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FOOD & DRINK

Eight 'Treat Yourself' Meals to Get Delivered If You're Celebrating a Special Occasion in Lockdown

Don't let lockdown stop you from marking another year of life or love.
By Melanie Colwell and Ben Hansen
August 11, 2021
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By Melanie Colwell and Ben Hansen
August 11, 2021
  shares

EIGHT 'TREAT YOURSELF' MEALS TO GET DELIVERED IF YOU'RE CELEBRATING A SPECIAL OCCASION IN LOCKDOWN

Don't let lockdown stop you from marking another year of life or love.

Time can start to feel like an abstract concept when your regular routine is torn up and you're stuck in the same place day in and day out. But, even if you're not paying attention, the days are still ticking by and you could be totally unaware of a big date that's looming.

Whether it's a special birthday, a landmark anniversary, or celebrating how long you've survived in lockdown, don't let it pass you by. The celebration may not be exactly how you imagined it, but you still deserve a special evening filled with good food, good drinks and good company.

With restaurant dining currently on hiatus across the city, some of Sydney's best eateries are offering takeaway and delivery for the first time. So, we've put together a list of some of the most luxe, inventive or fun meals you can order to create a special night at home. Wash your hair, put on a clean shirt or fancy dress for the first time in weeks and make your special occasion one of the more memorable evenings spent in isolation.

  • 8

    Chef Josh Niland has built his reputation on doing things a little differently — first at his popular fine diner Saint Peter and then at the seafood takeaway joint Fish Butchery, a few doors up. So it’s no surprise that when the restaurant had to stop trading last lockdown, Niland was quick to come up with a solution for customers to enjoy his top-tier creations at home. Niland’s range of special lockdown dinners dubbed Mr Niland at Home have returned during Sydney’s current stay-at-home orders with the same level of inventive flair.

    With these dinner packs, the majority of the hard work is done for you and it requires just a few final touches when you get home. The new week’s menu (which runs from Wednesday to Sunday) is announced a couple weeks in advance. And, of course, they all have Niland’s signature experimentation — think yellowfish tuna cheeseburgers, truffled lobster pies and Murray cod biryani.

    How? Order via the website for pickup between 2–7pm. 

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  • 7

    During these chillier nights, you’re probably craving curries more than usual. And proving that Indian food can be fancier than the random collection of spices in your pantry — and very worthy of being a special occasion meal — is Indu. Right now, the underground CBD restaurant may not be the warm and bustling venue it normally is.

    Luckily, it’s still pumping out punchy innovative dishes, like the spicy cashew chicken curry with cinnamon bark. For your special night, opt for the cook-at-home curry packs which come with everything you need for a Indu feast at your dining table. You can even whip up the fan favourite pork curry if you’ve been missing this goan delight. The best part is that this feast will only set you back $60–80, which leaves you with spare change to treat yourself to a special drink or two from the Indu drinks menu. The ready made margarita or yama yama is calling your name.

    How? Order via the website for pickup or delivery from midday Tuesday–Friday and from 5pm Saturday. 

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  • 6

    If you’re searching for silver linings in these strange times, Butter is looking to provide as many as possible. Lockdown hasn’t soured the fried chicken and sneaker shop Butter Ramen Club, with the Burnt Ends Chicken Hot Ballz Ramen collaboration between Butter and Rising Sun Workshop available for pickup or delivery. The usual spread of fried chook and sides are all available at all three of its Sydney outposts as well.

    If you’re looking for a meal that pairs the greasy comfort of fried chicken with a bit of luxury, you can recreate Butter’s bottomless champagne and fried chicken brunch at home with bottles of Chandon Blanc De Blanc, Dom Perignon and Krug available to order alongside your fried wings, chicken sandwiches and shoestring fries.

    How? Order online for takeaway or have your chicken delivered via Menulog, Deliveroo or Uber Eats.

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  • 5

    This dimly-lit pasta haven has become a go-to date night spot since opening a few years back. With the bustling dining room closed for now, the CBD pasta favourite has just launched Ragazzi At Home to ensure we can all enjoy its next-level eats from the couch. Sydneysiders within seven kilometres of Ragazzi can dig into its saucy specialties including the always-popular Jerusalem artichoke ravioli swimming in brown butter and burnt paprika honey, agnolotti dal plin stuffed with house-made mortadella or cavatelli with cime di rappa and anchovy ragu.

