1. the practice or art of choosing, cooking, and eating good food.

Good Food, Good Mood was established after I realised how often I was asking myself the difficult question of "Where and what should we eat today?". The Melbourne food scene truly makes us spoilt for choice, so I am hoping my honest reviews can act as a guide for any occasion - from cheap eats to fine dining, to burgers and pizza on cheat days, to fresh and healthy on cutting days. Recommendations on places to try and review are always welcome, just leave a comment.

All photos are taken with my Samsung Note 4 or Sony NEX-F3 unless stated otherwise. Thanks for dropping by!

- Lisa Pizza xo

P.S. Shoutout to my friends and family who dine with me - thanks for not picking up your cutlery when the food comes out so I can take all my food photos... y'all know my camera eats first haha.

Manchester Press

Bagels. Doesn't it remind you of The O.C?

"Coffee's hot, and the cream cheese is room temperature, 
perfect for shmearing on a nice fresh bagel …"
- Sandy Cohen

Joanne and I volunteered some time ago and decided to devour something tasty after a stressful and sleepy morning of handing out pamphlets. She suggested Manchester Press. It was a wonderful experience sitting in a studio style cafe, with verrry cute waiters, sipping on fresh pineapple juice and chowing down bagels. Hidden away in Rankin Lane, it is one of Melbourne's gems in terms of quality food and service. They are known for their bagels and coffee. If you Google "manchester press" and click on images, you will see a vast range of exceptional coffee art. I did not order a coffee at my time there, but you'd be kicking yourself if you went and didn't order one. 

I didn't take many photos (except of the ones of food) but fortunately Google has everything and supplied me with these images:

As you can see, the menu is on a see through board which made it very exciting to read. It was tedious work to figure out what I wanted to eat because everything sounded delicious. I would most definitely recommend you all to go and pay Manchester Press a visit. Their sweet hospitality and renowned coffee is something that you will smile from and be sure to order the bagels (I ordered the egg bake and it was effin amazing to say the least). It was definitely worth the wait.

Pappa Rich Doncaster

I'm not a huge fan of Malaysian food because there was this one time (not at band camp) I mistakenly ordered a spicy dish from a Malaysian restaurant on Elizabeth Street and almost died because I cannot tolerate spicy food (weaksauce, I know). But contrary to this, due to the blast of Pappa Rich Restuarants, I had to go try it out.

The Doncaster Pappa Rich was nicely decorated, but seemed a bit tooooo fancy in the interior. You'll know what I mean when you walk inside. I enjoyed their ordering system which is a fool proof system that 99% of the time they will get your order right. There is a receipt book and pen where you fill out your own order, and proceed to press the bell when you're done. I was pretty annoyed because they forgot about my order, but the food was delicious and I GUESS that made up for it.

I love Hainanese chicken but this by FAR has got to be the best that I've ever had. The dipping sauces were a bit too strong for me though. The rice and fried chicken meal (pictured above) was delicious! The orange rice was a bit dry which I disliked, but all the flavours went really well together nonetheless. I can't wait to go back and try the meals with roti bread, they looked delicious!

PATS The Philly Way

There was once a young man who laughed at me for ordering a steak sandwich.

"Steak and sandwiches do not go together...", he said. 
"Steaks are better alone", he said. 

I ignored these remarks and adamantly thought to myself that I will, and always will, love steak sandwiches. My love has been reaffirmed the second I stepped into PATS, The Philly Way , located on the end skirts of Bridge Road. Grill'd is two doors down from PATS, and although Grill'd may be a franchise, it does not stand a chance in terms of the quality of food and hospitality. We were greeted by a menu with an extensive list of steak/cheese/chicken sandwiches and a sweet couple who own the amazing joint. With the shock of the earthquake (which I did NOT feel at work), the owner made good conversation that secretly left me laughing with stitches. You do not receive this type of warm hospitality elsewhere, especially not at Grill'd. It was the type of treatment that I needed after a long night at work. They were still really cheery despite us arriving an hour before their closing time (10:30pm is the time they close, definitely good for late night cravings)! The environment and interior of the restaurant is nicely decorated with the theme colours being blue and orange! Everything was clean, organised and interesting to observe, especially the ceiling (third picture below). Try to look at the menu before you go in because you will look like an imbecile standing in front of the cash register with your jaw dropped and drool coming out of it because everything sounds spectacular!

I ordered a Bello Vitello steak sandwich which had eggplant, rocket, pesto among other delicious ingredients that felt like a party in my mouth. We also ordered Philly Hungry (Large chips) and later on received complimentary dipping sauces. It's these businesses that give you an extra warm feeling when you eat (I have felt this in several places such as LuxBite, Jungle Juice Bar and a local pizza place). I was extremely thrilled/happy/content/excited/in love with the burger, although they could have used a little bit less pesto. There was a lot of rocket which I larvvveeee and the chips were crunchy but not burnt, a really good thing to look out for! Tomato chutney and aioli dipping sauces were divine and at a mere $1 each, you definitely must buy them to add with your chippies!

