Protein bowls by day and izakaya by night, Mojo is one of the newest concept restaurants to pop up at Telok Ayer.
The 50-seater restaurant opened by local actor Shane Pow and his friend, gets its fair share of CBD workers coming in for lunch, with the place buzzing when I stopped by.
To put together your protein bowl, you’ll get to choose a base, a protein and three vegetables. There’s a large range of ingredients to choose from, and after almost 15 minutes of deliberation, I finally came to a decision for my Protein Bowl ($14).
I went with quinoa for my base, Norwegian salmon for my protein, and sauteed mushrooms, broccoli with french beans, and a yoghurt honey slaw to fill up my vegetable quota.
The salmon was a tad too dry but it was easily remedied by Mojo’s special Asian Glaze, a sauce similar to teriyaki sauce but a little more full-bodied and savoury.
The quinoa was cooked well with no trace of bitterness at all, and the soft and delicious sauteed mushrooms were the highlight of the protein bowl for me.
If you’re a big eater and want more toppings, it’s $2 for an additional serving of vegetables, $3 for other proteins and $4 for beef. I tried the Japanese Marinated Sprouts ($2) and the Housemade Kimchi ($2), which were both delicious.
The beansprouts had a good kick of spice, and the kimchi had more of a mild spice and tanginess.
Mojo transforms into a bustling izakaya at night, with cocktails and an a la carte menu with sharing plates and skewers. I had the Ooh-Ma-Me ($20), which is basically a Japanese-style Bloody Mary.
The toragashi powder around the rim of the glass added a spicy dimension to the cocktail, and it was certainly an interesting drink.
The Uni Soba ($38) looked visually stunning, but the sea urchin was a little too firm and not as sweet as it should have been. The soba made up for what the sea urchin lacked, it was springy and delicious.
The scallops and ikura were of decent quality, but nothing outstanding as well.
For me, the Foie Gras Chahan ($18) was the star of the dinner. The foie gras was not fantastic, but the taste of the fried “rice” made up for it.
I was amazed at how the quinoa managed to taste almost exactly like fried rice, and the bits of spring onions sprinkled in really bringing the dish up another notch. The quinoa was done well, just like the one I had in the protein bowl for lunch.
This is a healthier option as compared to rice, and it was certainly my favourite dish at Mojo.
Another outstanding dish was the Mentaiko Salmon ($14). The salmon was flaky and moist, with a nice topping of mentaiko that had been torched before it was brought out.
The smokiness from the char contrasted nicely against the tangy taste of the mentaiko, while the bits of pickled plum on top gave the dish a nice crunch.
I enjoyed lunch at Mojo tremendously, but I felt that the dinner was a little underwhelming. The seafood in the Uni Soba wasn’t as fresh as I had expected it to be, but the other dishes were up to par.
The lunch, however, amazed me with the quality and the value. $14 for a big box of delicious ingredients that fill you up all the way? Count me in.
Expected damage: $14 – $30 per person