Maolago is a Guizhou restaurant from the OHA Group (Oha Eatery, Pass Residence). It resides in the building formerly housing Daga Brewpub—three floors of industrial chic space and a two-tier rooftop terrace.
It’s a two-pronged concept. The first floor is more of a bar that serves bites inspired from Guizhou food while the second floor does hotpot.
First Floor: Contemporary Guizhou Bar Bites
Food is inventive, in the same vein with chef Blake Thornley’s creativity at Oha Eatery. That’s because Maolago’s chef Zhou Mingyang studied under Blake at Oha. The menu on the first floor is mainly snack-sized dishes to accompany the cocktails and wine, and a couple of rice dishes with the trademark sour-spicy flavors of Guizhou. These snacks are also available upstairs with your hotpot.
If you want a taste of the hotpot soup bases without committing to a whole pot, one dish you could opt to try at the first floor is the Employees Rice with Fermented Sour Soup (¥38). It’s basically the sour soup base with a bit of rice and mince pork. It’s delightful. I want to dabao a triple portion of this so I can fend off the winter chill at home.
The rest of the food is tasty and enjoyable. The portions are small but the prices are relatively affordable, dishes starting from ¥36.
Second Floor: Guizhou Hotpot
Hotpot. Self-explanatory: soup bases, meat, seafood and veg to boil in the broth, plus dipping sauce.
The sour-spicy rice I mentioned above? You can get that same broth for your pot—the sour-spicy broth with fish (¥98/500g, weight based off the fresh Guizhou river fish). There’s also a beef base (¥128/500g), mushroom (¥98) or a dry pot with beef (¥128).
Again, you can order other additives—vegetables from ¥8, meat from ¥32, mushrooms from ¥20, etc.
“Drip Wine” and Cocktails
For drinks, they have something new called “drip wine”, cocktails made with clarified fruit, vegetables and herbs infused with liquor. They’ve bottled a few of their concoctions, too. It tastes like an odd mix of wine and juice and reminds me of some natural wines. They also have bottles of natural wine and cocktails.
In Summary: Good For Date Nights
Food is interesting, vibe is great—that is, if you’re looking for that chic moody atmosphere. Second floor is if you’re really into hotpot. I’d recommend the first floor, which is good for date nights. It’s also for those who have a curious palate for drinks and an open mind when it comes to contemporary Chinese bar snacks.
Address: 100 Fuxing Xi Lu, near Yongfu Lu 复兴西路100号, 近永福路