Good Food Victoria's 100 Good Things 41-60: 'New Classics', Neil Perry, seltzers

Loaves from Falco bakery in Collingwood.
Loaves from Falco bakery in Collingwood. Photo: Supplied

Instead of the Good Food Guide, this year we bring 100 Good Things to the table: a collection of people, places, moments and mementos that best represent 2020.

41. Make it grain

What's next after you've established a landmark natural wine bar (Bar Liberty) and a red-sauce pizzeria/ cocktail bar (Capitano)? For Manu Potoi, Michael Bascetta and Casey Wall, the answer was to team up with Christine Tran and open craft bakery Falco in Collingwood. Tran, a baker with experience at Tartine in San Francisco and Fitzroy North favourite Loafer, keeps the shelves stocked with an endlessly delicious parade of good things: smoked-corn porridge loaves, outstanding English muffins and peanut butter miso cookies worth a cross-town journey. PN

42. Ginspo meets roe

Apparently caviar bumps (a $30 hit off your hand) are all the rage in Sydney. We've gone one better and soaked Yarra Valley roe in Victoria's always sold-out Four Pillars shiraz gin to make the smash hit scoop of the summer. Available at the Four Pillars Distillery, Healesville. GC;

43. Good Food for your bookshelf

In case you missed it, Good Food released New Classics in November, our second cookbook full of readers' most-loved and requested recipes. That means Neil Perry's chicken Kiev in all its garlic-buttered glory, Kylie Kwong's deep-fried duck with plum and orange sauce, and an updated salad Lyonnaise from Danielle Alvarez, starring mustard greens and perfect for lunch or dinner any day of the year. Simon & Schuster, $40. CB

(handout photo, no credit, no syndication)  
My day on a plate- Alejandro Saravia

Alejandro Saravia's new venue is dedicated to Gippsland produce.

44. The Gippsland embassy

Peruvian-born Alejandro Saravia, chef at Pastuso, is expanding his passion for the Gippsland region by opening Farmer's Daughters at the 80 Collins development. Everything Gippsland – from beef and butter to wine and sea urchins – will be showcased in a three-level extravaganza, which includes a fine-dining restaurant, a rooftop bar and a produce store. It opens early in 2021. MH

Make Out Meals is a new Hello Fresh-style meal kit service where you can cook recipes from your favourite restaurants.

ISH's eggplant curry is on the Make Out Meals menu. Photo: Sammy Green


45. Make-Out with a Melbourne restaurant

There are many meal kits on the market, but Make-Out Meals brings restaurant food to you with dinners crafted by 12 Melbourne restaurants. Kits contain recipe cards and raw ingredients and you use one to transform the other into dinner. Turn eggplants and spices into ISH's 4000-year-old curry, or feel like Bomba's flank steak with crushed kipflers and salsa verde is (almost) all your own work. PN

46. Family treasure

Ismail Tosun's fans are many and they are loyal. Back in the day, he won a legion of admirers at Gigibaba on Smith Street, Collingwood. Now, after hitting the streets in a food truck, he's back to bricks-and-mortar at Miksa, a casual Turkish eatery in Coolaroo. His rolls stuffed with coal-grilled lamb and chicken kebabs are all impeccable, but for the true believers, it's all about the hellim (aka haloumi), made fresh to a family recipe. PN askimmiksa.

47. Pick your picnic

If there's one pastime we've perfected of late, it's the art of the park picnic. A damp rug and a few containers of dip no longer suffice, as some of the city's best caterers and chefs have taken the hamper to new heights. Entrecote offers Parisian-style chairs and tables with their Pique-nique, so you can set up in style in the Kings Domain. Cookes Food has three hampers for a splurge: brunch box, mid-sized grazing box or the Euro box with bubbles, octopus, brie and baguettes. Find more hampers from Blakes Feast and Neighbourhood Wine. MH;

48. Bitter chefs

Given (too much?) time, two Victorian chefs have turned it into deliciously embittered drinks. Embla's Dave Verheul has released Saison Vermouth (pictured), a peach-hued, unfiltered romp through a field made with summer flowers, destined for ice and a lemon twist.

At Provenance in Beechworth, Michael Ryan is working on three bitter amaro digestifs: Orchard ("a bright, citrus-based one"), A Walk in the Black Forest ("a woody, spicy one"), and a very bitter bottling in the style of Italian Fernet-Branca, "for amari geeks", called Up to Eleven. PN & GC;

49. The Market Lane espresso vending machine

A kilo of Aroresa coffee beans? A little bag of seasonal blend ground for stovetop? Or is it time to treat yourself to the white peach and jasmine tones of Santa Clara? These are the decisions visitors to coffee roaster Market Lane contend with.

But thanks to 2020, the one thing they don't have to contend with is when to buy, now that Market Lane has a vending machine outside its warehouse that offers whole and ground beans (plus filter papers). It is open 24-7 at 126 Weston Street, Brunswick East. PN

The Age, News. The Cheese School in Castlemaine. Alison Lansley secretary of the Australian Specialist CheesemakersAssociation (at rear) with French cheesemakers Ivan and Julie Larcher.Pic Simon Schluter 23 October 2020.

