Until recently, us Melburnians spent significant chunks of our lives in our city’s world-renowned restaurants, bars and cafes. Drinking and dining out is part of our DNA.
But with coronavirus restrictions in place, we’ve settled into a new reality – one where picking up or ordering in is the new dining out.
Some of the best venues in town, though, have adapted to the situation with creativity and innovation. Check out our regularly updated live list of all the delicious new initiatives here, or peruse this week’s top takeaway picks below, as selected by Broadsheet Melbourne editor Ellen Fraser.
Frankies Tortas and Tacos
This street stall in Collingwood is known for its tortas (a type of Mexican sandwich), but for lockdown round two it’s added a series of heat-at-home, family-size meals to the menu. This week it’s enchiladas: choose from braised pork shoulder with tomato, onion and chilli salsa and oozy melted cheese, or a vegetarian version with cheese, black beans, potato and roast capsicum. Both are gluten-free and come with hot sauce and sour cream on the side. Add corn chips and guac or rice and beans, and finish with a horchata panna cotta (a creamy vanilla cinnamon-spiced scenario). Pick up a $1 filter coffee while you’re there, too.
One tray of enchiladas is $20 and serves four. Order via Instagram DM. Pick-up only.
Chef Coskun Uysal honed his skills at acclaimed fine diners Attica and Vue de Monde. Now, he’s preparing tasty Turkish meze at his Balaclava restaurant Tulum – and delivery is available for locals. Each week there’s a new set menu, but you can expect dishes such as pide, hummus, cacik (labneh with cucumber) and cigar-shaped lentil kofte to start, followed by a molasses-rubbed whole roast chicken, spiced chickpea stew or slow-cooked lamb for your main. Extend the experience by a few days by adding ready-made soups or frozen manti (Turkish dumplings) with garlic sauce to your order.
Set menu costs $45 for two people and $89 for three. Delivery is available within a three-kilometre radius of the restaurant, or you can order ahead for pick-up.
When a burger blogger with just under 90,000 followers opens a restaurant, you can safely assume the burgers will be first-rate. That’s the case at Easey’s, helmed by Jimmy “Burgers” Hurlston, who’s now launched build-your-own burger packs to circumvent soggy-on-arrival situations and keep costs down (the four-pack works out to $7 a burger). You’ll get two ground-beef patties per person, cheese, burger sauce (mayo, ketchup, mustard and a few other bits) and dill pickles on a potato bun. Add-ons include a mild chilli con carne, and an eight-cheese mac’n’cheese made from a family recipe (there’s jack for gooey, melty vibes, parmesan and aged cheddar for ultra-cheesiness, plus a few others Hurlston won’t reveal). He’s a burger purist, so the packs are a strictly iceberg-free. But when you’re constructing them at home, who’s watching? Do your worst.
Take Home Burger Packs feed two ($15), three ($25) or four people ($28). Order online by 3pm for pick-up the following day.
Restaurants Hanoi Hannah, Tokyo Tina, Beijing Betty and Firebird – all owned by the Commune Group – have joined forces to launch an online grocer. Stock your pantry with chilli mayo, satay sauces, kimchi, curry pastes, nuoc mam, dried noodles and XO. There are also ready-made meals cooked by the group’s chefs, including a vegetarian cauliflower and sweet potato curry; chicken, mushroom or beef pho; and bo kho, a slow-braised Vietnamese beef stew.
Order online for free delivery within 15 kilometres for orders over $70. All other orders will be pick-up only from Hanoi Hannah New Quarter in Richmond.
Gomi Boys Ramen
Two out-of-work Melbourne chefs are behind this new dedicated ramen delivery service. Choose from a hard-to-find ramen with a cult following in Japan; a fiery, Sichuan-inspired take on dan dan noodles; a garlicky tonkotsu made with roasted chicken fat; plus three super-slurpable vegan options. You heat the broth and assemble the ramen at home, so the handmade noodles stay bouncy and the whole thing is piping hot – very winter-appropriate.
Delivery only on Thursdays to 20 Melbourne postcodes. Order by Monday night for same-week delivery.
The Happy Mexican
Soon after opening late last year, this Hoddle Street taqueria became known for its excellent, generously stacked tacos: with pork al pastor and charred pineapple; slow cooked beef; and deep-fried flathead with cabbage slaw and chipotle mayo. Now you can get them all delivered along with ceviche tostadas and California-style burritos (or burrito bowls) filled with rice, corn, black beans, cheese, salsa and roast chicken or mushrooms. Wash it all down with a Mexican beer or a classic Margarita.
Delivery within 5.5 kilometre is $5, or free if you spend $45. Pick-up is also available. Closed Mondays.