“Traditional Korean meets American favorites”
I have never been a fan of Korean food. One taste of kimchi many years ago and I was out. Then I found out about this little spot hidden down on Main Street in the great food town of Ambler. My husband is a fan of Korean food and he convinced me that I would like it if I tried it so here we are at Mokja.
The menu is small but that’s ok, its packed with big flavors. We decided to try a couple of the appetizers. We started with the “mokja fries” for $7. The menu reads they are hand-cut fries with Korean chili and fresh garlic. First off, delish they were, however, I will have to disagree with the hand-cut aspect. They seemed like they could be frozen. Also, they lacked the fresh garlic. I honestly don’t know that I even tasted garlic. But don’t get me wrong, they were tasty (and very greasy) but they weren’t what I expected or as described.
The next appetizer was the Truffle Edamame Mandu for $10. The menu describes it as truffle edamame dumpling with bulgogi mushrooms. See pic below….NO MUSHROOMS. I’m more angry now about it as I type. When we were eating I did say “hmmm, I thought it was supposed to come with mushrooms”, but the dumplings were still yummy. The inside was super creamy with just the right amount of truffle flavor. I will say that the idea of it being accompanied with bulgogi mushrooms does sound quite fine so I’m annoyed that it was left off. Moving on…
It’s entree time. BIBIMBOP! A must try for real. This is such a lovely dish. All of the food groups in one hot stone bowl for just $14.
The bowls comes with rice, lettuce, and various veggies. These bowls included rice, zucchini, carrots, sweet potato, mushrooms and scallions. Also included is a fried egg served on top to provide the creamy, dreamy, silky, sauce which mixes in nicely with the spicy bipimbop sauce served on the side so the eater can determine the spice level.
The protein I chose was tofu and it was really good. It was fried so the outside was crispy and the inside was creamy. Dan got spicy pork and he loved it. I tried it and it was ok. A little fatty and chewy for my taste.
Now the restaurant space itself……….
It was hot outside. Probably one of the hottest days of the year. (Actually I think the news said it was the hottest day in the last 3 years). With that said, it was warm in the dining room even with the air conditioners blasting at full speed. They were trying. The windows, glasses, and the floors were wet with sweat, so much that one of the servers slipped and fell right before our eyes. But she is probably 18 years old soooooo she bounced up like she tripped on a flower. It didn’t help that our delicious bowls were so hot because they were stone. They just exuded heat as they should! It was just a really exceptionally hot evening.
Final thoughts…its BYO so bring your fave beverage. We brought a chilled Rose and they kindly brought an ice bucket and glasses with NO cork fee!! This little spot is very cool (figuratively not literally). It’s small. Only about 10-12 small tables inside. I believe I saw a few outside but it was so freaking hot I don’t think anyone was into that. Because of the size, I would make a reservation. I’m not really sure how busy this place gets so it’s better to be prepared than to have to find another spot on a moments notice.
Dessert time!! The server was ready to check us out without mentioning dessert and I swear it was because of the heat but my husband loves dessert so I had to ask. She rambled off two different types and we chose the fried dough which is accompanied by a sugar sauce and a chocolate sauce.
In conclusion, the food was delicious. What I didn’t like was the false advertising. (NO hand cut fries and NO fresh garlic. Also, missing mushrooms on the dumplings!!). Besides all of that, it is a nice little spot for Korean food lovers or those looking for something a little different. I would totally return because there is so much more on the menu I want to try and I love to try new foods. So for my one time experience at Mokja, I give 3.5 out of 5 forks. The lower score is purely for the missing ingredients from my dishes. The servers, the food and the environment (except for the extreme heat) were lovely. So please check this place out.
Welcome back to dining out! Thank you so much for reading and eat out more often folks!!