Eight Melbourne Picnic Packs to Level Up Your Next Park Session
Lock in a sunny day, pick a favourite park in your bubble, pre-order one of these bad boys and get ready to picnic like a boss.
Restrictions have rekindled Melbourne's love affair with the humble picnic and we're forecasting park sessions to become the go-to social outing of choice over the coming months — no matter what the weather's doing. There'll be no slumming it on the food and drinks front either, thanks to the growing lineup of beautifully curated picnic packs being offered up by venues across the city.
We've rounded up a few of the finest feasts to suit your next al fresco session, from grazing boxes brimming with nibbles, to luxurious seafood spreads. Order one of these beauts and make this picnic season one to remember.
A taste of chef Jerry Mai's mod-Viet beer hall is coming to a park near you. Bia Hoi's new picnic packs are chock full of fresh Vietnamese flavours just begging to be devoured on some sunny patch of grass. We're talking: crisp spring rolls, mini grilled chicken banh mi, sugarcane prawns, plump rice paper rolls, and plenty of its famed JFC (Jerry Fried Chicken) teamed with hot chilli and fish sauce caramel. Plus, an assortment of banh hoi (vermicelli parcels), fresh herbs, pickles and zingy nuoc mam sauce rounds out the fun.
The details: Feeds two to three, $55. Order online for delivery.
Add some instant Frenchy-chic flair to your al fresco hangs with a Parisian Pique-nique box from Entrecote. Having settled into its new Greville Street home (though not yet opened the doors, thanks COVID), the celebrated French restaurant is now slinging a range of tres chic picnic accompaniments, headlined by a grazing box for two. The pack stars gourmet goodies like a sourdough baguette, proper French butter, local camembert, traditional charcuterie, mini quiches and macarons. Picnic add-ons range from ice-filled coolers to batched cocktails and bottles of Mumm. BYO beret and you're good to go.
The details: Feeds two, $94.90. Pre-order online for pick up.
ZSA'S BAR BISTRO & DELI
Up in Northcote, Zsa's has made a name for its warm, honest cooking style and dishes rooted in classic European flavours. And, luckily for your future picnic endeavours, that vibe extends to the venue's expansive offering of park-friendly antipasto boxes and grazing packs. There's quite the selection, ranging from cheese packs to local charcuterie showcases. But for a bit of everything, try the Premium Antipasto and Cheese Box — a quality spread of local and international cheese, Aussie prosciutto, free-range mortadella, whisky-spiked orange marmalade, house-made crostini and much more. Extras and add-ons abound, including a bottles of the signature bloody mary laced with Truff hot sauce ($17).
The details: $75. Order online for pick up or delivery (select days).
ABACUS BAR & KITCHEN
If your ultimate picnic pack is one involving plenty of ocean-fresh snacks, Chapel Street's Abacus has your back. Every Friday to Sunday, the South Yarra bar and eatery is serving up two picnic-perfect seafood platters that are destined to impress. Opt for the standard spread and spend your afternoon knocking back Mooloolaba king prawns with a jalapeno emulsion, Sydney rock oysters, lobster rolls loaded with chive mayo, crab and potato croquettes, house-made taramasalata and more. Or, bump up to the deluxe edition and enjoy half a Western Australia rock lobster as well. Add on a bottle from the wine list and your day is looking pretty schmick.
The details: $125 (standard), $199 (deluxe). Order online for pick up or delivery.
Windsor's beloved modern Japanese diner Mr Miyagi is going one step further to hook you up with premium snacking this picnic season. It's kicked off a roving picnic pop-up tour, appearing at a different venue every Friday and Saturday to sling its six-course picnic packs. The four-person Japanese feasts feature lively dishes like the yuzu kingfish sashimi, crispy chicken katsu rolls, soba noodle salad and yuzu cheesecake, and it all comes packed in a nifty Mr Miyagi cooler bag to keep. Cocktail boxes are also up for grabs if you're feeling thirsty. Keep an eye on the website to see where they're headed this weekend.
The details: Feeds four, $149. Order online for pick up (collection venue changes every Friday and Saturday).
HARRY & LARRY'S GENERAL STORE
As Footscray's one-stop shop for locally-sourced groceries, pantry essentials and other fun wares, Harry & Larry's General Store is well-known for its curatorial skills, especially when it comes to tasty eats. So, it should come as no surprise that the venue's now slinging a top-notch grazing box, available in both small and large sizes. Level-up your park time with a primo selection of various breads, cheese, cured meats, dips, crackers and other antipasto fixings, neatly boxed and ready to play centrepiece of your picnic rug. They can be made gluten-free, vegetarian or vegan, and you can get a box whipped up with 90 minutes notice. Add on a tipple from the extensive online bottle shop range to make an afternoon of it.
The details: Feeds two ($29) or more ($59–70). Order online for pick up (in-store or kerbside) or local delivery.
If an aperitivo-style picnic in the park is on the cards, you'll find a very worthy accompaniment in That's Amore's collection of curated cheese and booze hampers. The cheese producer's own Italian-inspired creations take centre stage here, carefully matched to wine, gin, or even a cheeky bottled cocktail. The Cheese & Wine Hamper, in particular, is picnic perfection, stocked with three signature cheese varieties — perhaps the buffalotto, the cacio and some smoked caciotta — plus lavosh crackers, fig paste and a bottle of vino of your choosing. If mixing and matching is more your style, simply swing past the full online store and curate your own epic cheese feast for speedy delivery.
The details: $75. Order online for delivery Victoria-wide.
Infuse your picnic with a hint of indulgence and lots of summer vibes, by ordering a picnic set-up from Carlton North's Fishmonger's Son. The store's seafood-heavy lineup of snack packs and lunch boxes is primed for sunny (or even cloudy) sessions at your local park or beach. Grazers will love the high-end snackage of the Blini Box, starring blinis, smoked salmon, 50 grams of Yarra Valley salmon caviar, and a tub of Lard Ass crème fraiche. Or, if you're picnicking as a pair, go for the Lunch Box — a two-person spread featuring a couple of the venue's cult prawn and crayfish rolls, with a side of Pafritas potato chips.
The details: The Blini Box, $50; and The Lunch Box, feeds two, $40. Pre-order for pick up by emailing [email protected] or calling 0452 166 552. A select range is also available for delivery via Your Grocer.
Published on October 01, 2021 by Libby Curran