Until recently, us Melburnians spent a significant chunk of our lives in our city’s world-renowned restaurants, bars and cafes. Drinking and dining out is part of our DNA.
Right now, we’re settling into a new reality – one where picking up or ordering in is the new dining out – and some of the best venues in town have adapted to this new normal with creativity and innovation.
Got an excellent new takeaway suggestion we should check out? Let us know.
Hazel’s finish-at-home menu reflects the snack-and-sip approach at the Flinders Lane diner – the first fully-fledged restaurant from a team that established some of the city’s most influential cafes (Liminal, Top Paddock, The Kettle Black and Higher Ground, the latter three now sold).
That means plenty of fancy-things-on-toast, such as Cape Grim beef tartare with whipped anchovy cream, or mussels in tarragon and white wine butter (in a true celebration of snacking, you can get that whipped anchovy cream straight-up, with sesame crackers for dipping).
More substantial are the shared feasts, priced between $45 to $60 a head. One includes house-made pork and pistachio terrine, marinated grilled veggies, fresh goat’s curd with hazelnuts, chargrilled octopus with nduja and chickpeas, fluffy focaccia, and squares of hedgehog for dessert, all well-paired with a fizzy pink wine.
And every weekend the team puts on a roast – this week it’s porchetta with crisp, dark-gold crackling; roast carrots, potatoes and parsnips; green beans; an orange and fennel salad; and a modern take on the old-school classic that is Lemon Delicious, served with whipped Chantilly cream.
Available for delivery through Providoor within 35km of the CBD. The roast serves two and costs $145, including wine. It’s available on Saturday and Sunday only.
Bar Liberty debuted takeaway in the initial lockdown, but took a brief hiatus while its owners focused on bringing one seriously iconic burger back at sister restaurant Rockwell & Sons. Now the wine-centric Fitzroy eatery has relaunched takeaway with the same casually high-calibre approach.
Three set menus – meat, pescatarian and vegetarian – change week to week, but expect the return of lockdown one’s popular sourdough flatbread. There’s also a whipped potato and burnt butter dip; cider-pickled carrots, stracciatella with broad bean leaves, a fillet of Goulburn Valley rainbow trout with capers and quince; and poached apples with mead custard to finish, garnished with a fennel-flecked meringue crisp.
To truly replicate the original experience, you can add on matched wines. Though they’re only available by the bottle, with a selection this solid – think new, exciting, biodynamic and low-intervention drops – there’s no harm in having three half-drunk bottles left over for Sunday night. They’ll probably go great with pizza, too.
Available Tuesday to Saturday, 12pm–6pm for pick up from 234 Johnston Street, Fitzroy or delivered within five kilometres. Delivery is $5, or free for orders over $100. Set menus are $38 per person, with matched wines available by the bottle and are charged in addition.
Bottled by Byrdi
At their city cocktail bar Byrdi, owners Luke Whearty and Aki Nishikura are known for crafting drinks with thought and precision – no different than at their celebrated Singapore bar Operation Dagger, which is ranked 30 on The World’s 50 Best Bars list.
The couple’s bottled cocktails are delivered by Whearty himself, and are just as carefully crafted as at the bars proper. Ingredients are often wild-harvested, smoked, dehydrated or fermented, some elements months in the making.
The Old Fashioned is made with wild bee pollen, while a Negroni is spiked with native wattleseed. The Lamington combines cocoa butter, coconut oil and raspberry vermouth with Australian sugarcane spirit, and the Paperbark Martini gets a little kick from smoked Mount Zero olive oil.
If you’re planning a big weekend, you can order all five – that’s two-and-a-half litres of luxe liquor – for a lazy $380.
Cocktails are $20 for 100ml, $85 for 500ml, and $80 or $380 respectively for 100ml or 500ml of the whole range. Shipping is $10 within a 10 kilometre radius of the CBD.
Tucked away in parking garage down a laneway off Bourke Street, this tiny Thai spot is (usually) sign-posted almost entirely by rowdy lunchtime chatter, its diners seated at colourful tables hoeing into bowls of owners Andy Buchan’s and Vherachid Kijthavee’s signature boat noodles.
In making the switch to delivery, the team has let its Instagram followers determine which suburbs they visit each week – that means suburbs often overlooked by city deliveries such as Albion, Doncaster, Hoppers Crossing and Box Hill all get a look-in.
But no matter the location, boat noodles are still the star. Choose from six types of noodles (Buchan goes for sen lek, or rice-stick noodles, which have a little more bite), and either braised pork or beef, all in a rich pork broth. Fried pork crackling and bean sprouts add crunch, and coriander provides greenery.
There’s also beef or vegetarian laksa, crisp-skinned pork belly, pork skewers and spicy larb salads, and sweet Thai milk tea to drink.
Boat noodles are $15. Delivery only, orders can be placed up to five days in advance. Check Instagram for delivery suburbs, menu, and details on how to order.
If you’re beginning to feel you need time away from the rich, creamy, cheesy takeaway dishes that dominate the at-home dining scene, check out this new delivery service devoted to nourishing, home-style meals.
Sarah Kirby has temporarily flipped her catering business Mint Food Group into Map58, delivering family-size cauliflower, leek and Gruyere tarts; lamb and vegetable soups; ancient grain salads and salmon-and-dill fritters around Melbourne.
There’s a page dedicated to gluten-free options, and even the desserts are fruit-heavy, from the apple and rhubarb crumble to the coconut-raspberry torte.
Order online for delivery within three business days to metropolitan Melbourne, Wednesday to Friday. Delivery is also available to Portsea, the Mornington Peninsula and Mt Buller on select days.