Wednesday, September 7, 2011


Address: 554 Pandora St.
Phone: (250) 385-6653
Price: $10-18
Notes: Breakfast & Lunch only. Lots of healthy/alternative diet options.

Mo:Le is nestled in the bottom of Pandora between Habit and Café Bliss. The space is crowded with tables which are usually packed with customers. The space is a lovely old Victoria building - lots of exposed brick and in this case, concrete floors. The kitchen is open to the space, adding a nice happy hubub to the room somehow without being too noisy. The menu features mostly organic, local food with some of classic and some creative menu items.

Mo:Le gets some serious credit for filling a bit of a gap in the Victoria food market at a really good time. There are not that many places that cater to a vegan/vegetarian lifestyle that are a bit fancier. Catering to this crowd at brunch and lunch is also smart! I often get asked "what about Mo:Le?" when I start listing my favourite places.

To be honest, I feel like I should like it here a lot more than I actually do. In theory it ticks all of the boxes of places I like (funky interior, friendly staff, local-focus). I think the value isn't quite there - things are a hair on the side of expensive. The food isn't bad although the menu is a bit small, the ambiance is nice and the service is good. I've just never had anything that absolutely knocked my socks off and made me want to come back - especially when usually there is a line up. I always think that many other people adore it so much, I must be the one who's wrong so I occasionally give it another try but always seem to leave a bit under-impressed. Re-looking at the breakfast menu I will try to get back because there are a few things that sound pretty interesting!

September 6, 2011
As I've said before, I often gauge how much to tip based on how often my water glass is filled up. Today was super-duper! Lots of checking in from staff and re-filling of glasses. The only thing was that although there were few people in the restaurant still eating (we were probably some of the last in for lunch at just before 1 pm) and the fact we didn't order anything too fancy it took a few minutes to get our meal. Not quite sure why - maybe they had to prep the yams for my coworkers yam wrap. The slowness would have been frustrating if we had been on a tight timeline - thankfully we weren't.

September 6, 2011

Coconut Curry
This is a good example of why I don't love this place that much. There was nothing wrong with this curry, but I could have made it at home so easily it's hard to justify paying for it (thankfully I didn't add on the chicken or it would have been $5 more). The spices tasted more like store-bought than fresh toasted & ground which makes a huge difference and is so easy to do. The yam added a nice texture, but the noodles could have been closer to al dente to give the dish more texture which I know it sounds like I'm being fussy but a mushy curry isn't really super appealing. The mushrooms were fabulous and added a really nice flavour in the dish. Other veggies were a little bit sparing for a vegetarian-focused place, but overall I wasn't left hungry.