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Sarah Theeboom

Sarah Theeboom

Sarah Theeboom is a freelance journalist based in Sydney.

Articles (16)

Grocery delivery services in Melbourne

Grocery delivery services in Melbourne

Grocery delivery services are incredibly convenient, but that’s not the only reason to try one. Because they don’t have the overheads of regular retailers, they can sometimes offer better value for money, especially when it comes to premium and organic produce. Some offer access to things that aren’t easily found in the big supermarket chains, like items from smaller producers and specialty goods that usually go to restaurants. And others allow you to put your money where your values are by buying locally, ethically and sustainably. Whatever your fancy, here are nine grocery delivery services in Melbourne worth checking out. Looking to get more things delivered? Here's dinner sorted, plus coffee and cheese deliverables. 

Misc Wines delivers fun, interactive wine and gin tasting kits during lockdown

Misc Wines delivers fun, interactive wine and gin tasting kits during lockdown

While the prospect of spending Saturday night in a wine bar is still a little way off, Northside Wines has launched the Misc Wines project to help locked down Melburnians replicate part of the experience at home.  Introducing the Misc Wine Box and Misc Gin Box, two masterclass delivery kits that are available to purchase and contain six samples of booze and tasting notes. For the wine kit, here's how it works: each week there’s a new kit with a different lineup of six wines, and you'll get a 100ml bottle of each. The wines are grouped around themes such as "Next Gen Winemakers" or "Victory to Victoria," and feature boutique wines, up-and-coming producers and alternative varietals. The box also includes a game board that challenges you to match each wine to a description. Once you’ve tasted your wines and assigned each one to a clue, you can reveal the answers to see how many you got right, as well as read more in-depth details about what you’re drinking. At 8pm each Saturday night, there’s also a free, live-streamed guided tasting wherein a sommelier talks through the characteristics of each of the wines that week.  The gin box selection, which at the moment does not rotate weekly, comes with six 30ml gin samples, three paired tonics, six paired garnishes and tasting notes. Some of the gins you'll get to sample include the Coastal Gin by Manly Spirits and the Jungle Gin by Boatrocker Brewers and Distillers.  The idea behind the tasting boxes is to help you learn about wines a

The best subscription boxes you can get delivered in Sydney

The best subscription boxes you can get delivered in Sydney

Subscriptions are the happy medium between the expected and the unexpected. They offer you the thrill of the new, on a schedule; a surprise you know is coming. And everyone loves the simple pleasure of having something to look forward to. In addition to bringing a bit of excitement and anticipation to our lives, subscriptions are a great way to indulge an interest – a recommendations algorithm manifested in a box of stuff. Whether the contents are consumable or do-able, what you’re actually getting is a couple of hours of pleasure and distraction that doesn’t involve a screen. Sounds nice, doesn’t it? Whether it’s for yourself or as a gift, these subscriptions offer delightful diversions of every type. Want to cheer up one of your nearest and dearest? Say it with flowers and order from these top florists that deliver.

The best subscription boxes you can get in Melbourne

The best subscription boxes you can get in Melbourne

Subscriptions are the happy medium between the expected and the unexpected. They offer you the thrill of the new, on a schedule; a surprise you know is coming. And everyone loves the simple pleasure of having something to look forward to. In addition to bringing a bit of excitement and anticipation to our lives, subscriptions are a great way to indulge an interest – a recommendations algorithm manifested in a box of stuff. Whether the contents are consumable or do-able, what you’re actually getting is a couple of hours of pleasure and distraction that doesn’t involve a screen. Sounds nice, doesn’t it? Whether it’s for yourself or a gift, here are ten subscriptions offering delightful diversions of all types. Looking for more gift ideas? Here are the best gift hampers to send in Melbourne.

