Lockdown 2.0 has brought a bright idea off the back burner. Simon Blacher of the Commune Group had long thought an online Asian grocery store would be a handy service.
And with his southside hospitality group restricted to takeaways, it seemed the right time to redeploy staff who would otherwise be busy in the restaurants to work on Golden Grocer.
From the website you can select "hero sauces" and the tried and trusted ingredients used by Hanoi Hannah, Tokyo Tina, Beijing Betty and Firebird, and pick them up from Hanoi Hannah's Richmond base or get them delivered.
The team is making sauces and pastes such as Hanoi Hannah nuoc mam (dipping sauce), signature peanut satay sauce and chilli jam using fresh ingredients and none of the preservatives and e-numbers found in commercial products, along with downloadable recipes showing how to use them.
They'll also be selling restaurant-quality fresh produce such as Vietnamese mint and green papaya along with the Asian pantry staples they use in their kitchens – among them Megachef fish sauce, vegan "fish sauce" and vermicelli noodles.
Pick-up is available from 79 Swan Street or you can have groceries delivered for $15 within 15 kilometres of the Richmond kitchen (free for orders over $70). And soon, they'll be joining the Providoor delivery platform.
Golden Grocer, at 79 Swan Street, Richmond, goes live this week at goldengrocer.com.au