There are plenty of Sydney restaurants offering takeaway or home delivery during lockdown. But, unfortunately, delivery distances for some stop short of Sydney’s eastern, inner-city and inner-western suburbs.
So Parramatta local Andrew Levins – journalist, DJ, author and former co-owner of now-closed diner The Dip – decided to launch @Parramatta Food, an Instagram account dedicated to the restaurants, cafes and supermarkets in the area still open for takeaway, as well as food businesses delivering to Parramatta homes.
“I wanted to spotlight the best food in Parramatta and its neighbouring suburbs,” Levins tells Broadsheet. “I’ve been doing that for years through articles written for Good Food, SBS, Broadsheet and more, but I wanted to make a dedicated hub for my favourite spots to share their news when they have specials on and, most importantly, to support them during this difficult time in the restaurant industry.”
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Levins says the local food scene is what attracted him to the area more than a decade ago. “I love the food out this way; it was a big part of the reason we moved west after living east for so many years. But the majority of our favourite spots are old-school, family-run businesses and the few that have stayed open during the pandemic rarely offer delivery.”
Eateries featured so far include Parramatta’s Sun Ming BBQ Restaurant, Circa Espresso, Yum Yum Bakery in Guildford and Bare Naked Bowls in Northmead, as well as a handful of businesses from outside the area.
“I hope more businesses from outside Parramatta see the account and look into expanding their delivery area so they can come here,” Levins says. “Our Uber Eats situation is pretty grim (mine just recommends I order from one of three nearby Maccas), so we’ve been getting regular orders from awesome places that deliver to our LGA like Din Tai Fung, The Onigiri Lab and Aplenty.”
Levins is hopeful the account will also have a longer-lasting impact post-lockdown. “There’s a tonne of construction happening in Parramatta this year, and when it’s done I hope that means a tonne of new restaurants for us to enjoy. But I also want to keep supporting the great places that have been here for ages so people don’t forget about them.
“My favourite restaurants are Pho Pasteur for Vietnamese (they’ve been closed since early July but will hopefully reopen for takeaway soon), Biang Biang for noodles (closed since July) and recently opened Lilymu in Parramatta Square (which is also closed), along with our favourite place to get ice-cream, Rivareno.
“One of the things I can’t wait to do once lockdown is over is spend a night walking from one end of Wigram Street, Harris Park, to the other, eating at every Indian restaurant I pass – thankfully almost all of those are still doing takeaway.”