Do you see it? The light at the end of the tunnel, the possibility we’ll be eating in a restaurant within mere weeks. It’s enough to help us drag our feet stoically towards the lockdown finish line. While the excitement is palpable, we do still have a few takeaways left in us. As we near the end, a Paddo bistro has finally hopped on the takeaway gravy train (but for this weekend only), we’re tucking into old favourites for nostalgia’s sake, and a tuna burger from Josh Niland’s new venue is proving Sydney’s dining scene remains exciting, even as we near three months in lockdown.
It’s got to take a pretty special branded collaboration to catch our attention – let alone make it onto our top takeaway picks of the week round up. But the meal kit Paddington bistro Porcine has created with bourbon brand Buffalo Trace is worth your time (and your $150). Chef Nicholas Hill has broken down three entire Berkshire pigs, and created a multi-course meal using nearly every bit of them. To start, there’s a pork and prune pâté en croute (terrine wrapped in pastry). The star of the meal is a hunk of pork – everyone receives a different part of the beast so nothing goes to waste – that you must cook at home, then cloak in a glaze of treacle and Buffalo Trace bourbon. On the side, cauliflower-cheese and pie come together harmoniously into a dish we’d like to eat at least once a week, thanks. And there’s also spring vegetables (such as zucchini flowers, asparagus and radishes) to brighten and crunch things up a little. At the end, a dessert of dreams: a banoffee and bourbon trifle, which you splash with bourbon (you get an entire bottle of Buffalo Trace to accompany your meal) right before eating. It’s caramel-y and creamy – and spectacularly boozy.
Order here for delivery within 10 kilometres of Porcine in Paddington on September 24 or 25.
Emma’s Snack Bar, Enmore
When someone says “Emma’s” at our place, it’s code for “get the usual”. For us, that’s the chicken shawarma plate with marinated chook, pan-fried with red onions and served with tahini; grilled haloumi with a drizzle of honey; fried cauliflower with parsley and tangy tahini (can’t get enough); smoky baba ghanoush dip with pita; the crunchy, fresh fattoush; and the famed fried Brussels sprouts with a sweet date sauce. Half the joy in ordering from your go-to takeaway place is not having to think too much about what you’ll eat – but if you haven’t dined at Enmore’s ever-busy Lebanese restaurant before, stick with one of its $22 TV Dinner boxes. When dining alone, the Keto Box has many of our favourites but with added charred kale with chilli and fried onion.
Charcoal Fish, Rose Bay
Being able to picnic if you’re double-jabbed coincided perfectly with the opening of one of the most anticipated eateries of the year: Charcoal Fish. It means you can order, grab your just-cooked takeaway and head to the nearby beach or park and eat immediately. The Rose Bay fish’n’chip joint is the latest by seafood whisperer Josh Niland and his partner-in-food creations (and life), Julie. They want to change the conversation about fish and make it more sustainable, but also for it to be as accessible as your local charcoal chook shop. And it really, really is. You should try and bring a buddy cause you’ll want to get a couple things, such as the bread roll filled with rotisserie cod, gravy, skin and stuffing (yum), and the super-crunchy, super-crisp fried cod with chips. And one of Niland’s greatest creations (in my opinion): the double yellowfin tuna cheeseburger. It’s hunky and glorious. Oh, and the side salads and vegetable are pretty great, too.
Open Wed to Sun 12pm–3pm and 5pm–8.30pm at 670 New South Head Road, Rose Bay.