Adapting to this temporary new normal hasn’t been easy, especially for the hospitality industry. While hundreds of cafés and restaurants across the city cater for takeaway or home delivery, those offerings have always been additional sources of revenue, as opposed to the only one. For cocktail bars that aren’t accustomed to operating as retail outlets or mixing shelf-stable drinks to be consumed off-site, the adjustment has been even more challenging. Nevertheless, the response from owners and operators has been robust, and even Sydney’s high-end and fine-dining establishments are finding ways to bring the restaurant experience into your dining room.
Three weeks ago, Josh Niland and the team at Paddington’s Saint Peter were among the first to start selling home-style meals for pick-up, and nearby Italian institution, Lucio’s, slashed menu prices by 25 per cent for takeaway and delivery to the local area. In the time since we’ve seen Stanmore’s degustation-only diner, Sixpenny, jump on board with produce boxes, weekend bake sales and rustic dinners for two, and Porteño follow suit with a concise menu of Latin-American-inspired comfort cooking.
Today, hospitality heavyweight Merivale is getting in on the action with the launch of ‘Merivale at Home’, a new delivery service offering five different cook-at-home menus from some of the group’s most popular restaurants, including Mr Wong, Fred’s, Totti’s and Bert’s. The meals are designed to share between two people, cost between $70 and $95, and feature some of the signature dishes from each venue (think Mr Wong’s kung pao chicken, or the wood-fired bread from Totti’s). All that’s required is a few finishing touches, all of which are easy enough for the basic home cook.
In order to round out the experience, group sommelier Franck Moreau and group bars manager Sam Egerton have put together beverage packs ($40-$115) to accompany each menu, which includes two apéritifs like a Tsingtao or pre-batched Negroni, as well as two bottles of wine. Should you prefer to do the pairing yourself, you can order beer, wine and spirits from the online bottle shop or enlist the help of the sommelier team over the phone to help you find something from the Ivy’s extensive cellar.
If you’re the kind of person who prefers to do all the cooking from scratch, ‘Merivale at Home’ is also packing produce boxes from big-name suppliers. You’ll find fresh fruit and veg from Parisi, premium meats like Riverina T-bones from Havericks and the likes of live mussels, scallops, snapper fillets, rock oysters and cooked prawns from Poulous Bros. Recipes by Fred’s head chef Danielle Alvarez will be included, too, so you won’t be short of inspiration.
For more information, or to place a ‘Merivale at Home’ order, click here.