After Hours: Waffle chicken steals the show at Tokyo's MOJA in the House
Japanese cuisine is amazing enough in its own right, but what makes dining in Japan especially interesting is the ability of Japanese chefs to take the quirks and qualities of other cultures and turn them into a uniquely Japanese dish.
Earlier this year, McDonald’s served up an American vintage burger that included “Chicago-style steak sauce” and mashed potatoes. Wendy’s introduced the world to lobster burgers and caviar burgers in 2012. Even Krispy Kreme has gotten into the act, last month treating customers to doughnut ice cream sundaes.
But foodies looking to add a little more soul to their lives need look no further than MOJA in the House in Shibuya-ku.
MOJA offers a wide variety of items on its menu, from chili and nachos to red velvet cheesecake, but it’s the house waffle chicken that steals the show.
The chicken, covered in a cornmeal-based fish fry-style batter, is fried perfectly, ending up crispy and slightly salty on the outside while the chicken breast inside remains moist, tender and packed with flavor. The chicken sits atop two savory waffles, which are almost a meal in their own right.
Bottles of Tabasco sauce and imported Canadian maple syrup are offered with every plate to help patrons tweak the balance of sweets, salts and spices to their liking.
The drink menu is packed to the brim with cocktails and craft beers, both foreign and domestic.
Brooklyn Lager seems to be a restaurant favorite as it’s included in many of their cocktails, namely the love hangover. A mix of lager, Jack Daniels whiskey and grenadine syrup served in a pint glass, the love hangover tastes a lot better than it sounds.
Also available are non-alcoholic juices and blended drinks, which are all cleverly named and changed out weekly. The paramyxovirus biology juice, a mix of fruits, vegetables and MOJA in the House’s own homemade syrup, is very popular.
The 124 seats inside MOJA in the House are available for weddings, parties and dinner reservations. Booth seating is available, along with couples’ tables and long tables for larger parties.
The trendy, warmly lit decor is a welcome escape from the neon glow of nearby Shibuya Crossing, which is known as the world’s busiest intersection in terms of both pedestrian traffic and flashing billboards.
Jazz music combines with irresistible aromas from the open kitchen to create a welcoming atmosphere. The Wi-Fi connection and power outlets at every table are an added convenience.
MOJA in the House, which is about a 15-minute walk from Shibuya Station, is a great place to visit to quell your soul food cravings.
MOJA In The House
Address: COI Nishi-Aoyama Bldg. B1-2F, 1-Chome-11 Shibuya, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo. The nearest subway station is Shibuya Station, a five-minute walk from Tower Records.
Prices: All meals are reasonably priced and start at $10. English menu available upon request.
Website: cafecompany.co.jp/brands/moja (Japanese only)