Too many cuisines going here

Italian teppanyaki sounds like a funny combination and, despite excellent produce and an ambitious menu, the chefs at Mixs at the new Crowne Plaza in Zhongguancun seem confused at times.

The restaurant is small, with 10 seats around two Teppan grills and two private rooms for 10. This could have worked to make the restaurant intimate and guest-orientated, but instead the huge bars dwarf the awkwardly short seats, and conversation is limited to the person next to you.

Many of the dishes could have done with less tinkering. Lasagne with grilled prawns cepes mushrooms goose liver (128RMB) is a mouthful in taste as name: too many ‘luxury’ ingredients mean this dish lacks direction and ends up a gooey, fishy froth.

The grilled Australian Wagyu grainfed rib eye (348RMB), is doused in a heavy flour-based brown sauce, which interferes with what might have been excellent meat.

Some dishes do succeed when the top-notch ingredients (for which guests pay heavily) are minimally combined with other ingredients to reveal natural flavours, as both Italian and Japanese cooking encourage.

Consider the sparkling-fresh yellowfin tuna caesar salad (118RMB), in which the Teppan-seared fish slices are placed delicately around sharp lettuce and savoury tomato-based tapenade.

Likewise, the grilled king prawn with truffle relish, the second of six dishes in Mix’s Set Menu (399RMB), bursts with an aromatic butteriness at each bite. These are the few dishes that hit a home run—and which might make the trek to Haidian worthwhile.

In reality, this isn’t Italian or Japanese cooking, though the food is tasty when it isn’t interfered with too much. It’s almost there, but we’d probably only recommend a visit if you’re in the area.

Mixs 106 Zhichun Lu, Haidian district (5993 8888). Open 5.30-11pm daily. Meal for two around 900RMB.海淀区知春路106号

http://www.timeout.com/cn/en/beijing/restaurants/feature/6546/mixs.html

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