Stuck for easy dinner ideas? Have a less-than-well-stocked pantry and can’t be bothered messing around in the kitchen? Or maybe you just want to splash out for no reason?

Melbourne’s restaurants have got you covered. While we wait with bated breath and crossed fingers for dine-in service to make a comeback, there are tons of options from the city’s best to enjoy at home.

Here are our top takeaway picks for this week.

This Friday and Saturday, celebrated Turkish chef Coskun Uysal is serving Istanbul-inspired street food – and adding a bit of drama in the process, by rolling out a regal red-and-gold cart to the front of his Balaclava restaurant Tulum. (You can’t miss it.) Swing by for fish sandwiches inspired by Uysal’s time working alongside Turkey’s bright blue Bosphorus waterway, sesame-crusted simit (“it’s a bagel, but not a bagel,” Uysal says) and flaky borek in flavours such as Jerusalem artichoke and hazelnut; lamb mince, cumin and walnut; and mushroom and feta.

Pick-up on Friday and Saturday from 12pm to 3pm at 217 Carlisle Street, Balaclava.

Tucked away on a Brunswick backstreet, Theodore’s is a self-described “mixed business”– it serves as a wine bar, boozy-brunch spot, grocer and provider of free meals to those doing it tough during lockdown. And on Friday and Saturday, as the extended lockdown kicks in, it’ll be just as nimble with its takeaway offering. On Friday, there’ll be two sandwiches at lunchtime – buttermilk fried rockling with green-tomato chutney, soused cabbage and hot sauce; and sweet-potato fritter with cumin-y carrots, soused cabbage and pickled chilli – plus hand-cut fries, cakes and tinnie specials. And at night there’ll be bar snacks and pre-batched cocktails to go. On Saturday get huge pretzels and Bloody Marys for brunch, and there’ll be three-course meals to take home for dinner.

Pick-up on Friday and Saturday from 4 Saxon Street, Brunswick.

Lagoon Dining
With a modern-Asian bent, Carlton’s Lagoon is cementing itself as one of Melbourne’s best restaurants – with a hit-after-hit menu that’s pretty hard to tire of. So, it was fortuitous that it launched on Providoor only a few weeks before Melbourne descended into lockdown 4.0. The delivery service has a few options: there’s a feed-me menu (and a vegan alternative), or you can go à la carte. Expect dishes such as hot, numbing beef tartare with Chinese doughnuts; rolled rice noodles with house-made XO sauce; and a glistening charcoal-roasted char siu with spring-onion relish that might just be Lagoon’s magnum opus.

Order delivery via Providoor. The regular feed-me menu costs $140 and the vegan alternative costs $120.

Ima Project Cafe
On Elgin Street in Carlton – less than two minutes’ walk from Cinema Nova – cute corner cafe Ima Project has a strong Japanese influence, embracing “ugly vegetables” in its day-to-day operations. But it’s also known for its often sell-out lunch specials. For the duration of Melbourne’s newly extended lockdown, rice sandos – essentially triangular sushi sandwiches – will be the main draw. While the team says fillings will change regularly, you might get one with karaage fried chicken, avocado and creamy mayo, or charry hibachi-grilled fish and crunchy greens.

Pick-up from 169 Elgin Street, Carlton.

Bluebonnet Barbecue
Brunswick East’s Bluebonnet isn’t afraid of a little excess. The Texan-style eatery on Lygon Street recently made its once limited-time-only bottomless barbeque a regular fixture. But, after news of the lockdown extension, chef-owner Chris Terlikar has decided to dial it up even further – and give the Colonel a run for his money. On Sunday, the team will be dishing out 18-piece buckets of crisp, fried smoked chicken from the recently reinstated Bluebonnet Delicatessen. You’ll leave with 10 wings, four tenders and four thighs, and your choice of three sides (options include mac’n’cheese, potato salad, garlicky cornbread and pear-and-kohlrabi slaw). For dessert there’ll be decadent chocolate tart and pecan pies.

Pre-order online for pick-up on Sunday at 124–126 Lygon Street, Brunswick East. The bucket costs $55.

Looking for more new takeaway options? Attica’s bake shop and at-home menus have returned, as has lockdown sensation Rocco’s Bologna Discoteca, and here’s what’s new from delivery service Providoor. You can also consult our live list of 80-plus Melbourne restaurants doing takeaway.

Melbourne is currently in lockdown. Masks are mandated in public spaces, public gatherings are banned and minimal social contact is recommended. If you have concerns about visiting businesses or public spaces, or questions about self-isolation or coronavirus testing, check out the latest updates from the Department of Health and Human Services.