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.

Big Boy BBQ


Big Boy BBQ has been on my neverending 'to eat list' for quite some time now. 

Considering it was a Friday night, we wanted a relatively cheap eat before we went to watch Olympus Has Fallen (WHICH IS SO INTENSE I MIGHT ADD). We got to BBB at around 5:30pm, before the after-work / dinner rush. There was only one other booth filled in there, meaning it was nice and quiet. Within an hour, the venue started to fill up with hungry people wanting delicious ribs. The place fits people comfortably downstairs in booths or stools, outside and upstairs. I didn't get to go upstairs because it was closed when we got there. 

BBB's motto is SLOW FOOD... FAST, and it definitely was. 
I love places that serve quality food, quickly! 

Since Subway stopped their softdrink refill rule, not many restaurants have refillable drinks these days... I was super excited when I saw it on the menu for merely $3.40. We got our moneys worth with three cups of sprite and one cup of raspberry (In case you were wondering, we didn't actually drink three cups of soft drink, the cup is small and most of it was ice anyway). Standing ovation to BBB for being one of the first to bring it back!!!

I bought this awesome shirt for $2 :)
The waiter laughed at Hong when he saw sauce marks on his plate because he tried every single sauce. Cutie. There was enough sauce on the ribs, you really didn't need more.

WINGS N RIBS - $35.00 with two sides
(Add $4.00 if you want pork ribs)
Although it may not look like a lot of food, it was more than enough for the two of us. The ribs were so soft, and cut at the right places. IT WAS SUPER JUICY AS WELL. As soon as you took a heavenly bite, it was just like pulled pork. Hong said he enjoyed the ribs at BBB more than he did when he went to Sydney Hurricane's. The ribs at Ribs and Burgers in Northcote are not pre cut which made eating too difficult. I don't like obstacles in my food. 

The wings were overdone, meaning that the meat was too tough and not juicy. I love chicken, don't get my wrong, but it was too burnt and dry for my liking. The sauce on top was flavoursome and not too overwhelming.

The sides: onion strings (not rings), crispy chips witch seasoning and coleslaw.
($4.95, $3.95 and $3.95 respectively for a regular size)

I probably wouldn't recommend the coleslaw if you like the KFC one. I was a bit shocked with the taste because it was a bit bitter, not mayonaise-y. If you want something creamy then opt for the potato salad? Something I should have done.

I am a sucker for hot chips - I MUST HAVE THEM, ALWAYS!!! WITH TOMATO SAUCE OR TOMATO CHUTNEY OR SWEET CHILLI AIOLI. I like HOT CHIPS FROM Mocha Jo's, Coburg Sunday Market/Drive Ins and Schnitz's hot chips ESPECIALLY! Carb loading? I don't care.

As for the onion strings, I don't like onions but the fried texture and oil really disguises the taste. At least it tasted better than onion strings! I remember last time we ordered it from Jus Burgers and couldn't even finish it because I couldn't stand the taste, but my friend wanted to order it so meh.

What a cute logo! If you actually read the text in the back, this place is actually very sustainable. Something very rare and something that they should be extremely proud of. Altogether our meal was only $46.35 - I definitely wasn't expecting anything under $50. If you think Caulfield is too "far" then there is one in Hardware Lane (CBD) for your convenience. BBQ food is food for the soul, you can never get enough of it. Barbeque is one of the best ways to prepare meat as it has a smokey, delicious taste. I will endeavour to try the 'sandwiches' which are more like burgers... judging my the Urbanspoon photos they look massive! I will have to come back, and if you are yet to try it then you need to add it on your list. Pay a visit, you won't regret and you will luv it :)

Big Boy BBQ
Address: 764 Glenhuntly Road Caulfield South / Shop 27-31 Hardware Lane
Contact: 95237410 / 96709388
Hours: Sun-Wed 12pm to 8pm, Thurs-Sat 12pm - 9pm // Sun-Thurs 11am-10pm, Fri-Sat 11am-11pm
Price: $$
Website: http://www.bigboybbq.com.au/

Big Boy BBQ on Urbanspoon

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This place has opened across from the Queen Victoria Market for quite some time now, but I finally paid a visit last night!!! Victoria Street already has many other Korean BBQ occupants such as Toodouri, Wooga andddd Hallah so Yeonga definitely A LOT OF PRESSURE TO SUCCEED. 

