It’s picnic time (at least for the fully vaxxed) – and we’ve got the goods for both the picnickers and those still whiling away the days indoors until their Picnic Day arrives. And despite being 12 weeks deep into lockdown, Sydney’s eateries are still showing up with vigour and energy. They continue to fill boxes with yakitori for us to cook at home, vacuum-seal their most popular dishes for us to throw in the oven, and lovingly slice sashimi for us to plate up on our best dinner set. Plus, of course, the picnic packs are beginning to roll in. Here’s what we’re ordering this week – it’s not the same as dining out, but it’s a taste of what’s to come.
Chaco Bar x Vic’s Meat Yakitori Kit
Smoky, lightly grilled, tender Wagyu steak; melt-in-your-mouth lamb rump; teriyaki-glazed corn-fed chicken; and so much more. Chaco Bar and Vic’s Meat’s DIY kit collaboration might be music to a meat lover’s ears, but the protein feast is a ticket to lockdown escapism when you feel like splurging on restaurant-quality meats for a fancy barbeque in your own backyard (or balcony, in our case). The $115 yakitori kit feeds two to three people – you don’t have to eat it all at once. It comes with top-end produce from the Pyrmont butchery prepared by the team at Potts Point’s Chaco Bar. You’ll feel like a pitmaster boss grilling skewers of Stone Axe Fullblood Wagyu Denver steak, which has a brag-worthy marbling score of nine, followed by Borrowdale free-range pork belly glazed in teriyaki sauce. Even the veggies – mushroom and zucchini – are juicy, meaty and match with the condiments included in the pack, including yuzu mayo and a house-made shichimi, a Japanese spice mixture. If you have an occasion to celebrate, this kit does a lot of the heavy lifting. All you need is a barbeque or grill pan.
Order online from Vic’s Meat for delivery on Wednesday September 22 (for metro orders), Thursday September 23 (for metro and regional) and Friday September 24 (metro and regional). Orders over $125 are delivered free of charge, otherwise there’s a $15 delivery fee.
Chase Kojima’s handsome restaurant in The Star typically has fans coming from all over Sydney for a taste of his miso-glazed toothfish, sashimi platters and Wagyu. Wait times for the eatery’s luxe omakase experience can be months. And its outstanding, aromatic cocktails see classics such as Martinis and the Penicillin spiked with the likes of yuzushu, sake and bergamot. But now, it’s doing delivery (along with The Star’s other eateries, including Black and Flying Fish). The $140 set menu feeds two and requires no at-home prep. It includes Sokyo classics such as the miso-glazed swordfish and Wagyu flank steak, as well as kingfish ceviche and tofu cheesecake. The heat-at-home menu ($200) also gets you the toothfish and Wagyu, as well as a sashimi platter and tangy matcha tiramisu. And if you just fancy a taste of its sushi, a box of 16 pieces will set you back $65.
We’ve already lived through almost three months of food delivery services, heat-at-home packs and DIY meal kits. And now, we’re ushering in the era of the picnic pack. One of the best we’ve seen this week is from CBD deli and wine bar Fabbrica. Its premium Grande Picnic Pack is loaded up with several cheeses, charcuterie, pickles, anchovies and sardines, olives, house-baked baguettes and lavosh and comes piled in a fun tote. Or opt for the Fabb Picnic Pack, which is a more streamlined version of the above. We highly recommend adding a three-pack of Aperol Spritzes or a bottle of skins-y wine for maximum picnic enjoyment.