To all health-conscious, flavour loving foodies, if you haven’t discovered Madame Jojos in the Upland Road Village, you’re missing out.
Most food lovers have Madame Jojos on speed dial. It’s the destination that sits at the top of their lists when it comes to fresh, nutritious, heat and eat meals; a lunch pick-up complete with fantastic coffee or catering for people-overs and sit down restaurant quality dinners with none of the work.
Madame Jojos boasts a fridge stocked with staple take home meals like their famous smoked fish pie and cabinets filled with fresh salads and delectable culinary fare like spicy Indian carrot fritters with fruit chutney and coriander yoghurt, or a zesty energy slaw brimming with garden-fresh beetroot and carrot laced with pumpkin seeds.
Also on offer are daily dinners, which change week to week. One night Vietnamese pork belly with rice noodles and pineapple relish is on the menu, another night it might be sweet and sour chicken with vegetable fried rice and bok choy.
Vegan and vegetarian choices are the menu, too. Today, Jojos vegan nut rolls are slightly spicy and bound using aquafaba (viscous chickpea water) with cauliflower rice and a saffron roast pepper sauce to compliment them.
Fresh, Seasonal & Made From Scratch
“Our food is the real McCoy,” says Paris Bauer, who co-owns Madame Jojos with Jo Williams, the store’s namesake, and a team of six. “Everything is made in-house using seasonal ingredients with no preservatives and no enhancers. There’s no waste either, we’re sticklers for that. For example, any vegetable scraps go into the pot to make stock.”
It’s All About Flavour
“For us, the benchmark is it has to be packed with flavour,” says Jo. “It’s got to be as good as what we would eat at home and we’re very particular,” adds Paris.Food is a passion for the pair who don’t hang up their aprons after hours but love to cook for themselves as much as their customers.
SPCA Approved Ham
With Christmas on the horizon, Madame Jojos free-range SPCA approved glazed hams are in hot demand (delivery is free). “There’s a worldwide shortage of hams this year,” says Jo.
They’ll also prepare finger food or dinners for your Christmas (or anytime) parties and ham banquets for people-overs. “The platters come ready to roll — you can swap out the ham for a different protein like chicken, beef, or salmon, for example — and it’s accompanied by salads, breads, condiments, and separate sweet platters,” says Paris. “We serve what we would love to have access to ourselves; if you’re anything like us you’d rather enjoy a glass of wine with your friends than slave away in the kitchen for hours.”NB: $200 minimum spend for free delivery.
The History of Madame Jojos
Chef Jo studied her craft in Auckland, and after qualifying in the 1980s worked at establishments like the well-known Metropole in Parnell. She opened her first restaurant, First Floor Dining Room in Teed Street, Newmarket with her twin sister Sarah (also a chef) when they were only 25. After an overseas stint, working with English chef Fergus Henderson (St John), and New Zealand chefs Margot Henderson and Peter Gordon, she returned home to start up Madame Jojos cooking classes from a warehouse in Kingsland. Spying the current Remuera Road shop 13 years ago, she nabbed it and Madame Jojos cooking classes became Madame Jojos Foodstore. “It had been a cake shop called ‘Sugar’ so it had an oven and a food cabinet but that was it,” says Jo. Paris joined the business after Madame Jojos opened in 2006 and they’ve never looked back, spending their days doing what they’ve mastered: cooking up a gastronomic storm!
And therein lies the magic, according to Madame Jojos fans. It’s the creativity, the passion and the flavours that many have tried to emulate, but few have succeeded.
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