Mo-Te Vietnamese Restaurant
Located on Capital Blvd. is a little gem of a restaurant called Mo-Te. The address is 3901-163 Capital Blvd but believe me when I say your GPS will give you the run around. Mine did. I took the directions off of yelp and was sent on a wild goose chase, round and round, u-turn after u-turn till I realized the icon was located at the corner of Buffaloe Rd. and Capital. I know where that is. Quickly I headed in that direction, feeling hungry and ready to eat. Pulling into the shopping center I saw plenty of empty stores, Miller Motte College, a Rugged Warehouse…but no Mo-Te. We decided to call and see if someone working there could help us. She was unable to give us directions, however we did finally pull up in front. Mo-te is on the back left side of the shopping center with plenty of parking. There isn’t a website, no maitre d, no one will seat you so just grab a menu and find a seat!
Overall: 4.75 out of 5
Food/Beverage: 4.5 out of 5
Ambiance: 5 out of 5
Value: 4.5 out of 5
Service: 5 out of 5
So, my first dive was a huge success! I enjoyed it so much the first time that I went back, only a few days later, to try more of the items on the menu.
The first time, I was accompanied by my friend and neighbor who has eaten at several Vietnamese restaurants in her life. I asked her how the food compared to the other places she had visited and she replied that it was up to par with any other place.
I myself have enjoyed Pho here and there, had a good Bhan Mi, but hadn’t eaten at a place like this.
For our first dish, we ordered the Shrimp Spring Rolls. For a mere $4.50, we were served three large spring rolls, filled with shrimp, lettuce, basil, carrots and tofu, wrapped in rice paper. The peanut sauce was thick, sticky, sweet and went perfectly with the rolls. THESE were so well done. The texture of the rolls was matched very well with the crunchy interior. Great start!
We both ordered the Shrimp Vermicelli as our main course. I believe it was around $9.00 and it was HUGE! Peanuts, bean sprouts, cilantro, basil, noodles, delicious shrimp grilled in a slightly sweet sauce and a delicious fish sauce on the side. I cleaned my plate! This dish was incredible.
After leaving, I was a little sad I hadn’t tried the bubble tea and the bhan mi. After speaking with some friends I determined that I needed to go back before writing up this review. So back I went, this time with a friend that had never had Vietnamese food! How exciting. A taste adventure with a newbie. She’s very open minded about food, and was excited to learn about a new culture. Being that this restaurant was so close to her home, she was even more excited. So, after a grueling 60 minute hot yoga class, we headed back to Mo-Te.
We decided to start with some bubble tea. I had never had bubble tea before, so I was a little worried that I’d be disappointed or not be able to determine the quality.
WOW! What a treat. We ordered the Pina Colada and the Hazelnut Cappuccino, both with tapioca. ($4.00 for a small and $5 for a large). Aside from having the most adorable tops, the taste inside was fantastic. The pina colada was sweet, with a great amount of tapioca inside. Amazing combination. When speaking with the owner at the end, we asked him which was his favorite and he said “I’m like a kid – strawberry banana.” To the question of which is his biggest seller, he replied “Avocado.” I will definitely return to try that next.
This time, we started with the bhan mi. This is a sandwich served on a baguette filled with meat, cucumber, cilantro, basil, mint, carrots and pickle. For $3.75 you have your choice of BBQ pork, chicken, pork patty, pork meat ball or a combo (pork patty, bbq pork and chicken).
We went with the BBQ pork. It was so good. The bread was crunchy, as were the veggies inside. The meat was perfectly seasoned.
Our main course was an order of the steam rice rolls – Mote special ($11.50). It was topped with BBQ pork, pork patty and shrimp, topped with bean sprouts, cilantro, mint and cucumber. Served with a fried egg roll, this dish was quite filling. I have never had anything like this. The rice rolls were like soft noodles, rolled up and stuffed with ground pork and mushrooms. Like a giant soft dumpling. The meats on top were cooked so well. The texture combination was so unique – crunch from the veggies, sticky noodles below. I was disappointed that my stomach got full so quickly.
As I was leaving, on both occasions, I had a few seconds to speak with the owners. The first meal was cooked by the female owner. She asked if we liked our food and I replied “Oh, yes. I’ll be writing a blog post about it” to which she replied “But…you liked it…right?” I assured her it would be a glowing review. The second occasion was no different. These people CLEARLY care about the food they are cooking. They take pride in what they are serving. They, in fact, ARE the ambiance. And their service was great too. Quick to come take our orders, speedy delivery of the food, polite and timely at checkout. We felt like a part of their lives while we ate. I appreciated this team and can’t wait until I have another chance to enjoy a meal at Mo-Te.
I’m so glad that my first dive bomb was a success and I hope that this couple is happy with the descriptions I have provided.