Having never done a restaurant review on the blog before, I have to admit I was a little tentative at first when I received the offer to come and dine at Mo’s. Do I want to go down this route on my blog? Am I upto the challenge of writing a review? And what if I don’t like the food?!
But simply put I swept my fears aside and told myself at the end of the day I had nothing really to lose by giving it a go. That and the tempting knowledge that the restaurant has an extensive dessert and milkshake selection! It is also part of the group that brings us Caramel in the DIFC – situated near my old work haunt, and a place known for attracting city workers.
Alas I am not a complete newbie having written a review for a magazine before, and thanks to being a part of Fooderati Arabia I felt I knew enough about what I was letting myself in for without completely throwing myself in at the deep end.
So about a week ago, off my husband and I went to Mo’s at the Citywalk Mall in Jumeirah, to sample what was to be an admittedly fantastic meal and enjoyable evening. Citywalk Mall itself is an outdoor lifestyle concept with various dining options and fashion brands, and is only about six months old. It boasts great cityscape views of the Burj Khalifa, and has a European piazza like feel about it, which makes it a great place for meeting with friends in the evening.
We chose to sit in a booth type setting by the wall, although the restaurant itself was spacious and very open in plan. I was expecting a stereotypical diner type décor concept, and was pleasantly surprised by how sleek and minimalist the interior actually was. There are no brash or kitsch colours here, and even the long milkshake bar didn’t stand out overbearingly.
Looking through their menu it was clear how highly extensive it is, ranging from a large breakfast menu, to starters, salads, burgers, sandwiches, mains, and a range of signature entrees too. And that’s not even mentioning the varied dessert menu.
Knowing that we wanted to leave enough space for dessert, we decided at first to order only one starter to share, and went with the queso fundido – a velveeta cheese dip with pieces of turkey chorizo, and served with crispy tortillas. I’m a sucker for munching on nachos and cheese whenever I’m at the movies, and dipping the perfectly crispy fresh tortillas into this dip was like dipping into the mother of all cheese dips!
However as a number of salads feature on their menu, we ended up giving in to our one starter rule, and were recommended to try their Chinese chicken salad. This was a crispy concoction of grilled chicken pieces, sprouts, cabbage, tangerines and an Asian peanut dressing. Give me a hearty, unleafy salad, and pair it with Asian flavours and I am in love. My taste-buds delighted in every mouthful, and my mind wanted to be able to recreate these flavours for myself. Even the husband, (who will avoid a salad at all costs) gave a great seal of approval.
Being the great burger lover that he is, it was only natural that the husband decided to go for a classic burger for his mains. And well, admittedly having overlooked the signature entrees and rather than ordering a sandwich, I went with a burger too, but was swayed by the veggie option. My edamame burger patty consisted of a mix of edamame, lentils, herbs and spices, and was served between a toasted whole wheat bun with tzatziki sauce. As far as veggie burgers go it was good – you could taste the quality, the bun was lovely and fresh. But as someone who would almost always choose anything over a burger, I did wonder if I should have ordered something different. Hubby’s classic burger came with a kobe beef patty, signature sauce, all the salad trimmings, and a toasted brioche bun. The quality here is also something he found worth remarking on, especially that of the meat. Both of our burgers came with delicious thin seasoned fries.
As if this wasn’t enough, we were soon guided towards the signature entrees and persuaded to try their TNT shrimp tacos – I loved how these were mini, and each taco could be eaten in three or four bites. Made up of battered shrimp, they reminded me of wasabi prawns, and were served with guacamole, slaw and chipotle mayo to slather on top. I enjoyed these much more than my burger, and made a mental note to come back with my seafood-loving mum for a lunch date.
We had milkshakes with our meals, only in true American style. Whilst my husband remarked that his vanilla milkshake was everything that it should be, I was a little disappointed with how under rich my Rocky Road was, but perhaps this at least meant I could consume my meal better!
Stomachs near bursting we still knew we couldn’t leave without a slice of cake. We went for Jim’s carrot cake, a gigantic three tier cake slice which would be enough for even three or four to share. I’m not one to be disappointed easily by dessert, and found the cake to be perfect in its entirety, taste, texture, frosting and all.
Would I go back to Mo’s? Yes I would. I’m not a huge fan of eating breakfast out, but I would definitely go back to sample more of their lunch/dinner dishes, if not only to have that chicken salad and the shrimp tacos again. Portions were all very generous, the quality was fab, and their service was understandably impeccable and over-friendly, although I did notice attentiveness was met all round at other tables as well. Having said that their business seemed a little slow, which we were assured was due to the area still being a grower. A dinner meal for two would probably set you back about 300-400 AED depending on the type of meals chosen. As an American casual dining concept, Mo’s is easily accessible to both families and couples, but doesn’t let you down in the way that the quality of most family restaurants do on food.
As far as a first review goes, my experience at Mo’s will be one I look back on fondly and I would only hope that their standards remain the same for all dining guests. Fully replete, we left deciding to take a short amble around the Citywalk and with enough time to squeeze in a little shisha!