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 introduced 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 have adapted to the situation with creativity and innovation, though. 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.
Look mum, no lines! This perennially busy CBD diner is now doing takeaway for the first time ever, and its ever-present wait list is on hold (for now). Delivery is in the works, but for now you can head to the Flinders Lane restaurant (or sister eatery Kong in Richmond) for pick-up. Our picks? The Wagyu beef rendang curry (big on cumin, coriander and coconut) and, on the side, serves of the house fried rice (with prawn XO and lap cheong, or Chinese sausage) and the stir-fried green beans. There are a handful of wines to choose from, all under $30 a bottle.
Melbourne’s most famous cauliflower now comes to you via the Israeli diner’s takeaway and delivery menu. Get it as part of the Friday Shabbat feast ($160 for four people), which also includes pita; salad; greens; your choice of slow-cooked lamb or panko-crumbed fried chicken stuffed with mashed potato; and chocolate mousse. You can also take home pantry staples (such as tahini, falafel mix, ratatouille, sauerkraut and chilli sauce) by the kilogram. Get 10 per cent off if you choose pick-up.
South Melbourne’s sunny farm-to-table eatery has joined with Food&Desire to launch Food4Good, an online marketplace selling meat, fish, bread, eggs, milk, pastries, flowers and wine. Ready-made meals include a Moroccan vegetable and date tagine; a mustard-glazed ham and pineapple pizza; a Sri Lankan chicken curry; and apple, pear and quince crumble. Signature Half Acre dishes, including the grilled cabbage with torched goat cheese, are also on the menu. (You can also stock up your pantry (sans-queue) with pasta, rice, polenta, lavosh, bliss balls, sriracha and more. Five per cent of all orders go to either OzHarvest, Melbourne Indigenous Transition School, The Salvation Army or Safe Steps: Domestic Family Violence Response Centre.
Moon Dog World
The sprawling Preston brewery-bar is arguably the best-placed venue in town to launch a drive-through, so there are no surprises here. And the original Moon Dog in Abbotsford is doing the same. Roll up for whole za’atar-spiced rotisserie chickens with gravy; 12-hour beef short ribs; buffalo cauliflower; vegan burgers; punchy salads; and a drink list stacked with tropical lagers, frosty sours and more. Both drive-throughs are open seven days a week.
Broadsheet recently uncovered 1800-Lasagne, a dedicated lasagne delivery service that’s been operating under the radar for years. Order a traditional bolognaise lasagne or a vegetarian version (plus lasagne-specific accompaniments such as merch or natural wine), and the owner will drop off your dinner in a ’91 Holden Barina. Orders open on Sundays for delivery on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays to the inner north, with “guest suburbs” added to team’s Instagram page weekly.