Everything that's changed between lockdown one and lockdown two

Everything that's changed between lockdown one and lockdown two

As the youth say: this lockdown hits different. Sydney, we're in the shit again. No amount of "you got this" or "we're in this together" can soothe the ennui of lockdown number two (sorry Northern Beaches, yours was more of a lockdown 1.5). In fact, this time around those two innocuous phrases might just make our eye balls fall from their sockets from all the rage ticking. When we first went into lockdown last year, we were like tweens on our first day of high school: tittering with nerves and excitement, but determined to make the best of it. We communicated with each other constantly – sharing news headlines to stay informed, reconnecting with distant friends to feel less isolated, reading tips and advice on how to be the best at being at home, and chuckling at memes about the novelty of it all. This time around, we're like the year twelves who got held back and have to repeat the year. We've seen it all. We know the drill. Our naive optimism about the future has been replaced with cynicism and a worldly exhaustion. We've quit doing homework and started reading Nietzsche and smoking in the bathrooms. But do you remember the innocence of yesteryear, when lockdown was an opportunity for self-improvement and we cared about what we were wearing on work calls? And occasionally forgot to mute ourselves before going to the bathroom? How adorably clueless we were, how sweet. Now that we're older and wiser and a little more worn down by life, we do lockdown totally differently. Here

A local's guide to Bondi

A local's guide to Bondi

Aside from boasting Sydney’s most famous beach, Bondi offers an unusual combination of laid back coastal lifestyle and cosmopolitan buzz. Once a working class suburb with a large community of European Jewish immigrants, these days it’s more glamorous and upscale – but still immensely popular with budget travellers. The beach and surrounding streets reveal a fascinating cross section of humanity: botox and thongs, prams and surfboards, billionaires and backpackers. These strange bedfellows cross paths constantly throughout the day, from the early risers who surf, exercise and hit the cafes for breakfast, to the night owls who throng the bars and restaurants along Hall Street, Bondi Road and Campbell Parade. EAT DRINK COFFEE THINGS TO DO SHOPPING What is it known for? There’s a joke that Bondi Beach is famous for being famous, and in some ways it’s true. Deservedly or not, the one-kilometre stretch of sand has become an epicentre of Australian beach culture, drawing locals and international visitors alike. It’s beautiful for sure, a wide semicircle of golden sand punctuated by cliffs at either end. Some of those cliffs feature Aboriginal rock carvings, including one of a shark attack, left by the traditional inhabitants (either from the Eora or Darug language group, depending on who you ask).  Bondi is only seven kilometres from the CBD, and within a century of European settlement it had become an extremely popular recreational spot. In the 1880’s it officially became a public

The best takeaway breakfasts in Melbourne

The best takeaway breakfasts in Melbourne

Anyone can scramble an egg. But sometimes you just want to pierce the diaphanous orb of a 63-degree egg and watch it ooze across a disc of crusty sourdough, toasted just enough so that the molten yolk travels across the buttery surface for a few seconds before soaking down into the crumb. In a city where the morning meal is often the most interesting one of the day, many cafés have risen to the challenge of Covid restrictions by offering select brunch dishes for takeaway, and sometimes even delivery. (A café breakfast in bed? Things could be worse.) Sure, it’s not the same as a sit-down experience, but while these cafés are making lemonade, we’re going to drink it. And damn, does it taste good. Here are the best takeaway breakfasts you can get in Melbourne right now. Top off your breakfast with some Melbourne-roasted coffee that you can get delivered.

New emojis we need to get through the rest of 2020

New emojis we need to get through the rest of 2020

Quick – go look at your most used emojis in your phone. Are they a little more… exasperated than those you were using this time last year? For example, the shocked face, shit and sobbing emojis are all high hitters on our phones. But sometimes the assigned emojis we have don’t fully express what we’re trying to say. For those instances, we decided to make our own. How do we send these to the emoji people to make them a reality? Somebody @ them, please. Make sure you’re looking after yourself – here’s how to take care of your mental health right now.

