Shane Pow hopes new Taiwanese street food menu will boost Mojo’s, well, mojo

Plus the actor’s favourite dishes from his restaurant's revamped dinner menu.

Shane Pow hopes new Taiwanese street food menu will boost Mojo’s, well, mojo
Shane Pow hopes new Taiwanese street food menu will boost Mojo’s, well, mojo
30 Jul 2019

Shane Pow hopes new Taiwanese street food menu will boost Mojo’s, well, mojo

When we walked into Shane Pow’s restaurant Mojo last Friday (Jul 26), the first thing that hit us was the loud and nostalgic Mandopop tunes blasting from the speakers of the shophouse along Telok Ayer Street. Not that it was bad (we actually quite enjoyed it), it was just a different vibe from what we remember from our last visit two years ago.

Before we could ask the actor if it was something they played during the downtime at the eatery, he told us, “We’ve changed the music to ‘90s Mandopop to go with the new menu.” Talk about attention to detail.

Don’t worry, fans of Mojo’s build-your-own protein and grain bowls can still enjoy them in the day as well as at their three-week-old outlet at Republic Plaza (more on that later), but at night, instead of yakitori, Taiwan street food favourites like lu rou fan (braised pork rice) and fried chicken cutlet take centre stage.

“We feel that this stretch needs more options. We’ve been here for two years and the lunch crowd is good. But there are a few Japanese restaurants here, so we decided to try something different for dinner,” said the 28-year-old.

His love for Taiwanese food aside, Shane said the reason for switching up the menu was also to keep costs down - a win-win for both the business and customers.

Unlike the previous menu that offered more premium items like uni (sea urchin), foie gras, and a rice bowl could set you back an average of $28, mains like lu rou fan go for just $10.90 and sharing plates are under $10, which is “zi char price and a lot more wallet-friendly”.

The price is definitely a draw, but don’t go running there hoping to find authentic Taiwanese food as dishes have been tweaked slightly to suit the local palate.

Shaken, not stirred: Shane makes a cameo behind the bar
Shaken, not stirred: Shane makes a cameo behind the bar
30 Jul 2019

Shaken, not stirred: Shane makes a cameo behind the bar


The revamped dinner menu comes hot on the heels of the launch of its second outlet, which just opened its doors at basement 1 of Republic Plaza early July. Unlike the OG at Telok Ayer, this is an express concept offering protein as well as acai bowls, and there are no plans to introduce Taiwanese street food there due to the fast-paced lunch crowd.

“This kind of food is best enjoyed sitting down, but people working in the CBD area have no time for that. Sometimes they just want to da bao the food, and sometimes they can’t even finish their food, that’s why we serve them in takeaway bowls so they can take it back to the office. It’s faster that way and more efficient,” noted Shane.

When we pointed out that desserts and drinks were sorely missing from the Taiwanese menu, Shane reassured us that it is a work in progress. Then, as though he were trying to make it up to us, he quickly offered to whip us up a drink (that may or may not make it to the cocktail menu). 

“This is a martini made with vodka, lychee, and lime,” said the former bartender as he sprinkled a few wolfberries over the top. “I think I’ll call it ‘Pow Pow Cha’ (a play on his name and bubble tea in Chinese).”

It’s so punny - we love it! 

Read on for Shane’s top picks from Mojo’s new menu.

Braised Pork with Salted Vegetable and Pork Lard Croutons ($10.90)
Braised Pork with Salted Vegetable and Pork Lard Croutons ($10.90)
30 Jul 2019

Braised Pork with Salted Vegetable and Pork Lard Croutons ($10.90)

The lu rou fan was the clear winner at our table. Braised for 24 hours, the flavourful diced pork is layered over a bed of Japanese pearl rice with salted vegetables, onsen egg, and fried pork lard for that extra crunch. The dish is on the wetter side but that makes it all the more comforting and appetising.

Taiwanese Fried Chicken with Housemade Kimchi ($10.90)
Taiwanese Fried Chicken with Housemade Kimchi ($10.90)
30 Jul 2019

Taiwanese Fried Chicken with Housemade Kimchi ($10.90)

Shane’s favourite and the dish that we were most looking forward to, the XL chicken cutlet, unfortunately did not hit the spot. The chicken breast was dry, and the spicy seasoning dusted over the chook lacked kick. That being said, the kimchi, which was more spicy than sour, was quite refreshing when paired with the chicken.

3 Cup Chicken ($8)
3 Cup Chicken ($8)
30 Jul 2019

3 Cup Chicken ($8)

Savoury and saucy, the 3 Cup Chicken gets its intense flavour and colour from the three main ingredients: rice wine, soy sauce, and sesame oil, with hints of hua diao wine. It’s not quite your traditional 3 Cup Chicken, but it’s tasty nonetheless and the moreish gravy goes brilliantly well with rice.

Skewers ($2 to $2.90, or 4 for $6)
Skewers ($2 to $2.90, or 4 for $6)
30 Jul 2019

Skewers ($2 to $2.90, or 4 for $6)

We tried four of the five offerings: chicken thigh, braised beef brisket, pork jowl, and Taiwan sausage. The sweet juicy cocktail sausages, when coated with spicy seasoning powder, had an eclectic taste, but the star for us was the pork jowl. The meat was confit-ed for 24 hours, resulting in melt-in-your-mouth-tender cheeks with a slight outer crisp. 

Skewers ($2 to $2.90, or 4 for $6)
Skewers ($2 to $2.90, or 4 for $6)
30 Jul 2019

Skewers ($2 to $2.90, or 4 for $6)

The chicken thigh and braised beef brisket, which turned out dry, were a letdown. Perhaps they were inspired by jerky but the beef, though flavourful, was way too tough and could have benefited from some sauce.

Salt & Pepper Squid ($9)
Salt & Pepper Squid ($9)
30 Jul 2019

Salt & Pepper Squid ($9)

Remember those colossal skewers of fried squid you see at the Taiwan night markets? This is the bite-sized - or rather, chopped up - version. The golden-brown squid chunks, which are tossed around in a salt and pepper mix, are crisp, light, and tender, and pair well with the creamy and tangy housemade mayo.

Mojo is located at 204 Telok Ayer Street, and Republic Plaza, 9 Raffles Place, #B1-07.

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