In late October, while wandering around Commercial Drive, I spotted Mogu Fried Chicken. This was a fairly new restaurant, from the owners of the food truck of the same name. The food truck ceased operations in 2019, and set up shop on the north end of Commercial drive, near Parker Street.
This establishment is more like an izakaya, with a licensed bar, and a selected drink menu that includes japanese beer, sake and whiskey.
But of course, it wouldn’t be Mogu, without their most popular dish, their chicken karaage.
My lunch companion had the Mogu Fried Chicken Salad Bowl.
This was a crisp salad of tomatoes, avocado slices, cabbage, kale, carrot, daikon, avocado, greens, and cucumber, dressed with a light vinaigrette, and topped with a pieces of hot chicken karaage. The dish is accompanied with a small dipping bowl of sauce (we chose the original sweet chili sauce)
I had a taste of the chicken, and it was as i remember it. It’s a marinated chicken thigh coated and deep fried to a light crunch. It was hot and savory with a satisfying light crunch.
It was a generous bowl of rice, topped with slow braised boneless short rib smothered in a Japanese barbeque sauce, accompanied by a portion of kimchi (fermented spicy Korean cabbage), marinated scallions, and a lightly poached egg. This was a good dish. The short rib was tender and richly savory, with sweet and tangy notes. The kimchi provided some spicy funky notes, and the scallions provided some freshness. The poached egg, once pierced, oozed over the dish, and provided some extra creaminess.
The restaurant largely followed the public health officers guidelines with regard to recording contact information, and limiting dining room capacity. All the servers were masked and were attentive with cleanliness and hygene.
The tables were not spaced out very much, but Plexiglas barriers separated all the tables.And of course, they’ve retained that wonderful artwork from the food truck. Our server was cheerful polite, and pleasant.