White Mojo is a brand new café on Hardware Street, just across from the famously excellent – and always too busy – Hardware Société. It opened just last week, in mid-April 2016, and is already fitting in perfectly.
It's Sunday morning, and we're vainly hoping the queue for Hardware Société isn't stupidly long – but it is. So we keep walking, but only make it a few steps further down the lane before we glimpse the interior of White Mojo. It's full of people but not too full, with a bustling staff and the kind of considered décor that promises an equally thoughtful menu. We aren't disappointed. The menu offers gently remodelled versions of standard breakfast/brunch fare. It's intriguing enough to tempt regular brunch eaters, while still familiar enough to make us feel comfortable.
I want to try everything I can eat on the menu, but today, for my first shot, I have to go with Mojo'z Big Breakfast. And it is all kinds of fun.
What, exactly, is this creation? Well, there's cured bacon, fried egg, bacon jam, portobello mushroom, roasted cherry tomato, black pudding, avocado smash, caramelised shallot and organic bread (a gluten-free one for me). What did this set me back? A cool (and very standard, around here) $20.
I most enjoyed how you could mix and match all the elements on the plate, and how generous they were with the avocado smash and the bacon jam toppings, because those two things went beautifully with everything on the plate. The bacon steak was thick and juicy and perfect. The mushroom was delicious – but I wanted more. The caramelised shallot was juicy and sweet and again, went perfectly with everything. I wasn't sure the avocado smash would work, but I was wrong. Avo smash goes with everything. And their version of avo smash is a lemony delight with some kind of small, fresh green bean (looked and tasted like a baby broad bean). These added texture and bulk, and extra fresh flavour.
Don't be off-put by the black pudding. I actively avoided thinking about what black pudding is, because that meant I could eat it, and experience something I otherwise wouldn't. And I'm glad I did. Just eat small bits at a time, and pair it with a bite of bacon steak, some cherry tomato, or with the bacon jam. The black pudding texture is difficult to pin down. It's like mushy beans with some firmer chunks. I wasn't sure if the chunks were rice or gristle, but I didn't really mind, because they were not tough or chewy, just firm enough to hold the rest of this fat-sausage thing together. Yes, those are my best words for it. I'm sorry, you'll just have to go eat it yourself.
The gluten free bread was a highlight – and that's saying something, as it's usually the only thing left on my plate. It's a thick, fluffy, homemade style bread, and it soaks up all the flavour. Yes, a fluffy GF bread. I feel like there's progress happening for glutards! One day we might not even know it's gluten-free. The standard bread my partner ate was equally thick-cut and fluffy, with a nice crispy crust.
In a lane of excellent coffee, every cafe has a lot to live up to, and White Mojo has excelled here too. Their menu explains how they've created a fusion of two estate Sumatran coffees, and they throw around the terms 'wet-hulled' and 'full natural'. These say nothing to me, but the coffee itself does all the talking needed. It's smooth and sweet and disappeared within moments. I tried to drink the second coffee slower, but it too was gone too soon. I was sad there isn't a bigger sizing option, because I could have happily drunk four of those. I didn't, because two is my self-imposed order limit. The limit became necessary when I realised no one wants a hyped-up companion on a full stomach when you're trying to enjoy a lazy Sunday afternoon.
These are the five things I plan on coming back for. I can't eat the Croissant Burger, but I'm going to force someone to try it for me. The Cauliflower Pannacotta is definitely something I need to try.
I really like this place. The staff are unanimously lovely and attentive, the food is fantastic, and the overall experience is fun. Who needs Hardware Société when you've got this, and a disco ball bull head?
No idea what I mean? This thing. I'm trying to describe this thing: