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How to get a great pub meal while hibernating

Denis Walter
Article image for How to get a great pub meal while hibernating


Pubs and bars will be among the last places to re-open their doors if health experts have their way.

Australian National University microbiology professor Peter Collignon has told the Sydney Morning Herald that social “intermingling” in pubs meant they would need to stay closed until September.

But that ban won’t stop our city’s publicans from serving hearty take-away and home delivered meals, along with a cheeky beer or wine. Some even pre-mix the cocktails. Here are a few of the best.

273-279 Cecil St, South Melbourne

South Melbourne’s classic gastropub is now a grocer and wine shop, and every Thursday one of Lamaro’s international workers (who are ineligible for Covid-19-related government help) take over the kitchen from the pub’s veteran chef and part-owner Geoff Lindsay (pictured above). They then design special set menus available for pick-up. Place your orders here.

372 Bridge Rd, Richmond

Take-away and frozen heat-at-home meals include comfort food gems like chicken, bacon and leek pot pie with veggies and golden puff pastry⁠, along with all the pub classics. Order online.

333 Barkly St, Footscray

For every $30 spent at The Plough, the pub will donate a meal to healthcare workers at Footscray and Sunshine hospitals. Check out the menu here. Pick-up available on Thursdays and Saturdays 3.30–6pm only. Orders must be placed by 9pm the day before, until sold out.

418 Lygon St, Carlton

Here’s one for the vegetarians, with plenty of gluten-free and vegan options thrown into the mix. Alcohol is also available to pick up, including a growler fill-up service. Open daily from noon-3pm and 6-10pm. Put your orders in online.

370 Rathdowne St, Carlton North

Starting this Saturday from 3pm, the recently renovated Kent will offer great value take-home meals, plus tap beer at $10 for two litres. Bargain.

29 Fitzroy St, St Kilda

Pick up take-home packs of Thai classics like curry, green-papaya salad and caramelised pork hock from the hotel’s front desk. There’s also a selection of wine, beers and cider. Order here or walk in to place an order.

237 Station St, Carlton North

The Brandon is looking after the locals with home delivered meals and booze across the inner north. The wagyu burger is a highlight, with all the good bits and a side of fries. The menu includes kids’ meals.

Basement, 111 Lonsdale St, Melbourne

This French bar is delivering Gaelic goodies across metro Melbourne. Think beef bourguignon and cassoulet, with buttery mash and beans, with your favourite wine, of course. You can also order cute little single-serve bottled cocktails from Margaux’s sister venue The Everleigh. Visit the website to order deliveries from Wednesday to Sunday.

481 Burwood Rd, Hawthorn

The Hawthorn Hotel has closed until bans are lifted, but is still helping people. With thousands of hospitality workers out of a job, the pub’s kitchen is providing $3 meals to hospo workers. The pub’s owner, the Australian Venue Co, is also providing free meals for any of their staff who are not eligible for government assistance because of their visas.


ANZAC biscuit recipe, courtesy of Melbourne Food and Wine Festival creative director Pat Nourse:

1 cup rolled oats
1 cup desiccated coconut, in shreds or chips
1 cup flour (wholemeal or plain)
1 cup sugar (a brown one for preference; I use demerara)
2 tbsp golden syrup (or honey)
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
½ cup melted unsalted butter (about 125gm)

1. Preheat the oven to 180°C (or 150°C fan-forced).

2. Combine the oats, coconut, flour and sugar in a mixing bowl.

3. Mix the golden syrup, bicarb and 2 tbsp boiling water in a bowl, stir until the mixture foams, then stir in the melted butter.

4. Stir the syrup and butter mixture into the dry ingredients and mix them together (your hands are good for this). Err on the side of less mixing rather than more – it’s better not to overwork it. Taste, and add a pinch of salt if it needs it.

5. Place spoonfuls of the mixture on lightly floured trays, leaving plenty of room (at least 6cm) for them to spread.

6. Bake until they’re dark golden, starting to check around the 10-minute mark. (If you want both trays to bake evenly, swap them in the oven halfway through baking.) Let them cool on the trays; they’re soft straight from the oven but they get crisper as they cool. They’ll keep for about a week in an airtight container.

Denis Walter