  • We were seated upstairs, a level of smoke and darkness. 
  • The waiters were cute but fobby as. One of them had long coloured hair that was so silky and healthy (jealous!!). 
  • There were many booth seats to cater for 2-4 people or group bookings. There was even a private room in the back for small functions.
  • The menu was actually HILARIOUS. The set menus were called THE LORD OF THE COWS ($39 pp), WHAT THE PORK ($39pp), THE BEEF WEAR PRADA ($49 pp), THE KOREAN LAST SUPPER ($49 pp). HILARITY!!!!!!!!!!!

The soju names were equally as funny -

After I checked in on Foursquare, there was a tip which stated "Bad communication skills. Does not do free refills of Kim chi - terrible!!! Dishes were quite small.
Although the waiters are Korean, they are not completely illiterate and they are defs not as rude as Chinese waiters. I'm not being racist, it's just truth. I went to yumcha on Wednesday at Dragon Boat Palace on Londsdale Street and that was a pain in the bum communicating with them. 
Secondly, the girl who left that memo was probably rude herself because we got free refills for the pasta and he even gave us a mountain of kimchi!!! Nomnomnom. 


$56 for the entire set which includes
1. Beef salad with Citron Sauce
2. YG Angus Scotch Rib Eye
3. Premium Schort Rib Filet
4. Marinated Sweet Chilli Chicken
5. Spicy Seafood Soft Tofu Stew
6. Two bowls of steamed rice

1. Beef salad with Citron Sauce

The beef that was used in this salad looked raw but with the citron sauce it really worked out great. There was A LOT OF SALAD which disguised the amount of beef that was actually in there... we found a total of 6 pieces in there which is rather disappointing. At least the salad gave us a break from all the other meat dishes. 

Hong and I are so used to going to All You Can Eat kkbq places were we have to everything ourselves. The service from the waiters at Yeonga were very prompt and helpful in putting meat on the grill, cutting it up and changing the metal tray. 

3. Premium Short Rib Filet
4. Marinated Sweet Chilli Chicken

Unfortunately I didn't manage to take a photo of the Angus Scotch rib eye because the waiter put it on the grill before I could pick up my camera. The portion of the rib eye was really small, but GODDAMMMN it was so tender and soft. Although the meat itself was juicy, I still needed the sesame oil and fermented soybean paste for extra extra flavour. 

Number 3 was awesome!!! I managed to save some pieces until the end just to savour it because there was NOT ENOUGH. Portions are too small but you get what you pay for, considering the set was only $56. This was definitely my favourite out of all of the meat dishes.

Number 4 was average. I don't like eating chicken at kbbq anyway, because not only does it take too long to cook but beef is just so much better. It was a shame the set didn't have bulgogi because it's the bombbbb. 

5. Spicy Seafood Soft Tofu Stew

Hong's mum is Korean and obviously knows how to make this stew, something I will endeavour to learn and perfect. It had egg, tofu, one mussel, one tiny ass pippie, mixed vegetables and more tofu. It wasn't too spicy which I enjoyed, and it was the best thing to eat (or drink) on a cold Autumn night. 

Scallops on da grrriiilll ermagherd it tasted so amazing!!! 
I don't think I've ever eaten it off the grill before, and I am super glad I did. 
Scallops (6 pieces) - $15.00
Hong had most of the scallops because it's his favourite. The best ones I've eaten in a restaurant has got to be at MoVida Aqui (haha reading through that old post again was so funny... to think that was a year ago!!!) They were well proportioned (meaning that they weren't too small) and the sauce was delish to slurp on after being on the grill!

I was very unimpressed when this pork belly serving came out. LOOK HOW SLIM AND FATTENING THE PIECES ARE. There is practically NO meat on there. And I know, I know, this is probably expected considering it is the belly of a pig... but I've been to Hwaro and Guhng where the pork belly was nothing like that. How annoying! After being on the grill it shrunk even more and there was nothing left to enjoy.

Black sesame ice cream - $8.00
The hardest part of the night is choosing which dessert to order which will satisfy your tastebuds before you leave the restaurant. It was drawn down to green tea or black sesame icecream... and I chose the latter because I always get green tea. The ice cream came out FROSTED, and you can even see the frozen fruits were too! We put it under the smoke ventilator so that the lights / heat would help melt it. The ice cream wasn't anything special to be honest. The presentation itself made it looks so amazing and worthy of being eaten. Next time I'll probably try the passionfruit mousse or the cheesecake.

