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 now, after government restrictions on non-essential services were brought in to curb the spread of coronavirus, we’re settling 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.
Hot pockets from Old Palm Liquor
Elaborate finish-at-home meals are a delight in their own right, but sometimes you just need a fist-sized, carb-wrapped, cheese-saturated snack you can stealthily devour on your way home from the restaurant. That’s why we highly recommend ordering more of Old Palm’s hot pockets than you think you’ll need, and make an allowance for the designated pick-up driver. The hot pockets started out as a staff brunch snack and now come in three varieties, each one oozy with melted mozzarella. Choose from braised baharat-spiced beef, Cape Malay potato curry, and grilled pickled onion, all wrapped in the same dough used for OPL’s woodfired flatbread, and brushed with toum after cooking for a little garlicky kick. The rest of the take-home menu also reflects chef-owner Almay Jordaan’s knack for subtly infusing char and spices that draw on her South African heritage into everything from brussels sprouts to whole yabbies.
$10 each, available from 12pm to 9.30pm daily. Order online for free delivery within 5 kilometres, or pick up from 133B Lygon Street, Brunswick East.
Night Terror by Terror Twilight
This daytime diner is known for its light-drenched interior and wholesome pick-and-mix lunch bowls. Now it’s moving into after-dark territory – and it’s bringing the bowls. Start with brown rice or bone broth and noodles, then add toppings such as crisp fried broccoli, Sichuan tofu, tamari-roasted pumpkin, sumac-spiced avocado, soy-marinated egg, pork belly, house-made kimchi, haloumi or pickles. Elsewhere on the menu the customisations continue. Add a fried egg to your ham, jalapeno mustard and double-cheese (gruyere, mozzarella) toastie or to your tuna melt. Add steaky bacon to your classic cheeseburger. Then add sides (fried chicken with miso mayo; sweet potato fries; charred corn with chipotle butter), smoothies and house sodas. Phew.
Available from 5pm to 9pm daily. Available for delivery, or pick up from 11–13 Johnston Street, Collingwood.
Just six weeks after launching Israeli restaurant Golda in Prahran, owners Adam Faigen and Rotem Papo have opened a second spot, the more casual Chik Chak (Hebrew slang for “quick”) in Ripponlea. Everything on the street-style menu comes in either a pita pocket or a bowl – you can play it safe with falafel, hummus, pickles, tahini and spicy amba (mango pickle); or try the cauliflower shawarma; the slow-braised beef cheek with horseradish aioli and pickled beetroot; or the spiced tuna with preserved lemon. There’s also a tahini, banana and date shake, and malabi (a milk-based pudding similar to panna cotta) for dessert.
Open daily from 4.30pm to 8.30pm at 54 Glen Eira Road, Ripponlea. Pick-up only.
Ansari's Indian Food
In the OG lockdown, Nabil Ansari’s story was an uplifting one. The out-of-work Sunda chef started selling jazzed-up Indian takeaway from his tiny Carlton apartment, and his 15-hour butter chicken and Kerala fish curry quickly gained a following. Now he’s got a proper commercial kitchen (courtesy of The Hotel Windsor, which owns Sunda), and he’s added a few newbies to the menu. There’s lamb-stuffed sourdough naan served with a bright coriander chutney; a turmeric-spiced potato burger; and a lamb biryani pot pie with a crisp, golden pastry top. Finish it off with Ansari’s creative mango, fried bread and coriander ice-cream.
Order by 5pm for pick-up from 111 Spring Street, Melbourne or delivery within 15 kilometres the following day. Closed Mondays.
Dishes from Andrew McConnell’s Supernormal – notably its iconic New England lobster rolls – are now available to-go from South Yarra’s Botanical Hotel. Buttery brioche rolls aside, there’ll also be a chicken-noodle salad with sesame and chilli; a yuzu kosho roasted winter vegetable salad; Sichuan pork dumplings; and bao buns with twice-cooked duck leg and plum sauce. For dessert: an indulgent Valrhona chocolate mousse with peanut butter and a little salted caramel.
Supernormal Kiosk will be at the Botanical Hotel at 169 Domain Road, South Yarra, until Sunday August 2. Open from 11am to 7pm Thursday to Sunday. Pick-up only. Supernormal is also available for home delivery via Providoor.
Vue de Monde-trained baker Quentin Berthonneau (also behind Q le Baker) is behind this Instagram-based business that specialises in shokupan, a fluffy milk bread that originated in Japan. The difference between Berthonneau’s shokupan and most others is that it’s free of additives and is naturally fermented. It took him two years to perfect the recipe, and at the moment he’s baking just 40 loaves a week, despite demand for him to supply wholesale. “I’m not planning to make thousands of shokupan,” he told Broadsheet earlier this month.
Each week, he makes 30 loaves that can be ordered over Instagram, and 10 are left at Collingwood bakery To Be Frank on weekends for people to pick up. You can also sign up for a membership after your first order to get ongoing deliveries of either one or three loaves per month. Berthonneau is inspired by community-supported agriculture, where producers and customers have a direct relationship, and his ultimate goal is to build a community of recurring customers rather than make one-off deliveries to new people every week.
For delivery, place your order via Instagram.