Friday, 28 August 2015

Life: food menu tasting at Mojo

Being a blogger has its perks, and one of the biggest perks is being exclusively invited to menu tasting events (even if my dodgy sensitive stomach does say otherwise). A good few weeks ago now I headed down to Mojo, a famous Leeds debut that shockingly (due to my lack of drink-sociable lifestyle), I've never visited before. From word of mouth, it's known as the hidden gem you go to dance on tables at 4am so adding food to their seriously cool dive bar vibe can only mean one thing - even more fun!

With the bar solemnly based around music; framed artwork, portraits, vintage tickets and a huge Beatles feature gracing the walls, it was totally up my street (apart from the fact good ol' Paul McCartney's eyes were strangely and creepily pierced out). The small but quaint room also has an American vibe to it, the seating areas being face to face diner booths, the wooden interior and the bar being brightly lit with all drinks on view. I was ashamed I'd never set foot in there before!

Upon arrival, I was taken into the bar with welcoming guidance, an offering of some drinks and some seriously tasty coated popcorn snacks. Although there were some serious funky cocktails on hand, I stuck to my boring roots and settled for just a glass of water (which proved to be the sensible idea for the flavoured food about to make its way forward). After spotting some local (and not to mention my favourite) fellow bloggers, I took my seat at the crowded (and eagerly hungry) table with my camera in hand and a few friendly casual chats later, Mal, the food creator himself introduced the starters. We were handed trays filled with a choice of mac and cheese balls, beer battered pickles, quesadillas, and chipotle mayo and tequila sauce on the side. All three were nothing like I'd had before but I must admit, I thoroughly enjoyed them all. The pickles were surprisingly nice and as a non-beer lover, can confirm they weren't too strong. The quesadillas had a mixture of vegetables which were ever so flavoursome BUT the mac & cheese balls were certainly my favourite, the added jalapeno gave them just the right amount of delicious juiciness. 

More or less straight after, the anticipated stand out mains were brought to our stupidly excited selves. The feast included two burgers; The Achiote which was a mexican pork burger, and The Veggie which was made up of a beetroot and bean burger, complete with a ravishing garlic mushroom, three lots of assorted chicken wings, and just to balance out the high amount of unhealthiness (and to somehow make us feel less guilty), some celery sticks with a blue cheese dip. As I'm so fussy with cheese, the dip was a little too sour for me but it didn't stop me from getting stuck in to the rest on offer. 

I'm not a huge burger eater, it's not something I'd choose to have at home but the amount of brilliant burgers I've encountered as Leeds have expanded their range of servings has built up my love for appreciating a good double whopper. These two were definitely that. The only meat I usually eat is chicken, I don't like pork and I did hesitate before I took a bite but it turned out this pork was something else. The jalapenos and squeezed lime sitting in with the soft, tender meat amounted to a great spice tasting - and the bearable, not the 'my mouth is on fire, someone please hose me down' kind. I'm not a vegetarian as such but I am a picky meat eater so the veggie burger was perfect! It wasn't too bland and the succulent layered mushroom completed the warmth. Combining with Mojo's signature hot sauce gave the burgers the WOW factor and really brought the distinctive flavours together. 

For the chicken wings there was the Mojo Louisana No.1; a crispy serving, Mojo Luisana No.2 which were once again coated with the ever so delectable and tangy secret hot sauce and finally, the weirdest, most abstract but so unique it works, PBJ which stands for peanut butter jelly/strawberry jam (yes, you heard right). I'm not the biggest fan of chicken wings as I think they're sparse and not as tasty as a breast of chicken so I was a tad apprehensive but these were amazing and I savoured all three despite their differences. The seasoning of them was obviously cleverly thought through and they didn't fail in meeting my tastebud needs; especially the ones I turned my nose up to begin with. The peanut butter wings were oh so very nutty and oh so very yummy. I'd definitely recommend! 

Whilst we were enjoying our meals, we were also able to sample some drinks. I'm not too keen on classic ale and the Camden Pale confirmed my dislike. However, the pinot wine was lovely and sweet. I just loved how Mojo made it far from ordinary, they mixed things up and made it appropriate for everybody!

Although I was so full I could burst, I did the traditional gesture of raising an eyebrow when the mention of dessert happened. The rum and ginger chocolate brownie and ice cream, and The Barrel Aged Shake - a bourbon with maple syrup, vanilla and ice cream may or may not have stole the show. The brownie was gorgeous - just the right amount of dense and moisture and the zest of ginger made it more devouring. The milkshake was extremely rich but addictive, I'm now all for alcoholic milkshakes! Despite being in a heavy food coma, the finishers of the day - Mojo's own chocolate truffles - made a successful and scrummy ending.

The whole evening was fabulous. The atmosphere was so laid back and friendly; the service was flawless, the staff were seriously passionate about producing the best and were genuinely ensuring we had a great time. The amount of incredible food they cooked up for us was so generous and the setting was so right; from the small details such as the Mojo voodoo dolls on top of the burgers and their signature slogan printed on the hand wipes, they really make it their own scene.

Without aiming to repeat myself, I'm not an extraordinary experimental food lover and always stick to the same options back home but dining at Mojo's changed my mind, allowed me to push myself to challenge and try something I'd normally back away from, and it transformed my opinion. Huge thank you to both Mojo and SLB PR for the invite, for the complimentary hot sauce and voodoo dust (which I can't wait to try out) and compliments to the chefs for boosting my mojo (pun definitely intended). I'll certainly be heading back there sometime soon!

Have you eaten in Mojo before? If you're based in Leeds and are looking for somewhere to go for this last bank holiday of the year, Mojo is part of the Merrion Street Festival. With live music, entertainment and fantastic food and drink, I'd definitely urge you to check it out! 

Bridie x


  1. This sounds like such a cool place. I'm a picky meat eater as well, but I'd have a burger there.

  2. I am SO hungry after readying this now! ha! It looks like such a cool place for food during the day! The pork burger sounds right up my street and glad to hear the hotness wasn't need to call the firebirgade! Excellent and I will be checking out the Merrion Street festival :)


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