Food : Trivandrum Rating : 3/5 Stars

Cafe Mojo – First Visit – Soup and Sizzler

Today was a day I ended up going to Trivandrum City area and being a bit confused on where to go, I asked a friend of mine who recommended that I try visiting Cafe Mojo restaurant at Kuravankonam… So, I dropped by the place for lunch… It is my understanding that Cafe Mojo has been functioning for quite some time, but this is the first time I got the chance to visit and try their food…

First off, the place looked nice… Incredibly clean and shiny, as if it was new… The menu appeared to consists of a good selection of Indo-Chinese and South East Asian options along with an equally good selection of European options as well… The friend actually recommended that I try the sizzlers here and so, I had already decided to do the same and hence took whats mentioned as the Chef’s Special Super Chicken Sizzler… After going thru the menu, I couldn’t resist taking an Indo-Chinese favourite of mine, mentioned in the menu here as the Manchao Soup and I took the variant with Chicken… Based on the menu itself, I am sure that I’ll be coming back here again as there are quite a few options that has peaked my curiosity…

So, the first to arrive, as always was the Manchao Soup with Chicken… Its essentially what I have been seeing in the menus of pretty much any place that has a Chinese selection in their menu as the Manchow Soup… For those who are unaware, this is basically a hot and spicy soup made with a lot of ginger, garlic, black pepper, chillies and soy and then usually flavoured with coriander leaves and spring onion and then served with some fried noodles as a garnish… The Chicken variant usually has a slightly thickened (with corn starch) Chicken stock as the base of the broth and then both shredded chicken meat and egg drop is added to it as well…

According to the menu here, the Manchao Soup is a spicy thick soup made with finely chopped Ginger, Garlic, Chilly, a touch of Soy Sauce and garnished with Coriander and Egg (in case of the Chicken variant)… It arrived as shown in pics below 🙂

Regarding its taste, it is exactly as it sounds… Incredibly spicy, but not too much heat for me… Intense flavour of the Ginger and Garlic along with the richness of the Chicken Stock and the Coriander to balance it all… Most places tend to serve the fried noodles on top… Here, they have served it on the side separately as can be seen in the pics above…

As can be seen in the video above, the soup is quite thick but not so thick that the corn starch starts to dilute the flavours… Some pieces of Chicken were there, which compared to most places is quite less, but personally I think its enough as this is supposed to be an appetiser rather than a meal in itself, even though soups are considered a meal by itself in China 🙂 The only complaint I have regarding this soup is that I found it to have a bit too much Soy Sauce to my liking and since Soy Sauce is usually salty, I found the soup to be a bit too salty as well… I guess if the amount of Soy Sauce is reduced, it will solve both the problems… Anyways, I will be trying this soup again in my future visits to the place…

Once I was done with the soup, my Sizzler arrived… There are quite a number of choices for Sizzlers in the menu and I went for their Chef’s Special Super Chicken Sizzler as they call it… Sizzlers need no introduction… But for those who are unaware, its basically open grilled meat or a vegetable patty served with vegetables on a hot plate and then dressed with a buttery sauce (usually the one called Brown Sauce) which because of the nearly red hot plate, immediately sizzles with smoke and hence the name Sizzler… The hot plate is kept on a wooden base and served…

According to the menu, the Chef’s Special Super Chicken Sizzler consists of Chicken Stuffed with Basil, Chilly Flakes, Bell Pepper and Mushrooms thats grilled and topped with the Chef’s special sauce and then served with Rice, Vegetables and Mashed Potatoes… So, it came as shown in the below pics with the mashed potatoes served separately…

The Sizzler has always been something I like having for quite some time cause not only is it a spectacle to watch being served and on the table, but also it has this beautiful smokey flavour to the ingredients and because of the hot plate, the bottom of everything thats gets put on it ends up getting charred and/or caramelised… So, that combination smoked, caramelised and charred flavours can be quite intriguing to have…

Now coming to this particular sizzler, the Chicken appeared to be in the form of a Roulade and it was indeed stuffer with Chilly Flakes, Mushrooms, Bell Peppers and what tasted and felt like Cottage Cheese… But I don’t think I saw any Basil in there nor could I detect its flavour in the filling but it was found in the sauce as a garnish… The Chef’s Special sauce felt like a milder version of the usual Brown sauce thats found in most sizzlers… The vegetables included felt incredibly fresh and crunchy… These included, Cabbage, Carrots, Green Beans, Baby Corn and Zuccini… The Rice was more of a classic Pilaf Rice having some vegetables on its own and flavoured with Rosemary, that seemed to work with the Chicken… The Mashed potatoes was quite creamy and seemed to be garnished with Parsley…

Now, the complaint I had regarding this sizzler dish is that everything on the plate felt under-seasoned… Even the sauce felt the same… I mean its fine to have the milder flavours but seasoning has to be there… So, a touch more of salt and pepper would do the trick 🙂 Regarding the Mashed potatoes, quite honestly I liked the creamy texture of it, but I felt it was completely bland… The Chicken was cooked really well… I think that use of the Cottage Cheese like filler could’ve been avoided as, to me it felt like it didn’t belong in there… So, altogether the main problem is the inadequate seasoning and so I think once thats corrected, this could’ve been an excellent Sizzler option…

So, to conclude, even though there were some pitfalls, I felt that it was indeed a promising first visit to Cafe Mojo and I am glad that I visited the place and I do wish I had sooner… As mentioned before, there are quite a lot of options in the menu that I want to try and so, I’ll definitely be going back for more…

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