This is a broken piece of the chocolate ring around the ice cream. It didn't taste like anything special but the look of it makes the presentation so much better (and hence why it costs 8 bucks for icecream...).
View of the CBD behind the glass, I like that a lot. The place itself is very dark, and the toilets are so creepy!!! I hate bathrooms that have lights at the entrance, not inside the toilet itself. WHAT IF SOMEONE TURNED OFF THE LIGHT WHILE YOU WERE IN THERE omg I would shit my pants, literally!!! 
ALTOGETHER the experience was very enjoyable. It added up to be $99 altogether, which included an extra bowl of rice for $2.50 and a coke zero for $3.50. That's a pretty reasonable price for premium Korean BBQ. I wouldn't have expected anything less from them, but if the portions were increased by a fraction then this place would be cool beans. 
Cute graffiti art around the area. Where are ma legs??/11!!!!

Address: 1 Cobden St  North Melbourne Victoria 3051
Contact: 9326 8834

Hours: 5:30pm - 11pm ERRRDAY
Price: $$$ $
Website: They don't have one yet but their Facebook will do

Yeonga on Urbanspoon

Fu Manchu

As an amateur food blogger, I am constantly looking for new and exciting places to try. Fusion / Westernised Asian food has swept over the food shores of Melbourne and is slowly taking over the Mexicraze. Fu Manchu happened to be on the top of my Must-Eat List after I read an article on Broadsheet. I thoroughly enjoy reading Broadsheet food articles, but was rather disappointed by this misleading one by Hannah Bambra. Fu Manchu is local, but far from 'affordable' and 'healthy'. 

  1. Firstly, between three adults and a child, the bill was $91.50. Must I remind you that this café / restaurant is located in Preston, not Toorak or Brighton. I was pretty shocked when I received the bill, and when I looked over it, I noticed they had charged us for an extra coffee that we didn't even order. I was already annoyed at the fact that they forgot my chai latte. So she gave me the difference in cash and it worked out to be $88 instead.
  2. Secondly, it is eminent that Vietnamese food is inexpensive. You can eat for two people and it would probably cost you under $20. Coming from a Vietnamese background, I know the authenticity of the flavours and the expectation of food expense. A bowl of pho for $14? Get out of town. 
  3. Thirdly, as I am sitting on my desk writing this post, I am drinking a large ice water to wash down the salty taste of my meal. You would expect that salty 'quality' of food from Vietnamese food vendors on High Street, where they use copious amounts of MSG.

WITH THAT BEING SAID... I do appreciate Marten Chu's efforts on creating fusion food in the Northern suburbs, mixing Western with Vietnamese. Everyone who lives in the North would know that we don't have much to offer when it comes to food strips or shopping centres. The night life is rather boring, as there are no coffee vendors or interesting things to do apart from Pancake Parlour at Northland? Ehhh I think I'll pass on that.

The cafe itself is a very spacious area, it's family friendly and the interior is extremely appealing to the eye. There are gorgeous teapots on shelves, mini trees with ornaments and paintings along the wall, nothing unusual you would expect nowadays. The food culture in Melbourne is continuously striving to be better and more interesting to gain a competitive advantage. Fu Manchu has this down pat, but probably will need to work on the delivery of their food.

The waiters were helpful and sweet BUT they need to be more aware of the customers wants... and they need to communicate with each other more often. As I mentioned earlier, I ordered a chai latte after my main order, but it never got through to the barista so I didn't get it until the food came out. It wasn't that full of people inside but the wait for the coffee and food was quite lengthy. I'm a very impatient person so this didn't make me very happy. A vietnamese iced coffee was $5... so I'm glad I didn't order that or else my mum would have a bad opinion about it (she can make it at home for me for free).

Fu Manchu is relatively new, a month old I'm assuming? I'm sure a lot of Westerns in the area will enjoy something new and exciting to visit for dinner, but I probably wouldn't go back anytime soon. Before I went to eat, I read a couple of reviews on Urbanspoon and they have all mentioned similar things in terms of the good and bad things. Fu Manchu have a lot to work on, but I know in the future it will be very popular and maybe then I'll be willing to return.

