Joia Ristorante Italiano – Elements Mall

Last night we went to watch Looper (if you haven’t gone to see it yet, I highly recommend you do very soon)!! Joseph Gordon-Levitt is a tasty one, yet we still needed some real food, and so we made a choice from the dining options in Elements Mall. We usually go to Prime Steak House because we know it’s good, and it’s always the busiest restaurant in Civic Square, which is always a good sign. However, we wanted to try something different this time, and when I asked PB if he fancied Western or Asian f0od, he replied “Something good”.

Well, despite the large number of restaurant choices in Elements Mall, “something good” usually falls in the Asian category – I find the Western options slightly lacking (unless you go to the Ritz Carlton or the W Hotel of course, but that is a different ball game). After a little research, I happily discovered that Joia is part of the Gaia Group (which includes Va Bene, Gaia, Isola etc. ), and Gaia is one of my favorite restaurants. Of course the downside of this choice would be that I would compare Joia to it’s sister restaurant, but considering that the price point is about the same, I assumed it would be an even comparison.

Unfortunately, that was not the case.

Abismal bread basket

While the bread basket may look pretty, the grissini were stale, and I think I almost broke a tooth on the baguette. It was also the first time that I’ve drank  Ferrarelle sparkling water, and it’s the worst sparkling water I’ve ever had. Think sparkling tap water, and stick to San Pellegrino!

Neapolitan Buffalo Mozzarella in Caprese Style $158

The texture of the mozzarella was dry and almost crumbly! Although I would normally say “it’s a Caprese Salad, leave it be as it should be!”, the shredded celery and peppers on top added a welcome crunch, but it couldn’t save an otherwise horrible dish. Who screws up a Caprese Salad?!

Pork Sausage and Mushroom Pizza $188

The pizza was decent, and you can never go wrong with sausage! The base was light and crispy, and the topping were well balanced. Possibly the least filling pizza I’ve ever had, in a good way.

Home made Buffalo Ricotta cheese and Porcini Ravioli on Artichoke Cream with Fresh Tomato and Pine Nuts $198

The ravioli was well cooked and not too thick, but they were stingy with the filling. The artichoke cream had nice depth of flavour and was a nice consistency.

Chocolate, Banana and Chestnut warm pudding with Almond Milk and Kumquat $108

This pudding was the highlight of the meal! Rich, oozing and just the perfect size, punctuated with an occasional banana flavour. The almond milk was yummy too, although the two things together on the same spoon resulted in a reaaaally weird taste!

While the food wasn’t bad per se, it was quite average (click here to see the full menu), and certainly no where near the level of Gaia. If you come with no expectations, then you most likely will have few complaints. We had a nice waiter, service was attentive and courses were served at a decent pace. The setting is intimate and works well for a date, a meal with friends or an informal business dinner. The terrace area is quite pleasant on a cool evening, but 100% pleasure on the terrace might only be enjoyed by smokers, as all of the terrace seating is the smoking area.

The bill came to $1082 for one starter, two mains, one dessert and two glasses of wine, it’s simply too expensive for that quality of food.

Would I go back?  N. O.  I would most likely try another option, and for a mall, Elements Mall has quite a few of them. The descriptions on the website perhaps makes some of them sound more appealing than they actually are – don’t you just love how Stormie’s is described as a “Western Delicacy”?!

 Shop Name Floor Location Telephone  Category  Zone
Boulangerie Bo-Lo`GNE 1027 26132525 Supermarkets & Gourmet water
Cafe Iguana R004 2196 8733 Western Delicacies metal
Caffè HABITŪ 1001 2196 8466 Cafés fire
Chez Shibata 2003 21968921 Sweets & Confectionary fire
CHIPS REPUBLIC 2132 2581 1887 Cafés fire
dab-pa Peking & Szechuan Cuisine 1047 2196 8699 Asian Delights water
DONDONYA 2103-04 2196 8589 Asian Delights fire
El Pomposo R009 2196 8123 Western Delicacies metal
Fairwood G002-03 28564460 Cafés fire
Full Moon 1028B 2955 5113 Asian Delights water
GODIVA Chocolatier 2004 & 2004 23774836 Sweets & Confectionary fire
Grand Central Bar & Grill R001 27364888 Western Delicacies metal
Holly Brown 1026 2856 1201 Cafés metal
Häagen Dazs 1106 2196 8328 Sweets & Confectionary fire
Inaniwa Udon‧Nabe 2002 2196 8989 Asian Delights fire
Joia Ristorante Italiano R010 2382 2323 Western Delicacies metal
Katong 2100A 21968086 Asian Delights wood
Kowloon Tang R002 2811 9398 Asian Delights metal
LA MAISON DU CHOCOLAT 1025 2196 8333 Sweets & Confectionary metal
Lei Garden 2068-70 2196 8133 Asian Delights water
LGB 2009 2196 8488 Western Delicacies fire
lppei-an Higomonzu(RAMEN & KUSHIYAKI) 1030 2196 8208 Asian Delights water
Monsieur CHATTÉ 1091A 36203277 Supermarkets & Gourmet wood
nahm 1044-45 2810 7575 Asian Delights water
PAK LOH CHIU CHOW RESTAURANT 1028D 3691 9168 Asian Delights water
Papi R011 2811 2681 Western Delicacies metal
Pret A Manger 1031 2196 8048 Cafés metal
PRIME Steak House | Wine Bar R008 2810 8585 Western Delicacies metal
Sala Thai 1028A 2609 1898 Asian Delights water
sen-ryo 1086 2196 8209 Asian Delights wood
Starbucks Coffee 2100B 2697 0533 Cafés fire
Stormies R005-07 2196 8098 Western Delicacies metal
Tasty Congee & Noodle Wantun Shop 1080-82 2327 2628 Asian Delights wood
ThreeSixty 1090 2196 8066 Supermarkets & Gourmet wood
Triple-O’s G004 28891000 Cafés fire
Wang Jia Sha 1068-70 2382 0101 Asian Delights earth
Wild Ginger 2133 2606 4198 Western Delicacies fire
wildfire 1005-06 2196 8099 Western Delicacies fire
Xia Mian Guan 1008 2196 8022 Asian Delights wood
Yu Joy 1028C 2196 8100 Asian Delights water

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