From left: French cheesemakers Ivan and Julie Larcher with Alison Lansley of the Australian Specialist Cheesemakers Association. Photo: Simon Schluter

50. Making Australia grate again

What could be more 2020 than enrolling in The Cheese School? The curriculum by Carla Meurs and Ann Marie Monda of Holy Goat, and French cheesemaker Ivan Larcher, offers a pasture-to-production-line course for cheesemakers. Want results without the work? Grab their brand, Long Paddock Cheese, plus other dairy goods to go. GC

51. Neil Perry's bold Hope

Officially, Neil Perry retired from Rockpool Dining Group in July, but the past eight months have kept the chef busier than ever. Perry (pictured) launched not-for-profit Hope Delivery in April, aiming to feed homeless and disadvantaged people affected by the pandemic, plus workers on temporary visas ineligible for government assistance.

With a crack team of Rockpool staff, volunteers and the help of OzHarvest, Hope provides more than 2000 meals a day in Melbourne and Sydney.

When he's not on the pass creating Hope Delivery meals packed with Australia's best produce (Hazeldene's Chickens from Bendigo feature), Perry is fundraising to make sure the program can keep happening. "It's here forever," he says. Or at least until there are no more hungry Australians. CB

52. Layla's shaking up the city

What do you do when you're a big restaurant built for business workers who just aren't there? If you're Shane Delia, you persuade the City of Melbourne to cut off Bond Street and build a marquee for Maltese meze. Layla is a serious installation outside Delia's flagship Maha, and while the evenings here promise much, the ultimate bait might be weekend brunches. Diners have access to the restaurant's famously deep wine list, while service runs yum cha style with offerings such as haloumi wrapped in pastry threads. GC

53. Cherry-o baby

If ever there was a year to get out among the cherry trees, this is it. Kind winter weather has ensured a bumper crop at CherryHill Orchards, excellent news for anyone wanting to pick their own. The orchard is open 9am–5pm daily (except Christmas Day) until early January. Pack a picnic and make a day of it, or book a private high tea for two in the orchard. RG

54. The lasagne that rules them all

​The events game is patchy at the best of times, let alone during an apocalypse. Music events producer Joey Kellock started a side hustle in home-delivered lasagne three years ago; cue 2020 and he's a man poised for city-wide domination.

Kellock took on a star-studded crew of out-of-work musicians and their barely serviceable cars emblazoned with the 1800 Lasagne logo became a fixture on Melbourne streets. Now he's opened a lasagne bar in Thornbury serving a tight menu and a solid line-up of DJs for summer. GC

55. Unexpected savouries from Melbourne's pastry queen

Philippa Sibley is known best as a pastry chef, but as subscribers to Take3 by PS have learnt she's also very good in the savoury department. Sibley says it's elevated home-cooking rather than restaurant food, but a glance at her recent offerings – confit tomato and nettle lasagne, Sri Lankan cashew-nut curry – suggests that her idea of comfort food is more polished than most. And, yes, those meals include dessert. Order by email: PN

Dairy Flat Farm Lodge and its bakehouse are the perfect post-lockdown escape

Make your great escape to Dairy Flat Farm. Photo: Supplied

56.The great escape

Could you have planned a more apt business for cooped-up Melburnians than this agriturismo by the Wolf-Tasker family, owners of Daylesford's Lake House? Dairy Flat Farm is set on 20 hectares, featuring orchards, a vineyard and enormous kitchen gardens where the plant-obsessed can learn about horticulture. There's also an onsite bakery where guests can pick up fresh pastries and take sourdough classes with baker Michael James. Book a room or take over the whole farmhouse with friends. Heaven. GC

57. Get on the (secret) sauce

The skill of the saucier can make or break a dish. The sticky red vinegar dressing that makes Victor Liong's crisp eggplant a signature of Lee Ho Fook has been captured and bottled for delivery via Co-Lab Pantry.

Add a jar of Lagoon Dining's Strange Flavour Dressing – a nutty, spicy soy-andsesame paste perfect for cold noodles – and Fancy Hank's Original BBQ sauce, and you have a cupboard that can't be conquered. GC

Moon Dog Brewery’s Fizzer hard seltzer range based on nostalgic summer flavours.
Photo: Kate Shanasy

Piney Limey cans from Moon Dog's Fizzer range. Photo: Kate Shanasy

58. A hard seltzer summer

Heard of hard seltzer? It's essentially boozy sparkling water – the modern kilojoule-conscious answer to the alcopop – and breweries can't release them fast enough. Try Moon Dog Brewery's Fizzer range based on nostalgic summer flavours like the Splice Pine Lime. GC​

The Age, News, 27/08/2020 picture by Justin McManus.
 Thai Tide
Black pepper mud crab

Black pepper mud crab from Talay by Thai Tide. Photo: Justin McManus

59. Talay's crab-on-demand service stays on

The team from Melbourne CBD restaurant Thai Tide delivered one of lockdown's highlights with its seafood-focused spinoff Talay: crab on-demand. Spanner crabs, blue swimmers and mud crabs, fresh off their flights from Darwin, tossed in a fizzing black pepper mix or a mellower curry, were such a hit the banquets are sticking around. GC

60. Help out Lebanon

The world cried for Lebanon after a devastating explosion rocked Beirut in August. The e-book Bake for Beirut, is full of recipes by chefs such as Tulum's Coskun Uysal, Nomad's Jacqui Challinor and Adam Wolfers from Gerard's Bistro. It aims to raise funds for the Lebanese Food Bank and Steps of Hope charity. GC bake-for-beirut

Words: Callan Boys, Gemima Cody, Roslyn Grundy, Michael Harry, Pat Nourse, Dani Valent