Since a number of years ago, a unique food culture has gathered in the heart of Glen Waverley. The mix of Asian and cafe influences has seen many new restaurant openings and causing a sharp increase in foodies flocking to the area, along with it an unfortunate decrease in parking availability. The restaurants on the main food strip, Kingsway, such as Mocha Jo’s are always busy regardless of the time and day. This is also one of the few suburbs where many of the restaurants are open till late.
I’ve lived in Glen Waverley for over 15 years but amazingly I have never set foot inside Mocha Jo’s until now. We decided to (finally!) try this place out last week for dinner because we didn’t feel like cooking. Mocha Jo’s opened its doors to the Glen Waverley public more than 10 years ago and today is one of the suburb’s favourite hangout spots. I liked the distinct wooden decor and their young, trendy atmosphere. The menu is reasonably extensive and spells out cafe style food – a bit of everything, including soups, salads, pastas, mains, desserts and of course, coffee.
I couldn’t go past the specials board when I laid eyes on the special risotto of the day, it had all my favourite ingredients and flavours in it! It included lamb, tomato, basil, chilli & spinach in a napoli sauce topped with tzatziki for $22.90. It was absolutely heavenly. The wonderful aroma of the basil and chilli created a perfect harmony with the rich flavours of the sauce. The generous serving of lamb was unfortunately slightly overcooked, although it didn’t really affect the overall enjoyment of the dish. It did get a bit salty towards the end though because I didn’t completely mix in the tzatziki sauce.
Yuye had an unusual craving for burgers that night so decided to try the Marco Polo (MJ’s chicken burger) featuring mustard marinated chicken tenders, avocado salsa, sundried tomato, lettuce, Spanish onion and melted cheese with a chunky chips side and house mayo/tomato chutney dips all for $19.50. Yuye liked the burger better than my risotto, although his chicken was totally overcooked. Still, the burger was full of flavour and went very well with the fresh veggies inside, especially the avocado salsa. We really liked the sweet tomato chutney (which we believe is made in-house).
I also ordered a mango smoothie for $6.90. It was a less sweet and un-iced version of the Boost smoothies which meant it got warmer quicker. I liked it though because it didn’t get watery (since I’m such a slow drinker). Doesn’t the drink look like a round pear?
Overall it was a great meal. The food came out quickly and tasted very nice. The only flaw was the slightly overcooked meats in both of our dishes. Service was also fantastic – the waiter/waitress were unobtrusive and efficient. Mocha Jo’s is a great place for friendly chitchats over a cup of coffee or just a quick meal when you don’t feel like cooking.
Phone: (03) 9560 8444
87 Kingsway, Glen Waverley 3150