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.

Auction Rooms

Hello loyal readers!!!

Thank you for being patient with me during my super long blogging hiatus! Please expect an influx of food posts now that I am on HOLIDAYS, woohoo. To be frank - I actually finished exams on the 14th of June but I've been extreeeeeemely busy working everyday since! Due to my laziness, I'm starting to regret not bringing my camera along with me because I've been to many 'new' restaurants in the past couple of weeks and iPhone 4s photo quality is deplorable. 

I want to start off my holiday posts with a lovely visit to AUCTION ROOMS. Located just 5 minutes from my workplace, I decided to fill my stomach there because I finish work early on Fridays. My, my, my...... it was certainly a pleasant surprise. 

Think - open spaces, friendly service and aesthetic food presentation. What more could you ask for? The list of positive describing words is never ending. My favourite part of the eating experience was the brewing techniques that Auction Rooms has implemented in their menu for avid coffee enthusiasts like myself. When my best friend and I entered, we were expecting a long wait as the place was bustling with people ranging from families to businessmen (and businesswomen) to couples and friends. It's such a great place to meet for coffee and there is plenty of street parking surrounding the old industrial-looking warehouse. The wait to be seated was around 20 minutes and I would have preferred it if they had handed us menus (like Mamasita's system) so what we wanted to eat was pre-determined before we sat down. I was wishing in my head that I wouldn't be seated at the two seaters right next to the door way because I really don't like it when people stare at me while I'm snap snapping away at my food *rolls eyes, another Asian taking photos of their food*. In the end we had a choice of either sitting in the back room THAT HAD A TREE or on the bench where coffee magic was being created. The best friend chose to sit on the coffee bench and I'm so glad we did! We were greeted by a lovely barista who moved to Melbourne from Adelaide and we were just chatting away about coffee and the way he was preparing it... through SYPHONS! I had an idea what a syphon was, only because Vietnamese people prepare drip coffee in a similar way... but watching the fire, the glassware and the entire process was rather enchanting. 

The normal barista area behind us. 

Beef Cheek with fried egg (sunny side up) and raddish.
This was a bit salty for my liking but it sounded so delicious on the menu. Auction Room meals are always seasonal (this time last year they had beef cheek in a sandwich) so you need to go and try or you will miss an opportunity! I probably wouldn't order this again because although the cheek was extremely tender, the dish on a whole was plain and dry.

"The Shady Deal" - shakshouka with poached eggs and sausage.
Now that we are in the midst of Winter, I am always looking out for soups and hearty foods to keep me warm. Egg noodle soup with duck is currently my favourite thing to eat. This shakshouka looks smaller than it actually is in real life. Well proportioned, good balance of flavours and the whole notion of dipping is so fun!

Sarah's photography skilllls haha. 
Now finally! Introducing the syphon! I know many cafes around Melbourne already incorporate syphons into their menu but it was fun to be able to sit at the bench and watch the magic happen right before my eyes. The barista was extremely friendly and helpful. In my opinion, service and hospitality from the employees is so important. On my trip to Proud Mary, I found the waiters very rude and people who arrived after us who happened to be the waitresses friends were seated first. Talk about shit service! Never going there again.

My coffee! Filtered GOLDEN TICKET!
It was too strong and sour for my liking. I can never drink black coffee without adding milk or condensed milk. It just felt like drinking tea because the flavour was tangy. I'll probably stick to a normal coffee on my next visit, I just wanted to see how it worked and take photos with the pretty tea set.

Every coffee comes with an information card for more avid coffee lovers than myself. The aroma of coffee when you walk in to Auction Rooms just hugs your insides and makes you want to see what the fuss is all about. 

Winter Fruit Salad (to share)
If only I had the time and patience to prepare this for myself every day... I would be the world's biggest fruit eater! The fruits ranged from golden kiwi, strawberries, green apples, oranges, feijoa, pear and pomegranate with yoghurt and sesame snaps. The feijoa was BLOODY SOUR!!! The first time I ever tried it was in a spread for my scones at Lady Bower Kitchen. The rest of the fruits were pretty average.  I much prefer summer fruits!!! Will have to go back here in a few months time to try the summer fruit salad :) 
Find more images like this on Instagram! @badasiandriver :)
Sweets at the register that you don't even see unless you enter from the other door. There is an eat in side and a takeaway side for coffee on the go. Auction Room is the type of cafe that I would recommend to ALL my friends.

