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.


Usually when I am writing my posts, it is late at night and I am comfortable in my pajamas with food in my belly. Today, I am feeling more hungry than usual (as it is 4:30pm and all I've eaten so far is a croissant) - and I feel tortured looking through food photos for this post. NOW I KNOW HOW IT FEELS when my loyal readers open Instagram or Facebook, waiting for my photo to load but already knowing that it's probably another food photo. SORRY GAIZ!!!

On a more interesting note... I went out for an early Christmas dinner last night with my high school sweethearts A & S. The weather was lovely as we made our way to Maedaya Sake and Grill, a small Japanese tapas restaurant with a big heart. The restaurant is mostly black, with the wall and ceiling covered by thick rope. My initial thought was already pleasing, and the tapas menu did not disappoint.

Can you imagine a small square table with three girls opening up a four page liftout??!!!!!? One side for food and the back of it for beverages, which are all alcoholic I should add. The business card lists "Toshi Maeda" the owner of the business as the 'sake master'. If I didn't have work the next day, I probably would have ordered one of the many pretty drinks to see what the fuss is all about! There is always next time I guess :)

Itadakimasu! Let's break down all the tapas.

The flippin four page menu! 
All the colours are so vivid and the pictures make you tempted to order more and more and more. 
Lovely presentation. 
To begin, we were given a little cup of dried up food which tasted like mixed nuts.
To end, we were given grape flavoured candy with the bill.
It's the little things that really count and make good impressions.
Pork Belly / Yaki Buta - $9.50 
When you think of pork berry, you always envision the three layered crispy skin pork, greasy, fatty and delicious, no doubt. This pork belly was extremely tender, and broke apart when you tried to pick it up with your chopstick. I wouldn't say it was worth the price, but the flavour was a lovely contrast to the crispy pork. The pork just melts in your mouth and was kind of refreshing. Do you see that yellow condiment in the top left hand corner? That's mustard and it tasted dissssggussstttinggggg!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Japanese Pancake / Okonomiyaki - $13~
I don't want to be mean but this is on par with food court Jap pancakes that you can buy for $4. It was a bit too soggy and salty for my liking, even though it was made fresh and placed on a stone grill. Try to opt for something else if you're going to be tempted to order this.

Inside out susssshiiiiii - $10-$15 I can't remember 
Aren't the colours so lovely? Maedaya should take pride in their food styling presentation, as the sushi looked amazing, and tasted equally as amazing. As you can see from the image below, our sushi had salmon and avocado which is a lovely combination, even though it is pretty standard. Both ingredients have so many healthy aspects to it, your body will benefit from something so tasty! 

My cute little sushi piece. 

Gyoza - $6.50
You seriously cannot go wrong with pan fried dumpling. Pork. Spinach. Chicken. Mushroom. Any sort of dumplings, really. I should have eaten it as soon as it came out, as it had cooled down by the time I got to it. Cold dumplings is not oishi at all. (Oishi is Japanese for delicious). We ordered gyoza after the first three orders above. There wasn't enough filling inside which I was really disappointed about, but I guess the servings will go well with other dishes, as they are all small portions. You could really taste the flavour of the mince and cabbage inside which I thoroughly enjoyed.

Maedaya's speciality! Skewers!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Pork Belly Asparagus (above) and Chicken with Garlic Salt. They were under $4 from memory. 
I love asparagus, only eating it for the first time this year. I ordered a grilled salmon from Mocha Jo's and asparagus was the only side vegetable they had and I couldn't be bothered changing it to broccolini. Since then, I get excited with I see asparagus on any menu! For this dish, the asparagus acted like the skewer, with pork belly wrapped around it (as pictured). If you know anyone who dislikes asparagus or if you know kids that hate their greens, wrap it around in meat! Problem solved.

The garlic salt skewer tasted like Vietnamese nem nuong (pink pork patty), sprinkled with garlic salt. We weren't going to order the skewers, but we felt as though we couldn't end the meal with gyoza, and walk away without trying the famous skewers. They are worth the $3-$4 a stick. It makes you feel as though you are in a night market, or gives you an illusive feeling of being in Japan.

