03 Jun White MOJO, Balwyn
White MOJO. The Cafe that’s been making Instagrammers giddy with delight, and even making a splash in the papers for the Instagram-worthiness of its plates of food. While it’s only been open in the CBD for a few months, there were already plans for a second branch in Balwyn, and the time for its reveal has finally arrived. Balwyn is no stranger to mighty fine cafe eats. Is White MOJO able to hold its own?
For its Balwyn digs, White MOJO has snagged a spot in a busy strip of shops opposite Palace Cinemas. They’ve tried to keep the fit-out consistent with the CBD store, using the same design motifs, furniture, and shelving, and the floor-to-ceiling windows allow for plenty of light to stream in.
The menu in Balwyn has also been kept the same as in the CBD. We begin with hot drinks: a cappuccino made with Sumatran coffee beans, and a good cup of Zen Wonders matcha latte. For a decent dose of healthy, juices include the brightly coloured Doctor C with orange, carrot, grapefruit, lemon and mint, or the Garden Green with its strong flavours of sharp celery with apple, cucumber, spinach and kale.
Visual pleasure has been given a high priority for the dishes at White MOJO, and not even a simple yoghurt dish can get past without a visual overhaul. The ‘Eton Mess’ is a pretty plate of yoghurt, deydrated berries and kiwi fruit and white shards of meringue.
The White MOJO croissant burger is a truly decadent brunch. Not content with brioche buns, this soft shell crab comes in a croissant. Also included within the buttery sandwich is chipotle mayo, smoked eel, oozy fried egg and chorizo dust. It’s crispy, juicy, rich and delicious. It tastes as good as it looks.
The cauliflower panna cotta made waves in social media for introducing extra spectacle to the daylight hours, bringing smoke usually reserved for dessert or fancy dinners. After the cloche is lifted and the smoke clears, we’re treated to neat piles of potato popcorn, fried cauliflower, fat, seared scallops and a translucent 63-degree egg. There’s no jelly-like stack of panna cotta here, instead, a rather smooth cauliflower element, presumably the ‘panna cotta’, is found in the centre of the mound of other ingredients. It’s a considerably lighter and more delicate dish than the croissant burger, but one that I still enjoy. The flavours are very smokey and subtle, so those wanting a brunch with punch, a different choice of dish will better satisfy.
It’s gotten mixed reviews, but on this occassion we were pleased to find that White MOJO was not just style over substance. Although the acoustics could be better, be prepared to have your tastebuds and eyes be amazed.
Disclaimer: I was invited to White MOJO as a guest, however, opinions expressed here are purely my own and are based on my experience at the time of the visit