Everything that's changed between lockdown one and lockdown two

Everything that's changed between lockdown one and lockdown two

When we first went into lockdown, we were like tweens on our first day of high school: tittering with nerves and excitement, but determined to make the best of it. We communicated with each other constantly – sharing news headlines to stay informed, reconnecting with distant friends to feel less isolated, reading tips and advice on how to be the best at being at home, and chuckling at memes about the novelty of it all. This time around, we're like the year twelves who got held back and have to repeat the year. We've seen it all. We know the drill. Our naive optimism about the future has been replaced with cynicism and a worldly exhaustion. We've quit doing homework and started reading Nietzsche and smoking in the bathrooms. But do you remember the innocence of yesteryear (i.e. April), when lockdown was an opportunity for self-improvement and we cared about what we were wearing on work calls? And occasionally forgot to mute ourselves before going to the bathroom? How adorably clueless we were, how sweet. Now that we're older and wiser and a little more worn down by life, we do quarantine totally differently. Here's a look at some of the ways we've changed between this shutdown and the last. Lockdown 1.0: Pledge to learn a new skill or hobby. Buy all the equipment.Lockdown 2.0: Watch your half-finished crochet project gather dust. Refuse to throw it away because of what that says about yourself. Lockdown 1.0: Organise Zoom drinks with friends, with games and activities.Lockdow

The five best gourmet getaways for foodies in NSW

The five best gourmet getaways for foodies in NSW

Sydneysiders are a lucky bunch. Not only do we have that harbour, those beaches, and world-class restaurants and bars on our doorstep, but our state is also brimming with cellar doors and farm gates that highlight NSW’s amazing produce. For those with a taste for travel and an adventurous spirit, we’ve rounded up five destinations that are sure to satisfy your cravings. Some are suitable for day trips and weekends away, others are best enjoyed over a longer stay. So go on, pamper your palate and do a solid for regional businesses by heading to these food-focused destinations. RECOMMENDED: The best wine tours in the Hunter Valley.

Where to dine out now that restaurant restrictions are lifting in Sydney

Where to dine out now that restaurant restrictions are lifting in Sydney

This feature is no longer being updated, please visit our news page for current food and drink news. To find out a venue's operating hours, we recommend checking its website or social media accounts. The doors of Sydney's restaurants, cafés and bars were shuttered for dine-in services on March 23, when the federal government announced a nation-wide shutdown. Despite this harsh blow for the industry, many Australian establishments responded with gusto, pivoting to offer takeaway and delivery, packaged hampers, and even virtual cooking classes. Now, dining establishments around Sydney have been given the green light to start operations again – though within strict physical distancing parameters. As of June 1, venues can serve up to 50 people at a time, with a minimum of four metres squared allocated for each patron.  We've collated a rolling list of the Sydney restaurants and cafés which have restarted dine-in operations. It's by no means an exhaustive list of the venues taking action right now; rules and restrictions are changing quickly and everyone is doing their best to keep up. We recommend checking the social media accounts of your favourite venues for the most up-to-date information.  If you'd like to contact us to add your venue to the list, please email details of your offering to Sydney editor Maxim Boon (maxim.boon@timeout.com).  Note that with the number of patrons capped, bookings are essential for all venues on this list, unless otherwise stated.

Where to eat oysters along the NSW South Coast's oyster trail

Where to eat oysters along the NSW South Coast's oyster trail

Bivalves and bubbly are a classic pairing, but enjoying oysters needn’t be a fancy affair. Most of the oysters being shucked at high-end Sydney restaurants were grown just a few hours away. And if you jump in a car and head down the coast – it's roughly a four-hour spin – there are plenty of places to enjoy farm-fresh oysters that were pulled out of the water just that morning – no airs and graces required. The stretch of NSW coastline from Nowra down to the Victorian border makes for particularly good eating, with dozens of growers producing delicious Sydney rocks, Pacifics and even some native Angasi flat oysters. Here are five worthwhile places to slurp down a dozen, often while sitting next to – or even floating on – the water. At some of these spots you can buy premium oysters at wholesale prices, so we suggest packing an esky. And maybe putting a bottle of something sparkling in the fridge for later. RECOMMENDED: Explore the Sapphire Coast on this three-day hike through Ben Boyd National Park.

