August 7, 2009

Elemental lunch

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Less than a week after I enjoyed a simple lunch at the Elements Mall, I was back there having lunch with a friend who works above the mall. My friend suggested Joia, which is part of the Gaia group of Italian restaurants. We ate upstairs in the "fine dining" section.  The set lunch had plenty of selections, and many of them looked pretty good. While it was a little warm to sit outdoor, the indoor section had plenty of sunlight for us to enjoy the fine day.

My starter of prawn salad with nectarines and chive yogurt dressing was pretty good. The prawns were pretty fresh and bouncy on the teeth. The nectarines were ripe and sweet, which worked well with the yogurt dressing. I thought the combination was pretty interesting.

I also had a taste of my friend's millfeuille of eggplant and mushroom with ricotta cheese. Predictably, it was pretty rich with all that ricotta cheese...but tasted good.

My main course of lamb stuffed with pork fat with herbs was interesting. The lamb was rolled up with a thin layer of bacon fat inside, which reminds me of the shashlik I had in Uzbekistan last year. There was just the right amount of rosemary rolled up, not overpowering the lamb. The accompanying cherry tomatos, haricots verts and potato cubes were nice, too.

I shared the vanilla crème brûlée, which was pretty good and had lots of vanilla seeds. This reminds me of my stash of vanilla pods that I brought back from Bali. Maybe it's time for me to learn how to make this myself?

This was a pretty good lunch, and the quality certainly met my expectations. The location, though, probably means I'll only be revisiting once in a while...

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