This deep into Melbourne’s lockdown, dining in at a restaurant feels like a distant memory, and the novelty of takeaway – and even home-cooking projects – is starting to wear thin.
But the recently launched Make-Out Meals is doing things slightly differently with its DIY meal kits. It’s helping bridge the gap between home and hospo by delivering everything you need to recreate dishes from some great Melbourne restaurants and cafes at home.
Founder Billy Green got it off the ground in late August as a way to help an industry in the throes of lockdown 2.0. “For a city like Melbourne, where we all love our cafes and restaurants, we really wanted to … bring that hospitality experience into [people’s homes],” he says. “We saw how much other meal-kit companies were growing, so we figured it could be a great way to help restaurants survive.”
It’s also a way to become a lot more popular with your housemates. Some of the dishes currently available include pulled pork, potato salad and pickles – and smoked brisket – from American-style barbeque joint Fancy Hanks; grilled-chicken tacos from real-deal Mexican spot La Tortilleria; and house-made gnocchi with pork sausage and broccoli from Windsor’s Tipico. Plus, Babajan’s roasted cauliflower and pistachio tabouli, Ish’s silky eggplant curry (based on a 4000-year-old recipe), and Simply Spanish’s mushroom paella.
You can order a one-off kit (starting at $89) or a weekly subscription (from $59) to get two to four meals of your choice. Each box comes with pre-portioned ingredients (including secret sauces, spice mixes and stocks prepared by the venues) and recipe cards. Some dishes also come with an instructional video tutorial.
Green says even once some normality returns to Melbourne, he plans to keep churning out the kits. “It’s been amazing seeing customers and industry professionals all getting behind it,” he says. “We see this as a long-term solution to help support the hospitality industry in Melbourne.”