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.

Snow Pony

My favourite meal of the day is breakfast. 
2012 Lisa would have hated the thought of getting out of bed before 12pm, ignoring everyone's attempts to wake her up. But since I changed jobs, 6am wake ups are compulsory and breakfast was fortunately in my diet again. Breakfast is most definitely the most important meal of the day, as it fuels you with energy and keeps you full for longer. 

Sometimes when I ponder about my gastronomy adventure, I think to myself... how do I justify spending $20 on a big breakfast? What's so good about drinking liquids from a jar through a striped straw? Do I want to order a tea or coffee? All my questions were answered at Snow Pony , a quaint little cafe in Balwyn.

Freshly squeezed OJ - $4.50
This wasn't that great to be honest... just tasted like they poured juice from a big Daily Orange Company bottle. It's probably because the juice was served 'in a jar' which makes it soOOOooOoOoo much cooler. A lot of places are doing that now, which makes my photos look much more interesting! Let's be honest, it wasn't worth the $4.50 just for an aesthetically pleasing way to drink your beverage. But juice is better than coffee I guess.

~ Welcome to the Side Courtyard ~
Snow Pony looks small on the outside but is extremely spacious on the inside. There is the main area when you first walk in, there's the side courtyard where I was seated, there's an indoor room for groups and there's the back courtyard. Fortunately for the patrons, there were 8 waiters working, four gals and four guys so everything was prompt and efficient. 

Chai Latte
One word: crap. They didn't leave it in long enough so it was bland. One of my favourite chai places is HANDS DOWN the Little Creatures Dining Hall and the Iced Chai at Lazy Moes!
I was going to order a coffee but I didn't want to stay awake all night so I opted for a different option. I only found out recently whilst having coffee with an old friend that a Chai Latte isn't actually coffee... The barista at Cupcake Central told us that instead of the 'espresso' shot, it's replaced with tea extractions. I did some google research and apparently Chai Latte was 40g of caffeine compared to 120g in a coffee, so despite the name it's not actually classified as a coffee. Can anyone confirm this for me ??? I'd love to know!

Look at that portion size! Amaze!!!

Giddy Up $18.90
I've had a lot of big breakfasts in my time, and this has got to be one of the FRESHEST I've ever eaten!!!!!!!!! The serving of smashed avocado was too large, I would have much prefered a bigger serving of the mushrooms because they were delish! The organic toast was a bit too tough for my liking, I couldn't even cut it with my knife so I wasn't sure how my teeth would handle it. Overall it was definitely worth the money. Everything was so perfectly put together, and it tasted just as good as it looks :)

Smashed Avocado with Poached Eggs $18.90
I could never be a vegetarian. I love meat too much. This dish had no meat, but was still very nice. I don't really like goat cheese as the flavour is too overwhelming. The colours go well together so well, and I can tell that they pride themselves on presentation. The poached eggs were perfectly cooked on both dishes. Well done Snow Pony chefs! 

The side courtyard. It got a bit warm after a while. The guy sitting by himself complained and asked the waitress to turn the music down because it was too loud. Good on him, I couldn't even hear myself think for a long time but didn't think anything of it at the time.

Peek a boo! A canvas on the back of the wall of the cashier! I definitely would recommend this place to anyone who loves a good brunch. It's located in a random space but worth the travel if you live far. The only thing that annoyed me that it was CASH ONLY, meaning we had to go to Caltex across from Balwyn Cinema to get cash out. 

How cute, the business card matches the big canvas (pictured above)! 
I love it when things are matching :)

Snow Pony
Address: 95 Whitehorse Road Balwyn VIC 3103
Contact: 9816 8911
Hours: 7 days a week, 8am - 4pm but kitchen closes at 3pm
Price: $$$

Snow Pony on Urbanspoon


(This is a continuation of the previous blog post. Please read that one first for this one to make sense.)

After eating TWO DOZEN oysters, Hong and I were still feeling hungry which was surprising because the hot weather usually makes me lose my appetite. I didn't want to order anything from the dining menu at the Melbourne Public Bar. I'm glad we didn't continue dining there because we stumbled on the glorious works of AKACHOCHIN, a Japanese fine dining restaurant which is also located in South Wharf. 

When people think of Japanese fine dining, they instantly think of the basic places such as Izakaya Den, Maedaya or of course the world renowned Nobu. Akachochin is relatively new and under appreciated. With much excitement, I am THRILLED to share this gem with you. I'm hoping that it will be in the top 10 Japanese restaurants on Urbanspoon, as it is currently sitting at a low 31 (with an amazing rating of 90%). Ganbatte ne!!!