Listings and reviews (8)

The Wonderland Bar

The Wonderland Bar

From escape rooms to VR experiences, it seems Sydney can’t get enough of immersive entertainment. The Alice experience, held at Wonderland Bar in Kings Cross, is one of the latest such diversions from the team behind Beyond Cinema’s immersive screenings, and the bewitching Wizard’s Den cocktail experience, which intermittently takes residence upstairs, along with other themed experiences. The old World Bar space has been completely reimagined as a trippy kaleidoscope of Lewis Carroll references. Alice’s disembodied legs dangle from the ceiling in the front bar – signalling perhaps that while she is only halfway down the rabbit hole, you have fully entered Wonderland. Inside the event space, a giant, glowing Cheshire Cat looms over a leather banquette, mushrooms grow out of teacups, and clocks and books festoon every surface. The 90-minute Alice experience costs $49 and takes the form of a garden tea party, hosted by the Mad Hatter and March Hare. You’ll get two cocktails out of it, but you’ll have to work for them by solving riddles and playing games. Each victory earns an ingredient that will eventually be combined in a teapot, dramatically stirred with dry ice, and then poured into tea cups for you to enjoy alongside sparkly “Eat Me” cupcakes. It’s all good fun, until someone steals from the Queen of Hearts. If you’d rather leave the mixology to the professionals, the front bar is fully stocked with beer, wine and more teapot cocktails (just like in the old World Bar day

The Third Day Fresh

The Third Day Fresh

If you’ve missed the food trucks and beer taps at this North Melbourne warehouse venue, this Covid-safe food market might go some of the way towards scratching that itch. Drop by the Third Day over the weekend of October 3-4 to pick up takeaway from food trucks such as Red Sparrow Pizza, Taco Truck, and Vietnamese street food vendor Ba and Me. Wash it down with premixed cocktails, beer or wine to-go from the Third Day’s bar. Kids and pets are welcome at the venue, just remember that you won’t be able to hang around – it’s pick up and pack out to comply with limits on how many people can be in the venue at once. The Third Day has also organised a click-and-collect market at the event. Vendors include My Bouquet florist, Rod’s Fruit and Veg, Taradale Meats, Hand Combat skincare, Larrykin Dog Treats, as well as The Third Day itself which is selling gourmet hampers ranging from cheese plates to weekend brunch packs. Items must be pre-ordered online (you can find links to all the vendors on the Fresh Facebook page) for collection at the event. Remember to wear a mask, observe social distancing and stay home if you’re feeling unwell.

Vue de Monde x MSO

Vue de Monde x MSO

Put on your pearls and cufflinks, or at least your good sweatpants, for a night of fine food and high culture this Thursday, August 27. At 7.30pm, Melbourne Symphony Orchestra will be streaming the Best of MSO Live Online Volume 2 via its YouTube channel. The program includes Vaughan William's The Lark Ascending, William Walton's Henry V Suite and Edward Elgar's Serenade Op.20. Pair the aural feast with elegant French bistro fare from Vue To You, Vue de Monde’s at-home meal service. Specifically made for this concert, Vue is offering a three-course set menu of ratatouille, braised chicken with tarragon and sherry, salad, mini baguettes with Vue’s cultured butter, and for dessert, Tarte au Citron and petit fours. Better wear the trackies with the stretchy waistband, come to think of it. The set menu costs $150 and is portioned for two people; orders must be placed by 3pm on Thursday, August 27.

