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“Exceeded Expectations” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Mo:Le Restaurant

Mo:Le Restaurant
554 Pandora Avenue, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada (Downtown)
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Ranked #114 of 1,086 restaurants in Victoria
Price range: $10 - $15
Cuisines: Eclectic, Healthy, Organic
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Local cuisine
Dining options: Breakfast/Brunch, Lunch
Neighborhood: Downtown
Vancouver Island
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
13 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
“Exceeded Expectations”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 1, 2012

When someone recommended this restaurant to me years ago, I asked why they liked it so much. What they said, I repeat here after finally getting to eat at Mo:Le. "Everything's so fresh. They use fresh ingredients and make everything on site so all the food is bursting with flavours."

I've never stopped here for breakfast in part because the lineups are often out the door. Now I know why. I was surprised that we got right in. The hostess told us the customers come in waves though. I never saw a lineup while we were there (11:15-12:15 on a Saturday).

What we had and what it cost us: The Basic $8.5 + $3.5 for the sausages; Smoked Tuna Benny $15.5.
Pan fried potatoes came with just the right amount of pesto - enough for flavour, but not so much as to over-salt or over-grease the potatoes. Same with the creamy Bechamel sauce. I did not want to stop eating.

Lovely ambiance in the historic building and a nod to the management/owners for installing heat lamps in appropriate places throughout the restaurant to compensate for the poor thermal quality of historic buildings. Love the upbeat artwork. Service was impeccable: prompt, courteous, professional. We sat right near the cash so were privy to all aspects of the service and camaraderie among staff that made our visit here the highlight of our day.

It is such a treat to find a restaurant that still adheres to quality food and keeps it's prices reasonable. Now if only it would open its doors in the evening!

  • Visited December 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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86 reviews from our community

84% Recommend
    47
    26
    10
    2
    1
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Victoria, Canada
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
12 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
29 helpful votes 29 helpful votes
“The slogan at Mo:le is: "Made with love." You will sense it.”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 27, 2012

Despite having had a long and passionate affair with food and restaurants, I've never thought of myself as a "Foodie."

The Boston Globe defines "a foodie" as: "A person who has an ardent or refined interest in food; a gourmet. In the culinary fast lane, where surprises are expected and foodies beg to be thrilled"

What has confirmed my uncertain entree into this fraternity is not a long past escapades within the food industry but a visit to the Old Town in Victoria, BC.

Breakfast deprived -- due to an unexpected early meeting in town - I found myself on lower Pandora Avenue. It was about ten on a chilly morning. I was cold and hunger-growls threatened, when a hummingbird hovering over an unassuming yet intriguing little bistro caught my eye. "Mo:lé" - the sign beckoned over the door. A hummingbird over a restaurant called Mo:lé? My curiosity was aroused.

I didn't get the connection but curious, I paused and had begun to read the menu posted outside when a cheerful young couple exited, leaving the door ajar long enough for me to inhale the aroma of brewing coffee and as yet-to-be determined herbs wafting from within. Once inside, co-owner Josh Miller greeted me immediately. I dislike hovering conspicuously inside a restaurant doorway while waiting to be seated, and his instant attention was appreciated.

Josh, a Victoria native, is one of those fortunate individuals blessed with natural charm and a smile which conveys the impression he's genuinely pleased to see you — a huge asset in the restaurant business. He offered me a choice of two tables and once seated; with both hands wrapped around a mug of hot sweet coffee, I perused two menus, which he had promptly presented.

The menus offered temptingly exotic dishes, but considering this was my first meal of the day, and first visit to Mo:lé, caution prevailed and I ordered á la Carte; bacon and eggs, toast, mushrooms and potato. I took a deep breath and asked for the eggs scrambled.

How often have we witnessed our delicate breakfast orbs, flung with wild abandon onto a hot grill, squirted with oil, mashed and walloped with an oversized spatula, only to appear at the table; a grey rubbery mass resembling a globule of latex, on a cold plate beside a clump of wilted greenery that was once parsley? I waited.

The room, which was almost full of young and not so young, pulsated with an energy generated not only by the cheerfully animated patrons, but also by the enthusiastic young servers.

Presently breakfast was served; a veritable thrill to the senses -a profusion of colour reminiscent of a Baroque painting; and on a warmed platter.

A mound of rich orange-tinted eggs -- proclaiming a free range lineage -- tender and light, infused with swirls of cream cheese, contrasted with burnt umber wedges of herb scented mushroom loaf; (a delightfully creative way to prepare mushrooms). Steaming chunks of red skinned potato, pan-roasted with aromatic pesto, snuggled around two generous slices of smoky European-style lean bacon and buttered thick wheat toast. Lots of coffee, a tangy home made hot sauce, and a bowl of liquid honey, which I had requested, topped off one of the most mouth-watering breakfast sensations I've enjoyed since a Christmas sojourn at the legendary Castlebury Cottage in Chemainus some years ago.

Add to the warm welcome and relaxed atmosphere at Mo:lé, the creative artistry of Josh's partner Cosmo Meens, who performs magic in the kitchen, and a team of servers headed up by his wife Leah and you have an unfailing combination, and every reason to add this intriguing bistro to your family of favourite restaurants.

If the Boston Globe's definition of a foodie is accurate then Mo:lé, on Pandora Avenue in Victoria's Old Town, executes the concept with palpable exuberance and undoubtedly I shall return, and like any true foodie, I expect to be thrilled and surprised…again. I'll keep you posted.

The slogan at Mo:le is: "Made with love." You will sense it.

Bon Appetit!

The restaurant is located at: ). Mo:le Restaurant - 554 Pandora Ave., Victoria, BC."

PS: "Born of a longtime friendship, and a desire to serve excellent food to friends, foodies, hipsters, families, retirees and everyone in between, Mo:Le restaurant has grown from a simple eatery into an institution in just a few years."

Sourced from local and organic farms, Mo:Le serves creative and lovingly prepared food, made for all tastes and eating philosophies (vegans and raw foodies included

  • Visited December 2011
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
8 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“A must try!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 18, 2012 via mobile

Found this unassuming place and were really pleased with the service and food. Don't be put off by the facade., this is a place with substance where it counts, taste and value. Highly recommended!

    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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White Rock, Canada
Senior Contributor
46 reviews 46 reviews
34 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 24 cities Reviews in 24 cities
54 helpful votes 54 helpful votes
“An unexpected surprise!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 4, 2012

Forgive the location, ignore the unusual art work; this place is amazing! Very avante garde; outstanding service, very good food that was nicely presented. An eclectic clientele adds to the charm. This is the place for an amazing breakfast!

  • Visited November 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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Victoria, Canada
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
13 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
“Never disappointed...”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 17, 2012

The staff is wonderful...in a town where service seems to be either excellent or virtually non-existent they have found a nice balance of attentive friendliness without "hovering" or disappearing too long...they are all very attractive and have real personalities as well which would make up for the food not being the best if it ever was not up to par but guess what? Since my first visit over 4 years ago to my most recent one I have NEVER had anything less than an excellent meal and at a very reasonable price especially for this town! I have recommended this place more than any restaurant anywhere and have never had negative feedback or anyone be disappointed. It is close to everything to and a great place to start with breakfast or have the best lunch in town! Why is it so good? Fresh, local, organic ingredients and flavour combinations that are perfect! My mouth is watering right now and since it's my day off I might just have to visit again! One of the true gems in a city full of over-priced disappointments...

Visited August 2012
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