Irasshaimase - which ultimately means "welcome". It is honorific and is used as a sign of respect towards the customer. Every single employee (except for the tall caucasian waiter) said it to us from the second we walked into the door until the moment we sat down.The Japanese have strong traditions and customs which Australia lacks HEAVILY which is really disappointing. Two of my friends from work are visiting Japan mid year, and I am looking forward to hearing their stories when they return (so jealous of you guys!!!).

Happy 18 months Giraffey, you're a big poop.

Because we didn't make a booking, we were seated with other duo pairs on the marble sushi bar. I didn't have a problem with that at all, because it was so enjoyable having a full frontal view of the head chefs doing their thing. The passion, the talent and their infallible care with presentation and food quality is exceptional. Behind the glass on top of the sushi bar showcased different types of tuna, salmon, fried egg and other vegetables. The colours were so vibrant and the food was frrrresh. 

We ordered a quail dish and was scared that our order was lost in translation (haha do you like my movie reference) because we were just served a quail leg to begin. The dish was called "Quail Karaage to Manju" which sounds more complicated than just a quail leg. Lo and behold, our quail was served last, and it was legless. I love the creativity, with something just as simple as that makes our experience so much better. 

Shiromi Uzsukuri $15.
This photo does not give the pieces of white fish sashimi any justice. I rubbed my fingers against the texture of the fish and was enchanted about the skill it took to cut the fish so perfectly and with great precision. I didn't like the tang of the momiji oroshi (the orange condiment on the plate) so I just ate the slices with spring onion. This is a MUST HAVE if you ever get the chance to visit this gorgeous restaurant. I uploaded this pic onto Urbanspoon because I was secretly very pleased with how the photo turned out hehe.

Outdoor eating is also available but it was too hot to sit outside.

Grilled pork belly with spicy teriyaki sauce - $15
Pork belly is my absolute favourite, as I have mentioned many many times in my previous posts. The pork belly was so soft and full of fatty juices which I LOVE. After we finished the two big pieces of mushroom at the top... nek minnut I made a smiley face (below) but then Hong told me not to play with my food especially not in front of the chefs :( 

But pork belly makes me happy. 
Alas! The REAL Quail Karaage to Manju - $19.
One quail cut in two, one quail egg cut in two, and a deep fried potato cake with quail inside. To those who are disgusted by the thought of eating duck or quail, you really shouldn't have anything to fret about. The taste is like no other: chewy, sweet and flavoursome. The deep fried potato cake wasn't too soft and wasn't too burnt, and had a good potato to quail ratio. By this point, we were feeling too full to move, especially from the oysters that we had earlier on. However, that doesn't mean there isn't any room for dessert ;)

Black Sesame Panna Cotta with Green Tea Ice Cream - $14
Oh my goodness...... *squeals with excitement* this was one of the finer desserts I have ever eaten in any restaurant. I've been meaning to try Yeonga as I've heard that their desserts are excellent! Next to the green tea icecream is some sort of sweet red bean paste and the strawberries complimented the black sesame really well. The panna cotta had a really nice wobble as soon as I put my spoon in. It didn't have a grainy taste, but the sesame snap on top of the green tea ice cream gave it a good CRUNCH!

You probably would have noticed that throughout this blog post, I mentioned that Akachochin was "perfect" and "exceptional" more times than one. It deserves all the recognition and praise that I can give. The waiters are very efficient, yelling out 'service' as soon as the food has finished being prepared. The sushi bar chefs probably had a bit of a chuckle at my poor efforts to say Japanese phrases such as delicious and thank you. I will definitely return to Akachochin on another special occasion, as it is a bit too dear on the back pocket to be able to eat there regularly. I can only hope that Japanese food lovers can appreciate their dishes and people who are yet to try will fall in love with Japanese cuisine after here.

Address: 33 Dukes Walk, Southbank VIC 3006
(near the Exhibition Centre and DFO South Wharf)
Contact: 9245 9900
Hours: Tuesday - Sunday for Lunch 12pm - 4pm and Dinner 6pm - late.
Price Range: $$$ and a half
Website: http://www.akachochin.com.au/

Akachochin on Urbanspoon

Melbourne Public Bar and Restaurant

Hot weather: you either hate it or you love it. I love the heat - and the sleepless nights, summer fruits and the tans that come with it. However, my incurable eczema and the unbearable heat do NOT go hand in hand. Tonight I felt extremely edgy by 5pm... annoyed with my itching, stuck in a traffic jam in the CBD and realising that I hadn't eaten anything for the entire day because the weather made me lost my appetite. Giraffe and I finally made it to our destination (about an hour and a half later), and made our way towards the Melbourne Public Bar & Restaurant, where we would be indulging in $1 oysters. The hours of 4pm -7pm were indeed the happiest hours of my day. I was expecting the oysters to be small and not very well cooked. Boy, was I wrong! You are offered three choices - either natural, kilpatrick or tempura. We ordered half a dozen of each. Kilpatrick is usually my favourite in any other restaurant, but tempura takes the cake.

