Chefs and restaurants are getting creative as lockdown continues, many of them trying out brand-new dishes that may never be seen again. Here are a handful to try this weekend, as well as some boxes to enjoy at home from celebrated fine-diners and small local businesses.
Congress x Future Future
Collingwood wine bar Congress is bringing its weekend tuckshop to sister restaurant Future Future in Richmond this Saturday. While toasties and venison sausage sizzle have led the nostalgic menus in Collingwood, this weekend's snacks show plenty of Japanese influences in a nod to Future Future's menu.
Think panko-crumbed cauliflower sandos and a katsu pork chop enhanced by the umami flavours of Vegemite. Dorayaki, sweet filled pancakes, take a trip down a very Australian memory lane with Milo and passionfruit pavlova flavours. Winemaker Mac Forbes is also joining the fun, offering back vintage and one-off bottles at a car-boot sale.
The team are taking several precautions to make sure lockdown regulations are followed and groups don't gather. Food can be pre-ordered, and customers will receive a specific pick-up time to collect their food from Future Future's main entrance. The car-boot sale is taking place in the rear courtyard and will be manned by a COVID marshal to monitor the flow of people.
Available Saturday, 11am-3pm at Future Future, 191 Swan Street, Richmond. Pre-order food direct
Pt Leo Estate
This top-rated Peninsula restaurant is heading to the city this weekend, with Pt Leo Estate boxes landing on doorsteps in Ivanhoe, Ringwood, Glen Waverley, Hawthorn and more suburbs stretching across Melbourne's east.
There are two ways to go: mix and match your favourite dishes from the restaurant's menu (all designed for two) or go with the set menu.
This week it's a fire-inspired box that features chargrilled sugarloaf cabbage, smoked and grilled O'Connor beef short rib, and malt Basque cheesecake ($200 for two people). Be sure to get your order in by 4pm the day before.
Available Friday-Saturday for delivery to select Melbourne suburbs and across the Mornington Peninsula. Order online
Bar Bianco x Hemingway's
These two sister venues separated by the Yarra are teaming up for a one-off menu available Friday through Sunday. Prahran's Bianco specialises in snacks made for drinking while Hemingway's is an East Melbourne Francophile hangout.
With their powers combined, they're offering cured kingfish with kohlrabi, prawn cocktail (why not?) and duck breast with orange and celeriac. There's also wagyu cheek pithiviers and a strawberry tart in the six-course box that comes ready to eat ($179 for two people).
Available Friday-Sunday for pick-up from East Melbourne or delivery within 10km. Order direct before 10am Sunday.
Nabil Ansari at The Cricketers Bar
In the city, Nabil Ansari is having some fun with street snacks that you might eat at a cricket game in India: vada pav (pictured above), curry puffs and duck samosa with medjool dates. He's also serving mango lassi soft-serve and his ready-to-heat curries will be available to stock your fridge at home.
Operating from the front doors of the bar that's part of the Hotel Windsor, Ansari will be serving most items hot and the team is requesting that people collect their food and go.
You can also pick up gluten-free treats made by Felix Goodwin, who wowed Melbourne last year with his as-good-as-the-original but coeliac-friendly sourdough, babka and more.
Available Fri-Sat, 11am-2pm or until sold out at Hotel Windsor, 111 Spring Street, Melbourne
Cover your dining table with a spread that includes kibbeh, juicy chargrilled chicken, bright salads and pickles, and stacks of flatbread with an order from this Moonee Ponds spot.
The restaurant's array of mezze can easily be recreated at home, or you can opt for wraps and hot chips to keep all members of the family happy. Choose your filling from kofta, chicken, Lebanese sausage or falafel served three different ways (including with halloumi).
Available Tue-Sun evenings. Delivery available or pick-up from Moonee Ponds. Order online or by phone 03 9077 8827
Sig Enzo's Sicilian Smoke Out
This Saturday (and Sunday, weather permitting), she'll be slicing open bread rolls and filling them with pork, sun-dried tomato and pecorino sausages, smoked meatballs and smoked eggplant. All rolls are finished with salsa verde and pickled zucchini.
As always, it's a grab your food and move on situation.
Available Saturday from noon until sold out, 1d Michael Street, Brunswick
Thank your lucky stars that one of the city's best Japanese restaurants has just added a takeaway menu. It might not have the theatre or the precisely crisp tempura you're accustomed to when dining in, but we reckon a bento filled with teriyaki salmon or beef, prawn gyoza, fried chicken, potato salad and more ($30) is a decent trade-off. There are also platters of nigiri and sushi rolls available ($30). This one is for South Melbourne locals only.
Available Tue-Fri for lunch and Tue-Sat for dinner. Pick-up only. Order by phone 03 9696 0051.