Melbourne’s looking pretty different this month – the spots we’d normally be drinking and dining at, entertained in, wandering through or shopping at have all changed tack to deal with the coronavirus crisis. But there’s still plenty to do, and at Broadsheet, we’ve never been busier as we work to share the best of what’s out there with you.
This month, we’re learning to cook with Jamie Oliver and Massimo Bottura, ordering in from the city’s best eateries and bars, streaming ’80s-style aerobics classes to our lounge rooms, getting deliveries from our fave neighborhood bookshops, and finally starting that veggie patch. Here’s what Broadsheet Melbourne editor Ellen Fraser is checking out (from home) this month.
Turns out Melbourne has a dedicated lasagne delivery service that’s been running under-the-radar for years. Now 1800 Lasagne is ramping things up to help Melburnians holed up at home. It’s also delivering bottles of Pat Sullivan’s natural wine, designed to go with the bechamel-bolognaise combo (or the vego version).
If you’re not getting lasagne delivered, what do you do when all of the city’s restaurants, bars and cafes are forced to halt dine-in trade? You start working your way through Broadsheet’s live list of venues pivoting to takeaway. At least, that’s what we’re doing. Our favourites so far include a classic cheeseburger and fries from Andrew McConnell’s pub The Builders Arms (add a serve of cod-roe dip for dunking); dry-aged duck from fine diner Navi, Marameo’s $15 cacio e pepe; and Attica’s $60 lasagne – a cash splash for a two-person meal, or the cheapest way to experience the best fine diner in the country, depending on how you look at it. Add a couple of punchy cocktails from The Everleigh or Bar Americano and make a night of it.
We’ve got another live list going for just about the polar opposite activity – exercise classes you can stream to your living room. The list includes Pilates, yoga, strength training, ’80s style aerobics and high-intensity interval training classes, and most require little or no equipment.
Preston’s Moon Dog World – arguably the best-placed venue in town to launch drive-through – has launched drive-through. Roll up for whole za’atar-spiced rotisserie chickens with gravy; 12-hour beef short ribs; buffalo cauliflower; vegan burgers; punchy salads; and a drinks list stacked with tropical lagers, frosty sours and more. And it’s open seven days a week.
When the panic-buyers first cleared out our local shops, we spent hours hunting around online for hand sanitiser. Here are all the places we found that are still stocking the stuff. Some are from small distilleries and would otherwise have become gin, others are from Aussie skincare labels and are ultra-hydrating. There’s even a collection designed by artist David Shrigley, with “everything is good” reassuringly emblazoned on the label.
Turns out some of the world’s best chefs – Jamie Oliver and Massimo Bottura included – are stuck at home too, and they’re just as bored as we are, so they’re teaching us some culinary skills. Bottura’s turned dinnertime into a nightly cooking class, Oliver is showing us how to make fresh pasta, and the team from one of the world’s best bakeries is getting us on the sourdough-baking train.
If you’d rather cook on your own terms, working your way through Broadsheet’s 10 most popular recipes of the decade is a great self-isolation project. The list includes a 10-minute, restaurant-quality carbonara; “glass potatoes” that need nothing more than oil and salt; and boozy Aperol Spritz icy poles.
For all that cooking you’ll need some topnotch seasonal produce – so skip the supermarket and order your fruit and veg from these local venues instead. You can also get your groceries delivered from Prahran Market, and South Melbourne Market has launched drive-through pick-up, too.
And Shannon Martinez has just transformed popular vegan eatery Smith & Daughters into Smith & Stuff, a daytime grocery store selling fresh fruit and veggies, pantry staples and other essentials such as cleaning products, toilet paper and – yes! – hand sanitiser (the restaurant is still open for takeaway and delivery from 5pm).
If you’re getting through your bedside book stash as fast as we are, check out our list of Melbourne bookstores doing free local delivery – some are even offering same-day service, for true literary emergencies.
You’ve probably never spent so much time at home, but you can make the most of it by starting that vegetable garden you’ve always wanted. Mat Pember, bestselling author and founder of Little Veggie Patch Co, tells us how.
Or do a wardrobe refresh – off the back of Vamff, we spoke to some top Aussie designers, a stylist and a photographer about the looks we should be adding to cart right now. Here’s what they’re loving, some trends to retire, and why less frivolous spending and wearing colour both matter now more than ever.
And finally, here are some expert tips to cultivate calm and mindfulness in the time of coronavirus, whether you’re self-isolating, nervous about the future or just trying to look after your health (and if loading up on lasagne and books isn’t doing the trick).