Such a sweet chef who let me take photos of him. Sorry for being a weirdo, the skewers just looked so freakin good. His hair looked like Krusty the Clown's, but in black. 
 Green Tea Pot - $4.50 each.
Given my high level of appreciation for anything related to tea, this is probably one of the cutest tea sets I've seen! Judging by the photo, they look tiny!!! It was great pouring tea into a smaller size teacup, as the tea cooled a lot quicker. My other favourite teacup/teapots include the clear teapot from David's Restaurant and the blue and white china from Myer Mural Hall. 

Overall, I would probably rate Maedaya with a 7/10, only because I tried very limited dishes and didn't enjoy a glass of sake. The wall of the bar is filled with bottles and bottles of alcohol, including my favourite Choya Umeshu. It's sweet taste comes from unripe plums placed in the bottle. It's rather expensive, I think it is $40 for the large 750mL bottle. I will return to Maedaya and I will endeavour to try more things on the menu. The salt and pepper squid salad looked really interesting. The waiters were prompt, helpful and had an enthusiastic attitude all the time. 

Address: 400 Bridge Road, Richmond VIC.
Contact: 9428 3918 
Hours: Monday to Saturday from 12pm - 2:30pm and 6pm - 11pm
Price Range: $$ but they add up if you order heaps of dishes, it's tapas after all.

Mrs Parma's

In my lifetime I must admit that I have had my fair share of chicken parmigianas. Good ones, bad ones,  pub ones, expensive ones, servings as big as my head...

It was a day in November when I decided to take one of my good friends, who I will name Blue Shoes, out for his birthday. He chose to eat at Mrs Parma's after hearing good reviews about it. I beg to disagree... Mrs Parma's is located on the Parliament Station side of town which is relatively far if you're in the heart of the city. All the feelings of depletion (walking to the restaurant from Melbourne Central was tiring) and hunger were all blown away as we entered the ancient looking place.

Print screen of the restaurant homepage. I think it looks so cute! 
Nice jugs, Mrs Parmas.

Hot days + Cider = Perfection. 

The day we went to dine at Mrs Parma had gorgeous weather so we decided to treat ourselves with a lemon lime and bitters that tasted too strong and Cheeky Rascals cider. Rekordelig is not the only great cider out there! Get on it! Cheeky rascals is the bomb.

Since opening in 2006 by two passionate chefs, Mrs Parma's seem highly successful and thoroughly enjoyed amongst every one who dines there. They are probably oblivious to their surroundings because they are enchanted by the HUMUNGOUS SIZE of the parma. With that being said, I was certainly not impressed. I asked for tomato sauce and was charged 80c.................. for a small serving of tomato sauce. That's like refusing to serve tap water at a restaurant. 

Secondly, that little bowl of chips (pictured above) was for both of us. I love my fries, especially when it is smothered in chicken salt. But seriously??? Blue shoes is a big eater and I'm not going to lie, I am too. When we saw that being served I was thinking in my head, I think they forgot to bring out the other bowl. But they didn't forget. For the price I was paying for the parma, you would definitely think that the sides would be equally as big. 

I wouldn't recommend this place to anyone. Go to a pub on a Tuesday night, it will be cheaper and the servings will be very much the same. The salad and chips will be on your plate as well so you're not obliged to share with the person you are dining with. Mrs Parma's is good every once in a while and feels more like a tourist attraction more than anything else. Make sure you make a booking, as seats fill up really quickly! We went on a Wednesday afternoon and were fortunate enough to have all the bookings much later than when we arrived. Overall I would probably rate it at a 6/10 which is generous of me. The waiters were prompt and friendly which is always something good to look out for. I hate rude waiters.

This is a cute little section they have on the website which is worth reading. 

Ten different Parmigiana’s feature on our menu with daily specials.Our Chefs are trained in the art of Parmology – an often neglected discipline - to ensure the perfect parma. So everyone can enjoy Melbourne’s best Parma we cater for gluten free, egg free and vegetarians.

