Melbourne has a knack for upping the stakes in standard holiday fare, and in 2019 some of the city’s best producers have kicked it up another notch. From puddings loaded with Four Pillars gin to panettone stuffed with choc-hazelnut gelato, here are our favourite limited-edition Christmas goodies – order now to take the stress out of the next few weeks.
Meatsmith Christmas ham
Meatsmith, owned by restaurateur Andrew McConnell and Troy Wheeler, has a range of hams available for ordering (starting at $25 a kilogram for an uncooked leg of ham, which usually weighs seven to eight kilograms). There are also finished hams for a last-minute option, plus turkey, beef, pork and an assortment of accompaniments. Orders close midnight on Sunday December 15.
Falco Bakery fruit mince pies
Falco Bakery, which just opened up in Collingwood and is by the Bar Liberty crew, is already serving up fruit mince pies ($4.50 each). It’s been refining its pie mix for the past three months, soaking candied orange peel, sultanas, currants and apple in a blend of brandy and Pedro Ximinez wine. The perfect last-minute dessert option.
Ishizuka’s summer bento box
Melbourne Japanese restaurant Ishizuka is bringing back its summer bento box ($255), which is filled with seafood sourced locally and from the fish markets in Tokyo, and includes Ishizuka staples such as lobster and fresh sashimi. Only three of the boxes are available each day from December 23 to December 30, not including Christmas Eve to Boxing Day. Order yours now.
Four Pillars Christmas Gin Pudding
Healesville distillery Four Pillars's head distiller Cam Mackenzie releases a limited-edition Christmas gin every year. It’s got spice, fruit and juniper, and it’s the key ingredient in the new Four Pillars Christmas Gin Pudding ($25), along with gin-steamed oranges left over from the distilling process. Silver Penny Pudding’s Elisha Webber is behind the boozy creation, which also has dried Australian fruit and local suet. Stocks are limited, so get in quick.
Pidapipo Christmas Cherry Bomb Cake
This limited-edition gelato cake ($60), made with Hunted + Gathered chocolate, is a cool dessert for a hot summer’s day. A chocolate-cake base is layered with cherry sorbet and panforte-flavoured (a thick fruit-and-nut slice) gelato, and covered in white chocolate and meringue. The gelateria will sell four a day, with pick up at Pidapido Windsor, until January 1. Call ahead.
Piccolina Panettone con Gelato
Piccolina Gelateria has released its own gelato-filled twist on a traditional Italian panettone. Soft, buttery dough comes filled with the gelateria’s popular Better Than Nutella gelato, or its classic creamy vanilla flavour. The desserts ($85) are handmade in the kitchen behind Piccolina’s Collingwood flagship store, and a perfect centrepiece for a sunny Christmas Day.
Koko Black’s Magic Marbles
Switch those last-minute Cadbury Roses for Koko Black’s creamy chocolate Magic Marbles ($9.90 each or $26.50 for three). Their left-of-centre flavour combinations (think: lime and caramel, or Negroni) make them solid stocking-fillers, or a light dessert option for your Christmas spread. The Espresso Martini marbles – infused with vodka, St Ali espresso and Mr Black Espresso Liqueur – are our picks.
Q Le Baker fruit mince pies
To make Q Le Baker’s mince pies ($4 each or $20 for a dozen), the team soaks fruit and spices in house-made ginger beer for three months, then marinates them in Melbourne Gin Co x Blackhearts and Sparrows Eight Botanicals Gin for a further five months.
Free to Feed Community Hamper
Free to Feed – an organisation supporting people with refugee backgrounds to enter the workplace – has created hampers ($85) filled with products from Melbourne vendors, including Coffee Supreme beans and Little Bumble beeswax wrappers, as well as its own cooking magazine full of recipes and stories. All proceeds from hamper sales go towards its employment programs, which give on-the-job hospitality training to people from refugee communities.
The Windsor’s Christmas Pudding
These decadent puds ($35) are a yearly fixture at the Windsor Hotel on Spring Street. They’re soaked in a brandy, rum and Guinness mix for a heady hit of flavour. This year, the hotel has added a limited-edition whisky, chocolate and orange version ($38), and a gluten-free alternative, flavoured with black tea, cherries and citrus peel ($38).
Phillipa’s Bakery DIY gingerbread trees and houses
Phillippa’s Bakery’s DIY Gingerbread Christmas Tree Kit ($37.50) or Gingerbread House Kit ($45) are an easy way for kids to get involved in holiday baking. It’ll look great in the centre of the table, or the kits also make great gifts. The bakery also has gingerbread ornaments and hampers available to buy online.