Hospitality and the way that workers/owners approach their customers is so important because our perceptions can be altered so quickly. Word of mouth spreads around rather rapidly, so I really do hope my readers will try this place out and send me some feedback about what they think of the restaurants I post on my blog! I would especially love to hear some feedback about PATS because I had such an amazing experience and I endeavour to go back and eat everything on their menu at some stage! And since the earthquake occurred today, I'm going to attempt to make a joke and rate this place 9.9 on the richter scale of my stomach. Are you cringing? I'm so sorry!

Paesano International Buffet

A relatively new restaurant to add to Wheelers Hill, Paesano International Buffet offers many types of food ranging from Italian, Asian and Indian. They also have seafood for dinner (a big favourite of mine)! I was very impressed with the selection and quality of the food, and I usually don't eat at buffets regularly so this is a pretty big deal.

Wheelers Hill (for those who do not know) is next to Mulgrave or Glen Waverley, and is about a 26 minute drive from the CBD (according to google). I can tell you now that it is worth the drive because although the venue is unappealing to the eye compared to places like Kitchen Workshop, Mesh or China Bar Signature Buffet, the food was delectable at such a good price. Writing this post makes me want to go back and enjoy it a little better because it's one of those places that you can dress casually in and just have a good time. Upon arriving to the venue, there was so much to take in because some of the chefs stand around the buffet preparing food for you, they even make mini pizzas or stirfry! And there were hot chips and dim sims and sausage rolls as well! Win!!!

Unfortunately these are the only photos I could find. As you can see, I mostly took photos of the desserts, but I would have loved to take photos of the actual buffet if I weren't so hungry at the time! The first image is of seafood - if this doesn't ALREADY set a good impression of the place then... I don't know what will. Seafood (and I'm talking crabs, mussels, oysters, calamari, prawns) is the best. I would eat seafood everyday for the rest of my life if I could.

My most favourite thing at Paesano would have to be the chocolate fountain. I heard they bought a bigger one recently which is a bit exciting! Apparently kids stick their fingers in there but it's still good... it's still good................ :'(


Naked For Satan.

Friday the 15th. The first night of real freedom after finishing exams. What do we do now? Where should we go? We could have procrastinated and would not have felt an inch of guilt. But the girls and I were feeling like something different for dinz, and ended up at Naked for Satan. I attend uni near this place, but have yet to go in. I'm glad to say that I have finally paid a visit, because the eating experience is like no other. There is no set menu (unless you're after alcoholic beverages, then you will enjoy reading the labels and ingredients of the drinks). The layout is like buffet; plates and tongs are set out for you to choose which 'pintxos' that you would like to indulge in. There were roughly twenty in the selection, ranging of sweet or savoury. But mostly savoury. Merely $2 each, I had 5 and felt rather content but not entirely full.

What is a pintxos, you might ask? 
Well, it is a piece of bread (not the sandwich, the actual roll), with different toppings such as wagyu, chicken, veggies, smoked salmon, prawns or pears... among many many others. They are secured with a toothpick, and once you've eaten the pintxos, you put the toothpick in a little plastic shotglass which you would take to the cash register once you're done. Naked For Satan puts a lot of trust in their patrons by ensuring that they are giving the right amount of toothpicks at the cash register. But as NAB states adamantly, Australians are a pretty honest bunch.

Unfortunately I didn't take many photos because I was too hungry and semi forgot about it............................... disappointing, I KNOW. I have taken two images (shown above) from their website! Definitely check it out if you're interested in going because it will be worth your time. As you can see from the image above, it's a dark and comfortable place for afterwork drinks or small nibbles. You shouldn't have to make a booking, just go there and hope for a space to clear up. The waiters don't really talk to you about sitting down, so do your own thing. Some of the waiters actually walk around and offer you pintxos or sausages that weren't in the buffet area, so keep a look out for them.

Pictured above from left to right, row one: Chicken and Eggplant
Row two: Smoked salmon, wagyu (which smelt really bad) and veggies. 

I don't have an outstanding favourite but if I had to pick, it would be a slim competition between the salmon or the eggplant. The white dressing on the eggplant pintxos was a bit offputting though. But at a small price of $2 each, you can't really go wrong. 

Korean BBQ Restaurant Box Hill

FINISHED. Beyond ecstatic. Many drunken antics. Probably more boisterous than I already am in my current state. This is me, having finished exams which ultimately means having reached a milestone of 'half way through my commerce degreeeeeeeee'. Can you not see the smile and joy on my face?? (And can you also see the high quality photos compared to my damn iPhone!!!)