The Art of Parmology - Invented, taught, trained & perfected by the chefs at Mrs. Parma’s…

  1. Size Matters – 230g chicken breast hand crafted to the perfect thickness for guaranteed even cooking.
  2. Crumbed Daily – coated once in our special crumb mix daily to ensure crispness.
  3. Traditional Napoli – Imported Italian tomatoes enhanced with onion, garlic and herbs then slowly simmered for hours.
  4. Quality ingredients – award winning mozzarella and the finest ingredients sourced for sauces and toppings
  5. Sides to compliment – crisp salad with tangy dressing and quality chips. Sides are never placed under the Parma to avoid wilted salad and soggy chips.
  6. Love – prepared and cooked with love. Never processed, never frozen and never, ever deep fried.
  7. Best enjoyed with a cleansing beer.

After Mrs Parma's, we walked back to Melbourne Central with bloated stomachs and tired legs. But "there is no room for dessert" was said by no one, ever. The hungry hippos headed up to Cupcake Central (my only cupcake fix in the CBD) for a chai latte and vanilla latte. Aren't the cupcakes so cute??? Mine was a green tea and Blue Shoes got the red velvet which is a total crowd pleaser. You can never get sick of it, no matter how sweet it is! The flavour is rich and although it is full of colour, delicious in taste and appealing to the eye with the cute little love hearts on top.The picture below is one of my favourite photos that I have taken on Instagram. I love the colours of the flowers and the objects inside it. 

Mrs Parma's
Address: 25 Little Bourke Street Melbourne Victoria
Contact: 9639 2269
Hours: Monday – Friday 11am till late and Saturday & Sunday 12pm till late
Price Range: $$$

Chocolate Brownie Cake Recipe!!!

Hiiiiii loyal readers!
I know I'm really on and off with this beloved food blog... but the last couple of days have been a major rollercoaster in my life, and hence, a huge eye opener. My life basically has flashed in front of my eyes, and it has only taught me one thing... to seize the day. CARPE DIEM. I do not think I can fully grasp the idea of seizing my long summer days, and I don't think kissing Brita will do it for me either (Community reference).

But with this being said, everyone is different. Do you often find yourself inside on a warm day?  Do you find yourself bored and lifeless? Do you ever feel the need / want / desire to bake????????????? Well I've got good news for you buddy... here is a lovely recipe for a chocolate brownie that my sister has handed down to me! It's absolutely foolproof and idiotproof and has amazing results. It tastes better than Coles mud cake, that's for sure. I will endeavour to upload more recipes that I come across and have worked well for me.

Send me some photos of your work, if you ever do try this recipe :)

Preparation Time: 10 mins
Servings: 8-10 depending on how you cut the slices.

3/4 cup of melted butter / margarine 
3/4 cup of cocoa
1 1/2 cups of caster sugar
3 eggs
3/4 cup of plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
Icing sugar for decorations.

  1. Preheat the oven to 160'c for fan forced ovens.
  2. Line your baking tray with baking paper. The cake tin should be approx 22cm in diameters but whatever you have lying around in the kitchen is also fine too.
  3. Combine the melter butter, cocoa and caster sugar in a bowl.
  4. Add yo eggz and mix well (on medium) with a mixer.
  5. Sift flour and baking powder into the mixture. Mix well.
  6. Pour the mixture into the cake tin. Bake for approx 25 mins, or until the cake is firm but still moist in the centre. If you stick a chopstick in there, and there is residue when you remove the chopstick... then it's prrrrobably not ready and you should leave it in there for a couple of minutes.
  7. Allow the cake to cool down and dust it up with icing sugar.
  8. Enjoy! And take some photos to show me if you try this easy to make recipe!

A couple of my ingredients!
Free range is a little bit more expensive but goes a long way :)

anddddd VIOLA :)
a beautiful chocolate man, i mean... cake.

^ served up with fresh strawberries and boysenberry icecream :)