Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Jo-Jo's on Queen Street


I was a spontaneous tag-along to a friendly meeting yesterday. A couple of my friends were exchanging tickets to the Big Day Out 2010 and I had nothing on so along I went. We gathered in Queen Street and as I was late, the first suggestion upon my arrival was 'food... we need food'.

There are indecisive people who never know what to eat and it's always 'up to you' or 'you choose'. Others are single-minded and once they have a craving, they know it and will push for it. I fall somewhere in between because I can be very relaxed about what I'm eating but that's not to say there aren't days when I MUST have a certain something.

On this occasion, one friend specifically was in the mood for a chicken burger. Our next decision was whether a fast food option would suffice. She said no. We then sought out a 'restauranty' place and since Jo-Jo's was within my sight of vision, I made the suggestion.

I used to go to Jo-Jo's quite a bit but they've renovated drastically and it was all new to me. The place is decked out in lots of white and there's a subtle but noticeable glamor theme (Marilyn Munroe posters and flashing paparazzi in the bathrooms).

The concept of the restaurant might be tricky for new-comers. You are seated with a number and when you order, you approach one of 4 different counters depending on what it is you wish to order. There's a counter for steaks and chicken, one for Asian, one for Mediterranean and one for pizza. On the other side of the restaurant is a bar where you order drinks. Payment is made upfront at whichever counter you order from.

For drinks, we got a selection of dairy goodies: strawberry milkshake, iced chocolate and iced coffee.

Iced coffee and iced chocolate

The iced coffee was mine. It was very rich with cream and ice-cream. Nice but it got a bit heady but the end.

BBQ chicken sandwich - green salad, tomato, cucumber, Spanish onion, feta and sliced BBQ chicken on Turkish bread

My friend's chicken burger came first. It was layered with grilled chicken and vegetables on a crusty, toasted Turkish bread. The vegetables are fresh and in abundance and the flavor was simple but good.

Chips with aioli

She also ordered a side of chips with aioli that we shared. I had the idea that Jo-Jo's chips were really amazing from memory but these were ordinary.

Grain-fed sirloin steak with chips and mushroom sauce

My other friend had ordered steak and chips. The steak was cooked nicely and she had chosen the sirloin which is one of the smaller cuts but it was too much for her to finish.

BBQ chicken tenderloins served on a beansprout salad with satay sauce

My pick was the satay chicken. It came on a bed of Asian salad (predominately bean sprouts and red onion) and a small bowl of rice. The chicken itself was very moist and tender and the satay sauce was delicious. I really liked this selection and polished off the whole plate.

We stayed at Jo-Jo's for a while chatting and catching up. The environment is great - I love the newly renovated look. Bright and white. The food was nice and service was friendly too. I'm inclined to think the dishes are on the moderate to pricey side since the offerings are cafe-standard but they are restaurant-priced but you are paying for ambiance and location too.

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