Gather round modern boys and modern gals – that’s what MoboMoga stands for, just so you know – and look for the little red light shining down on a door within a door. Slide open the small arched panel and squeeze through, inside you’ll find a U-shaped bar that fits about 20 people filling up the entire space.
The bar manager moves around the middle in his signature straw fedora. Tell him what you’re in the mood for – be it sweet, smooth, rich or light sake and whether you prefer it served warm or cold – and he always returns with the perfect recommendation. You don’t have to splash out on a full bottle, either. A 180ml carafe is priced from $21. He starts us with a crisp Kaiun Junmai Ginjo from Hyogo Prefecture before introducing us to bolder Ayaka Tokubetsu Junmai from Fukuoka. But the star has to be the Taketsuru Hiden Junmai, a malty sake with a slight acidity served warm to bring out more of its savoury notes. Feeling adventurous? He also brings back rarer bottles from Japan during his travels such as Yorokobi Gaijin – just ask what’s new and in-stock while you’re there.
From the open kitchen, MoboMoga serves gussied up izakaya snacks such as octopus and celery ($9), homemade fermented raw squid ($10) for the brave and its signature grilled chicken meatball ($9) in a pool of glistening tare and topped with a whole egg yolk. There’s also Shizuoka oden – made using a darker dashi typically enriched with beef and soy sauce, causing sticks like the radish ($3) and cabbage roll ($6) to be much deeper in flavour.
It’s easy to lose track of time as you make your way through the extensive snack menu and the even wider variety of sake. So if you find yourself at MoboMoga late at night, stay for the disco party. As the mirror ball reflects multicoloured lights around the space, soak it all in – this bar’s celebration of sake is something you want to be a part of.
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