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Sofia Levin’s list of things you should be eating in lockdown this week

Ross and Russel
Article image for Sofia Levin’s list of things you should be eating in lockdown this week

Image (above): Anchovy338/Instagram

Another week in lockdown, another list of things you should be eating. The below are some of my favourite picks for the weekend, but I also urge you to support your local by jumping on social media to see if a much-loved restaurant or cafe in your ‘hood is coming up with lockdown goods.

Big Esso

Federation Square, corner Swanston and Flinders Street, Melbourne

Big Esso was only open for a week before lockdown hit. It was actually going to be my next review, but until then, you can visit this Friday to Sunday between noon and 6pm for a Torres Strait Island-style fry up with emu, croc, periwinkles and damper on the grill. I can also vouch for the green ant-ini; now available to drink at home.

Big Esso has also whipped up three heat-and-eat boxes. Like sister cafe Mabu Mabu in Yarraville, there’s a focus on making native ingredients approachable, affordable and delicious. Pick up the boxes from Federation Square or Yarraville, or order delivery within five kilometres of the CBD ($150 boxes feed two and $250 boxes feed four, including dessert and a cocktail kit). Order before 11am to eat yours the same day.


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Ca Com Banh Mi Bar

336 Bridge Road, Richmond

After Anchovy survived lockdowns by selling banh mi from the restaurant window, the team has officially opened a dedicated banh mi bar next door called Ca Com (which means anchovy in Vietnamese). Flavours might include turmeric chicken, beef pastrami or Manchurian pumpkin, but the jungle spice pork sausage is my go-to. Also check out Anchovy’s “party platter”, featuring all kinds of Vietnamese goodies for wrapping, rolling and eating with your fingers (like sugarcane prawn sticks, lemongrass sate barramundi wings and pork nem nuong sausage).


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Neri’s Hummus Bar

937 Centre Road, Bentleigh East

You’ll have to get in early if you want a $10 hummus bowl with falafel, harissa, tahini, pickles and pita from Neri’s Hummus Bar. It’s only open Fridays for pick-up between 9am and 3pm. Today is only it’s third trading. The shopfront is attached to the Tahini Neri factory and heroes the third-generation Israeli recipes. Don’t dilly-dally – they sell out fast.


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Nabil Ansari

The Hotel Windsor, 111 Spring Street, Melbourne

Nabil Ansari has a great story. Now head chef at Sunda restaurant, he started selling Indian food from his apartment during the very first lockdown after being short on shifts and dissatisfied with Indian takeaway. He’s back this weekend with a set menu for two ($60 per person) as well as some lockdown favourites, including his perfect butter chicken and lamb dum biryani, slow-cooked lamb shoulder and basmati rice encased in pastry. The cut off for tomorrow (Saturday dinner) is 7pm tonight. Pick up available or delivery within 10km of the CBD. Order online.


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Peter Rowland’s Chicken Sandwiches

Delivery within 50 kilometres of the CBD

During my last dinner out in Melbourne before this lockdown, I was joking with a fellow journalist about how great it would be if Peter Rowland delivered their famous chicken sandwiches to keep up the illusion of events season. That’s now a reality, and PR is making the deliveries himself. Caterers are doing it extra tough with event cancellations (with the exception of a certain engagement party) – why not send a box to someone in need of a pick-me-up? They can be delivered within a whopping 50 kilometres of the CBD. Order online, minimum spend $70.

Wilsmere Station

158 Pakington Street, Kew

“Social distance like you ran into your ex,” suggests Willsmere Station. They’re a reliable bet every Saturday and Sunday from 9am to 2pm, slinging sausages, egg and bacon rolls, burgers and skewers from breakfast through lunch in Kew. Everything is $10 or less and they also have takeaway wine, beers and coffee.


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60 Lygon Street, Brunswick East

I’m 100 per cent on board with Etta restaurant’s idea to add a dose of fun into our lives, which is why they’re doing a special Retro Australiana menu this weekend. Online orders close at 9pm tonight, if not sold out prior. Head chef Rosheen Kaul is a bit of a girl genius, so you can expect fancified versions of kabana and cheese toothpicks (made with pig’s head sausage and Bay of Fires cheddar) and lamb chops (cooked on the wood fire and served with mint and apple jelly). It’s worth it alone for the fairy bread cake. Check the website for delivery postcodes, $75 per person.


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Ross and Russel