Ah, here we are again – staring down the barrel of an extended lockdown. Time to think about staying home and ordering in, so here are are our top takeaway picks for this week. A fave Sydney diner enters the takeaway game, we’re eating tacos from a new hole-in-the-wall taqueria and a new Newtown cafe expands beyond breakfast.

Cafe Paci, Newtown
Newtown’s innovative diner has entered the takeaway game with heat-and-eat (or assemble-and-eat) packs created with the same precision and fun chef Pasi Petänen is known for. This week, one pack includes his glorious potato-and-molasses sourdough (with whipped butter) for you to drag through creamy stracciatella (soft buffalo cheese) topped with citrus, chilli and fennel. Follow that with airy and voluptuous potato dumplings tumbled through Petänen’s renowned and complex trout XO, and a fresh side salad with a maple dressing. It’s $68 and serves two. Alternatively, you can get the black-garlic roast chicken with potato gratin, garlic jus and tangy lemon. It also comes with the bread and salad, but the side in this pack is a brussels-sprout salad with salsa verde, grapefruit, date and Comté ($80 for two serves. You can even add half a dozen oysters, dessert and bottles of wine (this one sounds fabulous and is described as “pure joy”), all of which will be textural, tasty and memorable – just like eating at Cafe Paci in your home. And watch this space – there’s talk Petänen will bring back his bakery this weekend, which he launched in April 2020.
Cafe Paci at Home runs Thursday to Saturday. Place your order by 4pm for next-day pick-up. Find more details here.

Soulmate, Newtown
Newtown’s corner cafe only opened in autumn 2021, with lines snaking out the door as people ordered B&E rolls and tofu scramble to soothe their hangovers. Remember the days? The neighbourhood favourite has stayed open during lockdown for takeaway coffees, brewing equipment and brekkie-style dishes – with social distancing measures in place, of course. Now it’s added a weekly takeaway dinner pack for two, which is available to order any day of the week for pick-up or delivery. This week’s pack includes vegetarian spinach-and-ricotta cannelloni, with a potato bake, citrus salad and dulce de leche ice-cream sandwich for dessert. It’s $70, and if you’re planning to make the most of your essential time outside by collecting your order in person, you could pre-order a McHenry – that’s batch-brew coffee with whipped cream on top –to drink during your walk or drive home. Order at Soulmate’s website any time. Pick up from 12/39 Phillip Street, Newtown.

Noi, Petersham
This chic neighbourhood diner’s finish-at-home meals were a highlight of last year’s lockdown, and it hasn’t let us down this time around. Expect an Italian-inspired menu that changes each week, with your choice of a la carte or an $89 set menu for two. This Thursday to Saturday, get a gorgeous lasagne, slow-cooked lamb shoulder, handmade tagliolini with porcini and truffle, and a dark-chocolate cake topped with poached pear and orange.
Available from Thursday to Saturday. See the menu here and order by emailing noifooddelivery@gmail.com or calling 0405 727 595. Pick up from 108 Audley Street, Petersham.

Rising Sun Workshop, Newtown and online
Rising Sun Workshop’s delightful Newtown warehouse may not be open for coffee and ramen right now, but you can still get your hands on the next best thing: its nifty ramen kits. Even if you don’t live nearby, you can grab one of these bad boys via P&V, which is delivering them across Sydney. There are three types of dramatically named ramen: The Darkness (roast-pork bone broth with shoyu tare and pork belly); The Light (chicken broth with shio tare and pork belly); and The Monk (a vegetarian version, shiitake mushroom broth with shio tare, corn and braised greens). Each kit comes with enough broth, garnishes – including meats, bamboo and ajitama (eggs) – and noodles to feed two. It takes just a few steps to put together the ramen (boiling the kettle and heating the broth). Keep a kit in the fridge, and you’ll have ramen whenever you need it.
Order via Bopple for pick-up from 1C Whateley Street, Newtown or delivery (until 5.45pm daily, within a five-kilometre radius). Or, get yours from P&V.

Ricos Tacos, Chippendale
“I feel like I’m in LA,” commented one punter recently as they walked away eating their breakfast tacos from Ricos Tacos’ new digs. We concur. LA loves a brekkie taco, and so do we – and now taco expert Toby Wilson is selling them out of a window in Chippendale. Swing past from Thursday to Sunday for a tight selection of three tacos: chorizo, potato and egg; steak, beans and egg; and greens, potato and egg. They’re all worthy of your attention, as are the hash browns, which are sprinkled with a chipotle salt that’ll make your tastebuds dance. If brekkie tacos aren’t your vibe (although how could they not be?), Ricos is also doing DIY taco kits every Tuesday that you can take home for Taco Tuesday dinner vibes.
Visit 15 Meagher Street, Chippendale, and order at the window Thursday to Sunday from 8am–1pm.