Auction Rooms
Address: 103-107 Errol Street North Melbourne 3051
Contact: 9326 7749
Hours: Mon-Fri 7am-5pm, Weekends 7:30am - 5pm.
Price: $$-$$$ish
Website: http://www.auctionroomscafe.com.au/

Auction Rooms on Urbanspoon


Giraffe and I thoroughly enjoy eating in Box Hill because it is a central location to meet between our suburbs.  Seoulia happened to be one of the places we dined at often. The restaurant recently had MAJOR renovations and was closed for almost a month! They now have installed booths, the space is cleaner and IT IS NO LONGER ALL YOU CAN EAT *cries*. For $29.50 per person, I had the luxury of choosing my own food amount from the vast choices in the buffet, with complimentary tea and ice cream to look forward to when I had finished eating. I'm assuming it is under new management because Seoulia was the best All You Can Eat KBBQ place, ever. If anyone can recommend a new place to try then please let me know!

I took the liberty of taking photos of the new menus items that are reasonably priced with good portions. There is also a separate sheet with set menu combinations, all under $40 from memory. Giraffe and I ordered C1 - for $25.00 per person. It included jasmine rice, bean sprout soup, pork bulgogi, beef bulgogi, pork belly and the various other side dishes such as kimchi, green salad and bean sprouts. The two sauces were sesame oil (my favourite) and bean paste. If you're intending to go to Seoulia sometime soon, then don't forget to remind the waitress of the FREE "SOFT DRINK" that you are entitled to with their new re-opening promotion. Don't be fooled as the soft drink consists of their rice drink, grape drink or aloe vera. They didn't have grape drink which is what I wanted so I had to make do with the aloe vera... 

Open space and more organised! Love the layout.
'Excellence in Taste' - Clean and professional packaging, similar to White Tomato on Bourke Street. I didn't get to use the wet towel though which was a shame.
The basic side dishes. Kimchi, green salad and bean sprouts. 
THANKFULLY this is refillable for FREE so don't be afraid to ask for more ;) The kim chi wasn't cut properly but was flavoursome, better than the old kim chi that was provided in the buffet. 

Pork belly angle of the meat platter. Organised very nicely but there was WAYYYYY too much fat on the pork belly which gave it an elastic taste. Giraffe loves pork belly but we couldn't even finish it at the end. 

The bulgogi angle of the meat platter. Pork bulgogi was surprising tender. I love beef bulgogi but the pork bulgogi was the winner for me tonight. 

INTRODUCING THE NEW NON STICK GRILL. There is less charring and smoke that comes out of this new grill which is excellent, but you still walk out smelling like bbq. The old system had inbuilt grills and rooftop ventilation which made the place dark and smokey. The waitress had a super cool gadget that allowed her to grab onto the tray to replace it without actually touching it. 

My attempt at a birds eye view photo. Still need a lot more practice and have better food styling techniques. I had to stand up to take these photos and the old couple on table next to me kept looking! Mind your own business man! 

Maybe I should stick to the normal angles instead?? :(
The new booths. The waitresses cleaned the table next to us three times after the guests had left. The manager must be really anal on cleanliness since it's so new! Feel so sorry for the waitresses - from standing there cleaning at the buffet to having to serve guests and help them cut stuff up... I would be so annoyed if I was a worker there but now I guess it's like any other restaurant. 
There is a projector screen that is against the wall playing non stop korean music with their quirky film clips. I didn't have a problem with this as it wasn't played at a loud volume. I've never seen any other Korean restaurant with it so it was something new and refreshing. 

"Our dinners are a real eye opener in the neighborhood. Dine here once and you'll come again." 

I haven't been to SUT and Wine yet (located next door) as it looks expensive and Seoulia seemed to be the better option in terms of 'bang for your buck'. I can confirm that it is a 'real eye opener' despite the new (and upsetting) changes. The portions of food are excellent for the price that you pay. I do wish that they had fruit soju instead of plain soju for $12. 

Address: 980 Whitehorse Road Box Hill 3128
Contact: 98992696
Hours: Mon-Sun 5pm - 10:30pm, Saturday is open for Lunch
Price: $$ - $$$

Seoulia on Urbanspoon