It really isn't a celebration unless there is food - and plenty of it. We went to celebrate like korean kings with korean BBQ... the name "KOREAN BBQ RESTAURANT BOX HILL" is really unique as you can tell. The food was really sub par but Seoulia was closed at the time, so we had no other choice. The images below display all the FAT on the meat which I was really disappointed about. The service was relatively fast and the waiters were really sweet. $29.50 per person for all these dishes AND ON THE MENU WE WERE MEANT TO GET ICE CREAM BUT DIDN'T!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I actually didn't realise this until I was driving away thinking to myself WE COULD HAVE HAD IT ALL, ROLLING IN ICE CREAM. I guess on a good note, we did have an option of ordering rice with beef/seafood or soup. That's a different aspect compared to other higher end Korean restaurants that I have been to. AND if you check in on the book of face, you get fwee soju or beer but we were both driving so this was not happening :-(

Jungle Juice Bar

JUNGLE JUICE BAR WAS RIDICULOUSLY HIDDEN AWAY IN CENTRE PLACE (between Flinders Lane and Collins Street) BUT I WAS SO HAPPY I FOUND IT BECAUSE IT'S PROBABLY THE BEST BAGEL PLACE I HAVE EVER BEEN TO, HANDS DOWN. It's a really small cafe but the people who work there have big hearts and the food was beyond amazeballs.

Why is this place soOooooOoOOOoooooO amazing as I claim it to be?

1. The menu was in the Little Golden Books. If that doesn't make you go 'awww', I don't know what will... you heartless person. These books resonate with my sweet, sweet childhood so I was happy to see it in good use (considering the fact that young children these days will grow up having a pretty lousy childhood). 

2. There is a lady named Quinn who has been going to Jungle Juice Bar for twelve years (and counting). Considering that this level of customer retention is very rare, she made our experience so much better and gave the place a really warm and loving feel. The workers have placed several of her drawings up on the wall. Quinn sat next to our table and began to draw us. It was the cutest thing I had seen in a long time, as she was a woman of very few words, but had a smile in her eyes which in turn made us smile as well.

the biggest babe in my life

3. The menu was not limited. Although we couldn't mix and match ingredients, you really shouldn't have to because the list of bagels (among other foods) were jaw dropping. We ordered a babin Bagel Burger and a kool kat Kransky bagel. I endeavour to try them all one day. And don't laugh at my photo I know I'm really lame - the typical Asian taking photos of everything they eat but BOOHOO get over it, it's my passion. And I love seeing foods from a birds eye view!!! Who cares if people stare at you for standing up or taking photos, you're probably never going to see them again anyways, so just hiss at them if they look at chu!!! 

4. The coffee/juice was rather interesting as I ordered a Spanish Cafe Baa Baa. Okay tbh I don't really remember the name but it was a shot of espresso with condensed milk with milk on the side. Although it was really small, it tasted delish and was different from the traditional styled coffees. Will have to try their juices one day. Blurry photo. Don't h8.

5. Last but not least, the waiters / workers / owners whatever were so nice. There is a guy with curly hair who was so charismatic and wonderful. If any of these five reasons have not made you jump out of your seat with excitement and want to tell everyone to go there then... I don't know what will. Best bagelz EVA.

Gold Leaf, Preston

Chinese banquet; fit for a king. 
There is nothing that I love more than eating Yum Cha or 49275-coursed menus with my family. These photos were taken in January for Papa Chau's birthday! I really cannot elaborate any further about how stupendous and delicious the entire experience is. The food is gourmet - as you can see from the images below... you cannot go wrong when you have oysters, pippies AND lobster in yo belleh!!! Prawn crackers at the beginning and freshly cut fruit served at the end is complementary, which is a bonus because let's face it, everything that is free is good. The best food to win me over with is seafood. As you can see below we had a lot of it but when you're splitting it between many people then your portions are obbbbviously smaller. Hence why we ordered side dishes of chicken, chinese brocolli with oyster sauce and a clay pot full of bok choy, mushrooms, tofu and other bits and pieces that I don't remember.

If you haven't been to Gold Leaf, you probably haven't lived... There is one located in Preston, Docklands, Springvale, Burwood and my most favourite, Sunshine! If there isn't one close to you then you make sure you make the effort to visit one because it will be worth every moment of your time and money. Sunshine is my favourite because their dumplings are the best but the toilets freak me out because they are really disgusting.

All of these photos of amazingily greasy, chinese food are so much win, I'm actually contemplating going after exams in celebration as I type this post up! I had my first examinlametion today and it went down aite. Can't wait until this is all over!!!