With hundreds of thousands of combined Tiktok and Instagram followers, Johnny Moroney (aka @datenightcooking) quickly became one of Melbourne’s most internet-famous home cooks.

But based on the beautiful plates of pasta that fill his feeds, you’d never know he’s self-taught – or that he was once living a very different life as a political advisor.

At his sister’s suggestion, he (very casually) started a Tiktok cooking channel in 2021. To Moroney’s surprise, his fourth video ever – a tutorial for fried saganaki – went gangbusters, propelling him to 30,000 followers in just two weeks. That was all the confidence he needed to keep the content going and leverage his career switch into hospitality.

These days, he’s also the brain behind Greenwich Deli, a backstreet sandwich shop in Newport. Housed in a petite 1920s-era milk bar, the slick, bright, white and green shop has around seven sangas on regular rotation, from stacked-up pastrami Reubens to Moroney’s saucy spin on an eggs Benny, pairing braised beef and hot-butter mayo on a brioche bun.

Bread is from Cobb Lane and meat is from Savour and Grace. But the vego highlight is a fried-eggplant sub with a trio of olive tapenade, pesto and spicy vodka sauce – from one of Moroney’s most popular pasta dishes.

When Moroney’s not making videos or dreaming up new sandwiches, he’s managing his date-night card game, Eat Play Love. It’s available to buy in-store, along with Five Senses coffee, Tony's Chocolonely and other pantry items.

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Updated: April 17th, 2023

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