Lemon Lime and Bitters to wash down the oysters. 
Next time I will probably get a Corona because apparently they are really good with oysters.

Ermagherddddd this photo is so blurry I didn't even realise how blurry it was on my phone because I was SO HUNGRY I just wanted to dive in. I definitely will be heading back to get more oysters during the happy hour! Natural and tempura is excellent. This is a photo of 18 oysters to signify 18 months of dating the giraffe! I feel so sorry for him (being tied down to me would be a tedious job), but the last couple of months have been so excellent. Thank you for everything bebe.

The Kilpatricks.

The flavour was too salty and strong for my liking. Bacon is the bomb diggityyyyy but I think they used too much Worcestershire sauce. My suggestion? Dice the bacon. I couldn't even see my oyster.

Gorgeous environment and setting. Behind the bar are proper table settings for the restaurant diners. We sat on stools that were too high and hurt my back but that's all apart of the gastropub feel. The waiters were super friendly as well which made our experience more pleasant :) I would recommend everyone to come and pay a visit here. There are many more items on the menu, but the oysters were merely an entree for us. It's really not that hard to find as well! It's close to DFO South Wharf - near the Tigerlily / Smiggle entrance. I never realised how many restaurants had opened around the wharf. I love the development, I love the surroundings and creativity of the restaurants and I love that there are more things to try, especially The Sharing House, The Boatbuilder's Yard and Gasolina (which looks like the mechanics in Grease! It's full of pretty bikes and white tiles). 

"get shucked" - love it.

After the 18 oysters we had previously ordered, we opted for another 6 of the tempura. This lot (as you can see) had less batter, which meant you could taste more of the oysters.

Melbourne Public Bar / Cafe
Address: 11 Dukes Walk South Wharf VIC 3006
Contact: 9268 7600
Hours: Open everyday 12pm - 1am for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Website: http://www.melbournepublic.com.au/

Melbourne Public Cafe on Urbanspoon


There isn't a lot of exciting things to do in the northern suburbs of Melbourne, but when you've lived there your entire life you kinda get used to it. Life's too short to ponder on the small things, and you should be venturing out to new experiences and places anyway. Fortunately for us we have a couple of little eating gems in Preston / Reservoir such as Lady Bower Kitchen, Jackson Dodds and the newly discovered Cheshire. It's been there for a while now (since 2011), but I never had a chance to go because it's out of the way for me when I go to uni and work. 

Cheshire has all the breakfast essentials at a low price. It's very vegan / vegetarian friendly, kid and pet friendly and has eftpos facilities! If you're ever in the area and looking for a place to brunch or have coffee with a mate then Cheshire will fulfil all your needs. We sat outside so I didn't take many photos of the cafe itself, but the outdoor seatings had umbrellas which was so beneficial on the hot day that we went.

Iced Coffee ($5) that wasn't even iced and Organic OJ ($4)
If it's a hot day and a customer orders an iced coffee, you don't serve a coffee with two scoops of icecream. It tasted as if it was at room temperature so I was not happy about it. At least the coffee tasted good though. 

Baked eggs with Chorizo $17 from memory
Anything with baked eggs on the menu, I'll order it in a heartbeat. I love eggs, especially poached eggs, but when it's baked it tastes even better than usual. There was a bit too much sauce, as you can see on my napkin the waitress spilt it on while she was bringing it out. The egg was hard to cut up because I didn't want to spill it any further and lose the juicyness. The bread was a bit too hard for my liking so I only ate one slice (which I felt really guilty about).

The Chesh $18 from memory
This WOULD HAVE been the most amazing breakfast dish, but it was missing one thing.
Can you guess what it is???

If you guessed MUSHROOMS then you are correctamundo. Sarah doesn't eat baked beans so I ate it for her, only to find that they were gourmet and mixed with diced onions! Not just ones from the can. The scrambled egg portion was quite large, usually when you order scrambled it looks tiny.

Close up of my baked eggs :)

That persons knee in the window looks like a ladys bum.

Address: 583 Gilbert Road West Preston Melbourne
Contact: 0422 591 650
Hours: Monday - Friday 7am - 4pm and Saturday - Sunday 8am - 4pm.
Price: $$
Website: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Cheshire/279630092053515

Cheshire on Urbanspoon