Words and photos: Monica Tindall
Tucked into a side alley and down a set of stairs, it would be easy to miss Moe Joe. If you’re in Osaka however and craving an authentic taste of Southern California, this place is worth the hunt. In US standards it’s compact. Compared with neighbouring Japanese joints however, it’s huge! Tall ceilings, timber tables and a textured wall feature lead to a corrugated iron based bar. A soulful funky upbeat playlist beating from a quality sound system has us bopping with an extra bounce in our step as we head to the bar for our first drink.
The Frozen Margarita (850) has a great flavour and by the time I reach the bottom of the glass there’s a distinct increase in the jig in my jive. Orange Bourbon & Soda (560) is much lighter and hubby’s sweet palate would have been more suited to the Ginger Ale Bourbon. He eyes my Margarita but I’ve wised up to his facial expressions and downed the last gulp before he even suggests the switch. If he wants some he’ll have to order another, and in that case why not make it two? Waiter, another round thank you! A delicious accompaniment to our drinks are the Smoked Mixed Nuts (580) with clear evidence of the flame left in their smouldering seasoning.
Some say the burgers here are the best in the city, others say the smokey barbecue meats are to die for. So what to do? Order both of course! The Moe Joe Burger (980) and Pulled Smoked Sandwich (1080) please!
These both come with natural yeast bread (especially crafted by a local baker just for Moe Joe) in the form of a bun for the burger and thick slices for the sandwich. With a similar texture to sourdough it’s soft but chewy within, and lightly toasted around the edges. Delicious!
As we both bite in the juices from the beef (burger) and pork (sandwich) ooze out the sides leaving trails of happiness dripping from the corners of our mouths. The patty has been made from 100% local beef, the pulled pork has been smoked for hours. Quality is superb, and the flavours have us planning our next trip to the States. Hubby suggests our next expat post should be there (or just around the corner from this restaurant).
We’re enjoying the playlist so much that we linger longer. The music continues to keep our spirits high and a skip in our step – even with overloaded tummies. Moe Joe has been the perfect detour in our Japanese food-a-thon, and if we lived in the city, I’m sure it would become a regular haunt.
Reasons to visit: English speaking staff; funky tunes that are sure to put extra bounce in your step (and… comedy tracks talk to you in the toilet so be sure to make the rounds there too); must eat the Moe Joe Burger and the Pulled Smoked Sandwich.
4 Chome-10-29 Minamisenba
Chuo Ward, Osaka,
Osaka Prefecture 542-0081, Japan
+81 6 6224 0442