new, not a lot of people know about them and Cypriot and Proud is therefore, happy to contribute to their discovery.
3. New, hip, and well-known: News of their arrival doesn’t take long to spread. Getting a table (mostly at the beginning) is difficult as everybody wants to visit them.
As you might have guessed, “Mouson” belongs to the third category. A lot of hype has been built up before its arrival more than a month ago. The fact that I visited it during its second week from its opening, (and here goes my disclaimer), was probably not a good idea as my experience might not be representative of the permanent reality. In any case, I liked it and I really hope it stays that way.
I will not say anything bad about the fact that it is, yet again, in the old city of Nicosia as I think the Mouson vibe goes well with the picturesque and retro vibe of the area. I liked the location on a small side street, and I liked that the inside space is tiny with high ceilings. I also liked the bar at the entrance, and the fantastic old Cypriot tiles that give the restaurant a different character. My favourite part of Mouson is that, despite having a vintage/retro look it doesn’t have rustic decorative elements but has adopted the more French bistro type décor. My least favourite part is that the tables are extended well beyond the small inside space
The menu is small, straight forward and fits on an A4 page. At first glance I found more than 3 dishes that I wanted to order, something that doesn’t happen often. The “super-foods salad” immediately draw my attention, and so did the fresh tuna salad. The large selection of vegetarian options was obvious (and at a second thought, bit too long), with a “halloumi”dish, tomato, parmesan and zucchini penne, veggie pita bread and dips and vegetarian risotto, while the 3 meat dishes seemed quite attractive too.
The tuna salad that we ordered as a starter was truly tasty with a light, lemony dressing and small tuna fillets served rare. The salad with “loukoumades” of halloumi cheese was equally good and well balanced without it being heavy or over-fried. From the main courses, I loved the home-made burger (although my friend said it was too salty) with a thick patty and a semi-sweet bun but would have preferred to get a few more fries. We shared it and half of the table didn’t even try them. The salmon with tumeric was my second favourite main course, a light dish that I would happily order again. The chicken “Harissa” with a herby pepper sauce, served with cous cous and avocado was surprisingly flavoursome and tender (and I never order chicken).
From the desserts I thought the orange pie was excellent while the rest of the table preferred the chocolate mousse with caramelized walnuts that had a strong “nutella” flavour.
To cut the long story short, I liked the fact that the dishes were somewhat creative, yet light and not “covered up” with heavy sauces and dressings. It is worth mentioning that the cocktail list is comprehensive and effort has been put into its creation, although I thought they were a bit long and heavy to have with dinner.
The prices were fair (6.50-8€ for starters, 5.50€-13.50€ for main courses) and the wine list was surprisingly good I thought (but let’s clarify that I am no wine connoisseur). So overall, it’s a “go”!