With Otis Redding's soulful voice being played on the radio, and the smell of freshly fried chicken in the air, I was a bit confused as to whether this was actually Tokyo. I had searched for an authentic American experience in Tokyo as a sort of haven from all the hustle of modern Tokyo life. As much as I love Japan, now and then it is nice to be around the sounds and smells of home. So when a friend told me about a great chicken and waffles restaurant my eyes opened up like a house cat spotting its prey and I told her to take me there. I was not disappointed.
Moja Cafe is located on the east side of Shibuya Station. Up the stairs and through the sound proof door is a giant room with old American style diner booths and lounge chairs. I was brimming with joy at the sight of a big counter with college students studying on their laptops, couples cozying up on couches in the back, and friends drinking beer casually all around me. To be honest the decor and music would have already been enough for me to become a regular, but then came the food.
The fried chicken is perfectly crisp and equally juicy, and the waffles are extraordinarily normal. And by normal I mean no frills, no Japanese fusion or modern Tokyo recipe. Just a plain old waffle and delicious maple syrup, like the waffles I remember eating before going to school everyday. The fried chicken is also available with brown rice covered with hot sauce and salad. From the appetizers I highly recommend the mac and cheese. Served on a small baking tray with crispy chunks of bacon, the dish is actually big enough to be a dinner plate. Other menu treats include kale salad, roast beef, and pizza, all wonderfully delicious. There are different drink specials including a weekend beer special for groups. They have all your regular cafe drinks as well as signature cocktails.
Recently the chicken and waffles are left off the menu, but the dish is still very much available, so just tell the waitress you want it.