    The Ragazzi home meals are delivered through the day and require some quick prep in the kitchen to heat them up in the pan yourself. Customers can also add an order from the Ragazzi team’s natural wine and pantry goods shop Fabbrica Pantry to their delivery, with the pasta shop providing some suggested add-ons throughout the menu including pecorino romano to shave over the ravioli or a wedge of valserena parmigiano reggiano to grate over the cavatelli.

    How? Order via the Ragazzi website before midday for same-day pickup or delivery, Monday to Saturday.

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  • 4

    Mood lighting, cosy banquette seating, top-notch wine and bold share plates — Monopole nailed the formula for a winning date night long ago. It can only deliver part of the experience to you right now, but it’s the best part. Provided you can sort out some comfy seats and light a couple of candles, the team behind this Potts Point spot will take care of the food and drink.

    Monopole has launched a banquet for two that you can have delivered to your doorstep for your next special night in. The $140 meal features sourdough bread rolls, chicken and ham hock terrine and French onion dip to start, followed by a slow-cooked beef cheek and pepita seed salsa with a beetroot, pickled onion and horseradish salad and yellow beans in a lemon vinaigrette on the side. Then, to wrap things up is a pear and rhubarb crumble topped with whipped cheesecake cream.

    How? Order before 4pm Thursday–Sunday via the Monopole website for home delivery or for pickup 4–8pm Wednesday–Saturday.

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  • 3

    When planning a celebratory meal, you want something that’s a little bit luxe and befitting of how special the occasion is. But you may not be keen on anything too experimental lest it ruins the evening. Reliable, but not boring. If that’s the brief in four words, then the new collaboration between Poly and Ester has you covered. Consistency is the reason these two spots are loved by hospo legends and regular food lovers alike — and Poly/Ester Provisions is the newly launched takeaway project from the pair of beloved venues. The refined menu includes favourites from each restaurant plus selections from Jersey Milk and A.P. Bakery.

    If you’re ordering a meal for a special night in, you can work your way through the Jersey Milk cheese and barbecue oyster pack on the aperitivo menu, confit spatchcock and pastrami cauliflower of the dinner menu and sweet treats like lamington fudge to end the meal. Fancy extras like garlic butter, Western Australian truffle, fermented hot sauce and caviar are all on hand to really elevate the night.

    How? Order via the website. Pickup is available Thursday-Saturday, plus deliveries for locals living within three kilometres of Poly. Pre-orders for each week open on Sundays. 

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  • 2

    Since opening in 2016Restaurant Hubert has been a citywide favourite for Sydneysiders looking for a high-quality French meal or a fine dining experience in the CBD. But with everyone stuck in their homes, for the time being, fine dining is often traded for trackies and a Big Mac. Luckily, the inner-city bistro is bringing the decadence of the Restaurant Hubert experience into your home with its new takeaway menu Hubert À La Maison.

    The takeaway menu features selections from the Restaurant Hubert menu a la carte and accompanying French wines and beers. However, if a special occasion is on the cards, there are also two banquet menus to choose from. The first Le Petit Banquet for two includes pork terrine wrapped in pastry, roasted snails with XO butter, chicken fricassée, confit mushroom with peppercorn sauce, sautéed greens and creme caramel for dessert. The alternate vegetarian feast swaps out the pork, chicken and snails for gnocchi and shitake in parmesan cream, Gruyere souffle and kimchi gratin.

    How? Delivery is available Thursday–Sunday throughout NSW and ACT. Order via the Restaurant Hubert website.

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  • 1

    As sister venue to the two-hatted Ormeggio, Chiosco has long been a go-to for a top-notch outdoor dining experience. It’s the sort of place you go to enjoy the spoils of Sydney living — tasty food, fine weather and epic water views — without the hefty price tag. And even though a meal on the jetty is off-limits for now, you can still feast on Chiosco’s fine Italian food al fresco-style in your back garden or balcony.

    The restaurant has a condensed version of its menu available for takeaway or home delivery. Italian classics like burrata marinara and wild boar ragu gnocchi are available, as well as vegetarian lasagne, tuna cotoletta and Tuscan porchetta. If you’ve got a few mouths to feed, opt for the slow-cooked lamb shoulder or one-kilogram bistecca fiorentina with a selection of sides — think roasted potatoes or rocket, parmesan and pear salad. Both of these will go exceptionally well with a bottle of wine and you’re strapped for choice at Chiosco. The restaurant’s Sommelier Davide has put together a series of wine packs ranging from $140–210 for you to choose from. And don’t miss the black truffle gelato for dessert.

    How? Order via the Chiosco by Oremeggio website for takeaway or home delivery Thursday–Saturday.

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