Moga Izakaya and Sushi

“You look… angry.”

Nothing upsets me more at the end of the meal than disappointment. Disappointment with the food, drink, service… each component of the experience that fails to deliver just compounds my frustration. And then there’s this point when I just get angry. So here’s how I ended up walking away with a very sour look on my face and we ended up at the nearest Grill’d burger joint, chowing down on chips

Moga, Brisbane

Moga is located at the edge of the Rosalie village closest to the Milton State School. Broken into two sections to maximise the corner space, Moga is an izakaya with an a la carte dining area out the front and the sushi train section at the back. There is something warm and inviting in the decor, and we were really looking forward to what everyone else who had visited Moga had promised would be a great meal.

Moga, Brisbane

We arrived at Moga for dinner without a reservation. While they were busy, there were several available tables and we were immediately shown to one in the a la carte section. The music was an assortment of Japanese pop tunes (Jpop, to those who are familiar with the genre) piped directly over us as we were presented with an extensive drinks menu to study. The SO ordered a red miso beer, I stuck with just water. When the waiter brought the beer to the table, he began to pour it from the bottle into the glass, but wasn’t paying attention and poured too much too quickly. He watched with wide shocked eyes as the head of beer spilled over the top of the glass and down his fingers, before he looked at us sheepishly to apologise. I wasn’t impressed with the performance.

Several minutes after we had provided our drinks order, we were given the food menu. We were quite quick with making our selection and eager to sample Moga’s wares. 30 minutes later, the table next to us, who had ordered a good 5 minutes after us started receiving their order… bar one item. Only after they had received their dishes did we get our very first item – the large sashimi platter.

This was the start of my annoyance. Our first item was raw and seeing as Moga has a sushi train, I would expect that they would have done most of the preparatory work for the sashimi. But the other table with all the cooked food items came before our order.

The large sashimi platter was in itself also disappointing. For $31, the platter has 4 scallops (with thin slices of lime between them), 3 slices of tuna, 3 slices of salmon, and 3 slices each of 2 types of white fish with some salmon roe. Granted the slices were thick, but they lacked the characteristic tang that comes from the freshest ocean creatures. The wasabi knob also didn’t register a blip on the nasal passages either. For AUD$46.50, Wagaya Izakaya’s large assorted sashimi and sushi roll platter has more scallops, and includes prawns (2 raw, 2 cooked) and sushi rolls – feeding two far more comfortably than Moga’s version.

Both the chicken yakitori (skewered chicken, burnt shallots, shichimi pepper, bbq teriyaki) and the soft shell crab agedashi tofu (lightly battered tofu, dashi broth,  tempura soft shell crab) were good, but we were let down with the Hokkaido scallop spicy miso. As pretty as the plate was, again the grilled scallops lacked flavour and its absence could still be detected through the spiced miso dressing.

Having already been disappointed by the dishes we’d ordered, we decided against ordering more food and be faced with another 30 minute wait. Instead, we paid for our meal and headed elsewhere for satisfaction.

Moga, Brisbane - Large Sashimi: Chef’s selection of fish of the day. AUD$31.00

Large Sashimi: Chef’s selection of fish of the day. AUD$31.00

Moga, Brisbane - Soft Shell Crab Agedashi Tofu. AUD$12.00

Soft Shell Crab Agedashi Tofu. AUD$12.00

Moga, Brisbane - Chicken Yakitori. AUD$8.20

Chicken Yakitori. AUD$8.20

Moga, Brisbane - Hokkaido Scallop Spicy Miso. AUD$16.50

Hokkaido Scallop Spicy Miso. AUD$16.50


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