Covid-19 and the federally mandated shutdown of restaurants, cafes and bars has turned Australia’s dining culture on its head. Right now, our special nights aren’t spent out and about – instead, they’re spent at home, enjoying takeout and delivery services from some of Brisbane’s very best restaurants.
We wanted to celebrate this innovation by helping readers create delicious dining experiences with drink recommendations to match. We’ve highlighted the best takeaway dishes from six venues across the city, and leaned on the knowledge of a local Dan Murphy’s wine merchant to recommend each with a specific drink. Read on to start planning your next big night in.
Claypot goldband snapper with ginger and shallot from The Golden Pig
Star chef Katrina Ryan created this dish as a variation on a classic Chinese steamed fish. It’s deceptively simple, with the goldband snapper placed in the oven with soy, shaoxing (Chinese cooking wine), a bit of oyster sauce, ginger and shallot. The intention is for the fish to exchange its flavours with the broth as it all gently cooks away inside the claypot. “It’s very elegant,” Ryan says. “The ginger and the shallot are the only aromatics that go in it.” Ryan suggests serving the dish with steamed rice.
Expert pairing tip:Brian Croser BC Chardonnay
Craig Robinson, wine merchant at Dan Murphy’s Hamilton, says this Adelaide Hills chardonnay has enough weight and complexity to handle the spicy ginger element in this dish. “It has a hint of French oak to give it that toasty vanilla taste,” he says, “balanced with fresh citrus, melon and stone fruit to complement the snapper.”
How order it: check out the menu and order online. Pick-up is from The Golden Pig in Newstead. Delivery currently not available.
Duck ragu pappardelle from Beccofino
By now, Beccofino’s duck ragu pappardelle barely needs any introduction. The story most people know is that there was an uproar when chef and co-owner Cordell Khoury once tried to take the pasta dish off the menu. But what really happened is even better: “I went to buy an apartment and the guy who was selling it said, ‘I’ll give you a better deal if you agree to never take the ragu off the menu’,” Khoury says, laughing. “And it’s never come off since.” The dish is relatively straightforward – a slow-cooked tomato-based ragu is stuffed full of onion, carrots and celery, giving it its beautiful orange colour and subtle flavour.
Expert pairing tip: Zonin Ripasso Valpolicella Superiore
Robinson says the weight of this richer style of red would pair well with the ragu. “It has dark chocolate and cherry flavours, and a round, full palate without being jammy,” he says. “The ripasso is from the Valpolicella region in Italy, and the richness comes from fermenting on the previous vintage’s skins.”
How to order it: check out the menu and order online. Pick-up from Beccofino in Teneriffe. Delivery available via Deliveroo.*
Lobster and Hervey Bay scallop roll from The Wolfe
Star chef Josh Lopez switched fine diner The Wolfe towards takeaway and delivery faster than most, launching this exquisite variation on a classic lobster roll the week before the federal government’s shutdown of cafes, restaurants and bars. Lopez sous-vide poaches wild-harvested Queensland tropical painted cray and Hervey Bay scallops before finishing the meat with toasted almonds, an almond-bisque mayo, diced continental cucumber and chives. It’s all slipped inside a buttery brioche roll – “to mimic that traditional lobster butter sauce,” Lopez says – before being garnished with either Avruga caviar or Yarra Valley salmon pearl.
Expert pairing tip: Bernard Defaix Chablis
Robinson says the crisp elements of this French wine are also a good match. “It has beautifully balanced lemon citrus and mineral elements,” he says. “The fresh, unoaked style would complement the richer lobster and scallop roll.”
How to order it: check out the menu online, then call (07) 3891 7772 to order and arrange pick-up from The Wolfe in East Brisbane. Check delivery region details.
Tonkotsu ramen from Taro’s Ramen
Taro’s tonkotsu ramen is widely regarded as the best noodle soup in town, and for good reason: owner Taro Akimoto builds it using Bangalow sweet pork, garlic and white pepper before condensing it down in a pressure cooker to produce his creamy broth. Akimoto then finishes the dish with nori, half a free-range egg and sliced, koji-marinated pork. As for what to enjoy it with, Akimoto says he can’t go past “a really crisp, pilsner-style beer”.
Expert pairing tip: White Rabbit White Ale
“This wheat ale has enough flavour to compete with the pork,” says Robinson, “with some lifted perfumed esters, coriander notes and a fresh finish. The freshness of this crisp beer will cut through the richness of the creamy pork broth.”
How to get it: The Taro’s Ramen Ascot and Stones Corner stores are open for delivery and pick-up via Menulog. Details on how to order can be found here.
Coconut and turmeric curry of Bundaberg king prawns from Same Same
If you’ve eaten at Same Same (or Longtime before it), you’ve almost certainly eaten chef Ben Bertei’s coconut and turmeric curry. The specifics have changed a little over the years – Bertei previously switched the curry from bug meat to lobster and then back again due to availability, and has slowly fine-tuned the mix of coconut cream and coconut milk. But the basics remain the same: a luscious, velvety coconut curry sauce is combined with fresh turmeric, turmeric powder, tamarind and fish sauce, before it’s finished off with a fistful of Asian celery and fried kaffir lime leaves. Bertei is currently loading up the dish with Bundaberg king prawns, poaching them in the curry to help further infuse its flavours.
Expert pairing tip: Schloss Vollrads Kabinett Riesling
This German riesling makes a fine accompaniment according to Robinson. “This off-dry riesling from the Rheingau will work well with the curry,” he says. “It has a slight sweetness to soften any heat, while the crisp lemon and grapefruit-fresh acidity will cut through the coconut-cream element and have you ready for the next mouthfeel.”
How to order it: check out the menu online, then call (07) 3188 1418 to order and arrange pick-up from Same Same in Ada Lane. Delivery is not currently available.
Carnitas tacos from Baja
Baja turned heads in 2019 when it unleashed upon Brisbane an authentic style of northern Mexican food never before seen in the city. Baja’s carnitas (pulled pork neck) tacos are some of the best in town. “It’s not just your normal pulled pork,” owner Dan Quinn says. “It’s a massive process.” Baja’s chefs confit the meat overnight in a herb bath packed full of Mexican spices. The next day they shred it, slap it inside some La Tortilleria corn tortillas and finish the dish with a secret recipe jalapeño green salsa and red onion escabeche. “I like to wash them down with a Mexican-style lager,” Quinn says. “For wine, a light red.”
Expert pairing tip: Coldstream Hills Pinot Noir
Robinson highlights the balance of this Yarra Valley drop’s red fruits (like cherry) and darker fruits (like dark cherry and plum), with the use of some heavier toast oak, as key to this pick. “[It] brings some fullness to the palate, along with a touch of slight spice,” he says. “The fresh characteristics combined with the rounder mid-palate will bring out the flavours in the meat and can cope with some heat from the salsa.”
How to order it: check out the menu online, then call (07) 3625 0069 or message via Instagram to order and arrange pick-up from Baja in Fortitude Valley. Pick-up orders can also be made via Bopple. Delivery available via Uber Eats.
Head to the Dan Murphy’s website to find your local store or shop online now.
This article is produced by Broadsheet in partnership with Dan Murphy’s.