We were given three different menus; one for breakfast, lunch and beverages. Fu Manchu serve breakfast up until 12pm before they switch over to lunch. I was lucky enough to order something from the breakfast menu, five minutes before they stopped serving it.

Grilled and Glazed Quail - $10.00
This is one quail cut in half... and it costed me ten bucks. They definitely got this right though - even if there wasn't a lot of sauce, the skin was soft and the meat was full of flavour as soon as you took a bite. Captain Baxter's quail was a bit too salty for my liking, but Fu Manchu should put this on their favourite dish list! If you haven't tried duck or quail I strongly suggest you head to your nearest Asian restaurant and do so immediately. 

Large latte - $4.00
I didn't get to try this but it's great that a large latte was four bucks. It took a really really really long time for this to come out though. The baristas there really need to up their pace.

Brown sugar with the latte. I love the natural bokeh of this photo hehe.

I wish someone would paint something this on my wall. 
It was absolutely beautiful to look at and to touch. 
Prawn Spring Rolls - Six pieces for $13
The size of this dish was excellent. Not to small and not too big. It wasn't crispy as a normal springroll so it didn't have the *CRUNCH* as soon as you bit into it. It was a bit pricey... working out to be $2.16~ each. If you go to a Buddhist temple, they generally sell FOUR vegetarian spring rolls for wun dollar ($1) and it's always crispy and fresh. 

The nuoc mam, which on the menu says nuoc cham (translation: dipping sauce), is basically fish sauce with a bit of peanuts in there. If you're Caucasian, I'd suggest you go here with a Vietnamese friend to help you translate some of the dishes hehe. 

Sweet Corn and Zucchini Fritter with crispy bacon, spinach and sweet chilli jam - $16.00 from memory
I don't usually eat fritters so I didn't know what to expect. Although it looks like a small serving in this picture, it was a decent size and actually makes you full really quickly. Basically a fritter is just a savoury pancake, but a good one indeed. The batter wasn't too undercooked, so it was fluffy in the middle but crispy on the outside. My sister ordered this one, and said it was a bit too salty. At least we didn't have to pay extra for the bacon.

Something off topic - how cool is the plate ????????????? 

A traditional Vietnamese dish - Bo Luc Lac - $24.00
This dish uses scotch fillet which was tender and flavoursome. Presentation was fantastic - as you can see the tomatoes and shredded lettuce was organised nicely. Just one question... got rice? You would think that by spending $24 on a dish, that warrants a serving of rice...... not at Fu Manchu. A small bowl of Jasmine rice is $3.00 and you must order it separately. The waiters should have the decency to ask if the person ordering if they would like some rice?

My dish! Eggs benedict - $15.00
This dish was nothing special, and it was my fault for ordering it anyway. In my head I really wanted to try Com Tam (broken rice, my favourite) but I couldn't justify spending $19 on it... knowing I can get a quality dish on High Street for half the price. I hadn't eaten poached eggs for a while anyway.

The thing that I enjoyed the most was the homemade hollandaise sauce. It smelt really buttery but it melted as soon as I put it on the hot eggs and gypsy ham. The thing that stuck me as odd was that one egg was runny as soon as I cut into it but the other egg was solid. I don't know how to poach an egg myself, so I'll try it out before I make an opinion about that.

My instagram (@badasiandriver) picture of my 'Calmer Sutra' chai latte - $4.00
I've probably mentioned this before but my favourite Chai Latte was at Little Creatures Dining Hall. It was fun to drink (as it came from a separate teapot) and honey was also provided. This chai latte was delicious and not too bland which I enjoyed :)

Runny egg yolk. It tastes so good with sourdough toast.
Cute vase with ornaments and longans hanging off it. Very unique.

I loved the vibe but hated the pricing. I haven't been to Miss Chu yet but I've heard extremely good things about it.
Maybe next time I'll go to Fu Manchu for dinner instead.

Fu Manchu
Address: 2 Gilbert Road Preston 3072
Contact: 9484 8686
Hours: Tuesday - Sunday, 8am to late (9:30pm/10pm)
Price: $$$ and a half
Website: no website yet.
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Fumanchupreston

Fu Manchu on Urbanspoon