In the middle of lockdown, every venue has had to change the way it does business, but none more so than fine diners. Unlike take-home-friendly pizzerias or kebab joints, Melbourne’s high-end restaurants have had to re-write their menus from scratch. Even the old dogs, such as Florentino and Cafe di Stasio, have had to learn some new tricks. And the offerings at newer restaurants, such as Sunda and Amaru, are so good we’re hoping takeaway fine dining will stick around after lockdowns become a socially distant memory.

These are the fine diners with the best takeaway menus. When you order from one of these places, make an evening of it: dress up, lay out a tablecloth, and bust out the good china. In the midst of quarantine, there’s perhaps no better way to celebrate a special occasion or just forget about the world for a bit.

Navi

Navi has resumed its bakery and Dinner for Two programs. From Thursday through Saturday, order sweetcorn crumpets, house-made sourdough and freshly made butter. To support its suppliers, Navi is also selling Victorian truffles. At $110, the Dinner for Two – a set menu with a changing line-up of almost-ready meals – is outrageously good value. Matched drinks also come at a very attractive pricepoint.

83B Gamon Street, Yarraville

Minamishima

Melbourne’s best Japanese restaurant is now delivering stunning, kaleidoscopic sushi to your door. Previous menu highlights include platters of chirashizushi, or “scattered sushi”; A5 Japanese Wagyu; miso-braised beef short rib; and fried chicken with plum salt. Order here.

4 Lord Street, Richmond

Cutler & Co.

Every Friday, Saturday and Sunday, Andrew McConnell’s flagship diner is boxing up set menus for a competitive $55 per person. Each menu tends to include Baker Bleu bread, a entree, a main meat or fish dish, sides and dessert. Vegetarian menus are also available, plus wines selected by sommelier Liam O'Brien. Order here and collect on the day between 10am and midday.

55-57 Gertrude Street, Fitzroy
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Lûmé

During regular times, this South Melbourne restaurant garnered acclaim for its elaborate, innovative and delicious degustation menus. Lûmé’s takeaway menu couldn’t possibly replicate the dine-in experience, but still captures its spirit. Sample a “Lûmé box”, which is like a takeaway set menu, or go à la carte. Plus there’s a great list of wines from the cellar to choose from, too.

226 Coventry Street, South Melbourne

Attica

No other restaurant in Melbourne has changed like Attica. Since March, Ben Shewry has spun his world-famous fine diner off in several different directions. He turned the restaurant into a bakery, started a soup project for unemployed hospitality workers on temporary visas, and partnered with a range of artists to put out a killer line of merch. Throughout it all, takeaway and delivery service Attica at Home has been selling build-your-own souva packs, family-sized lasagnes with garlic bread, and tasting menus starring classic dishes from the restaurant’s past.

74 Glen Eira Road, Ripponlea

Ides

Since lockdowns began, Peter Gunn’s fine diner has been operating as an iso-food spin-off called March. The main draw is the set menu: a $75, four-course meal which culminates with Gunn’s signature dish, the black box dessert. In July, there’s also a Sunday “Country Classics” menu, bottled cocktails and wines from the cellar. Order here.

92 Smith Street, Collingwood
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Ishizuka

It's a shame that Ishizuka's beautiful dining room is off-limits right now. But its at-home menu does a great job of softening the blow. There's a host of heat-and-options, from vacuum-packed slow-cooked lamb, to a more involved sukiyaki (Japanese hot pot) deal. More information here.

Basement B01 139 Bourke Street, Melbourne
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Amaru

Many degustation-only restaurants have struggled to adapt their menus for a takeaway focus, but Amaru deftly walks the line between staying true to its identity and offering a comforting menu that travels well. Amaru for Two is four courses with optional add-ons.

1121 High Street, Armadale

Estelle

Scott Pickett’s well-loved, refined bistro offers ready-to-eat classics and pre-prepared meals to heat up at home. If you want something hot and ready to go tonight, order here. If you’d rather put in some of the work yourself, order here by 4pm the day before.

243 High Street, Northcote
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Florentino

Nothing can replicate a multicourse meal in the grand old dining room at Florentino. But the Grossi family’s recently launched Grossi a Casa – which brings together favourites from Florentino, Grill and Ombra – still delivers on the most important front: food. Start with antipasti, then heat up some gnocchi or tortellini for primi, and maybe add some barramundi or braised beef cheek after. Finish with the famous tiramisu.

80 Bourke Street, Melbourne
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Cafe Di Stasio

A large part of the appeal of Rinaldo Di Stasio’s restaurants is the theatre of the dine-in experience. But Di Stasio Delivery is an excellent alternative. Choose from fish’n’chips, paccheri bolognaise and slow-cooked beef with polenta. There’s also a new Alimentari range of meals for the fridge and freezer. Stock up on chicken soup, pasta, gnocchi and sauces.

31 Fitzroy Street, St Kilda
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Di Stasio Citta

Di Stasio Delivery is also operating out of Di Stasio’s CBD sibling, Città.

35 Spring Street, Melbourne
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Sunda

When restrictions eased, this innovative Southeast Asian diner kept takeaway operation Sunda Exp running. Now, it’s the main game once again. Order here, where you’ll find dishes such as pork cutlet for two, Wagyu beef short rib and Vietnamese yellow curry. There are tonnes of side dishes and add-ons on offer, too. For dessert, try the spiced-tea ice-cream or the sweetcorn, rice and tapioca pudding.

18 Punch Lane, Melbourne
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Tonka

Eat like you’re on Flinders Lane, minus the crowds. Heat-and-serve options from this modern Indian diner (and sister restaurant Coda) include butter chicken, lamb curry, chicken tikka and tandoori spatchcock. Order here. Meals come vacuum-sealed, which makes Tonka a great option for freezer-filling.

20 Duckboard Place, Melbourne
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Anchovy

Anchovy’s takeaway menu is small, but with dishes such as roti served with toum, wok-tossed brussels sprouts and jasmine-tea panna cotta, this imaginative diner continues to prove that fusion doesn’t have to be a dirty word.

338 Bridge Road, Richmond

Epocha

This Carlton diner is doing takeaway two different ways. The first menu, available during the daytime, is an affordable ange of breakfast and lunch items. There are ham and cheese croissants, BLTs, and a chicken and avocado baguette. Evenings are more classic Epocha: shucked-to-order oysters, terrine (with crisp pig’s ears on the side), boeuf bourguignon, cottage pie, roast chicken, lamb shoulder and more. Order here.

49 Rathdowne Street, Carlton

Flower Drum

Melbourne’s most iconic Cantonese restaurant has entered the takeaway game. To order, call the restaurant on (03) 9662 3655 or email enquiry@flower-drum.com with your order. View the full pick-up menu here. Flower Drum is also available on Providoor.

17 Market Lane, Melbourne
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Vue de Monde

The 55th-floor restaurant has reprised its takeaway service Vue to You. But this time around, don’t expect the highly technical food the diner is known for, though. Vue to You is now peddling more rustic classics from Bistro Vue, such as bœuf bourguignon, confit duck leg and French onion soup. Make sure to include a bottle of wine, or perhaps even Dom Pérignon if you want to make it a really special occasion.

Level 55, Rialto Building 525 Collins Street, Melbourne
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