Taishan Tea Club

Taishan Tea Club

The back room of a convenience store would strike most people as an unwise location in which to open a business. But when Joelie Zhou saw the storage area at the back of Bondi Square Tobacconist, she decided it would be a perfect location for her tea shop. “In China, tea shops are usually hidden in secret, quiet places – like at the end of a street,” says Zhou, owner of Taishan Tea Club in Bondi Junction. “Tea shops are quiet places where people go to relax. They stay for the whole afternoon drinking tea and talking with friends.” She took over the space in June 2019, opening her shop-within-a-shop along the pedestrian strip of Oxford street mall where hundreds of people pass by daily en route to the train station. Most do not notice the tea shop, but for the ones that follow the green neon "tea and cake" sign in the window, there is the joy of discovering the unexpected, that wonderful feeling of curiosity having paid off. To reach it, you must first walk through the unremarkable, fluorescent-lit shop out front. Just beyond the usual rows of refrigerated soft drinks and snacks, a decorative wooden archway, quite out of place in your common-or-garden convenience store, draws you into another space. As you pass through, there is a perceptible change in the ambiance: the lighting softens, the noise of Oxford street fades behind you, and a long wooden table beckons.  For this is no ordinary tea shop. It’s more like a tea museum, filled with rare and collectible items, where you

Four Pillars Bloody Shiraz Gin Tasting

Four Pillars Bloody Shiraz Gin Tasting

While most of us associate the fourth of July with American independence, Four Pillars fans have a different cause for celebration: the release of the 2020 Bloody Shiraz gin. In the five years since it was first produced, the plum-coloured spirit has garnered a loyal following, to the point where it sells out every year. But head over to the Yarra Valley distillery this weekend, and you'll be among the first to sip the much-anticipated 2020 vintage. Throughout the weekend, the distillery will welcome groups into its private event space for a 40-minute guided tasting. You'll get a cocktail on arrival and learn all about how the drink is made (it involves steeping whole Shiraz grapes in gin for two months) and what this year's vintage holds. Then you'll taste two different vintages alongside the Bloody Shiraz base spirit, Four Pillars' flagship Rare Dry Gin. Sessions are available every hour from 12.30pm through to 4.30pm, and cost $30 per person.

Black Star Pastry

Black Star Pastry

Black Star Pastry, the Insta-famous patisserie and bakery behind Sydney's favourite cake, has finally put down roots in Melbourne. What started as a pop-up under the Rain Room's Jackalope Pavilion in November 2019 is now a permanent bakeshop selling cakes, croissants, custard flans (the patisserie's take on a Portuguese pastel de nata) and St. Ali coffee. The permanent digs means that Melburnians can order party-sized cakes for the first time, so you can make a 45-person strawberry watermelon cake the centrepiece of your next birthday bash. In total, there are six cakes on offer including Japanese forest, a boozy twist on the traditional black forest with green tea, plum wine and ume fruit; and the vegan chocolate popcorn cake, a fudgy cocoa bomb topped with kettle corn and freeze-fried raspberries. Be still, our thickened arteries. Is the return of the St. Kilda outpost a sign that the Rain Room will grace us for another season? It's looking likely for late 2020, which just goes to show that you really can have your cake and eat it too.  

Mr Brownie Rooftop Hotel

Mr Brownie Rooftop Hotel

In Mr Brownie, Jessi Singh has created a curry pub, craft beer store, cocktail lounge and rooftop bar in one. Similar to its sister restaurants, Mrs Singh, Daughter In Law and Horn Please, this one specialises in "inauthentic" Indian food. Specifically British-Indian pub grub. “It’s the food that people think is Indian but it actually doesn’t exist in India,” explains Singh. He’s talking about diasporic staples like butter chicken, lamb vindaloo and chicken tikka masala, as well as more idiosyncratic British inventions such as butter chicken rolls, samosa burgers and curry chips. There’s also beer, lots and lots of it. More than 1,000 craft brews, according to Singh, available on tap or from the on-site bottle shop (purchases can be cracked open anywhere on the premises for a $3 corkage fee). There are also several wines on tap including, unusually, pet nat. Pétillant naturel is a sparkling natural wine and Mr Brownie pours two of them for $10 a glass. A tenner doesn’t just buy you an interesting drop at Mr Brownie, it also gets you two curries over rice to take home from the ground floor deli. If you’re eating in, you can upgrade to the $15 curry bento box which includes naan, pappadum and pickle. The deli is inspired by Punjabi Deli in New York’s East Village, a favourite hang of students, taxi drivers, immigrants and anyone looking for a good, cheap meal. “The thing about Punjabi Deli is that it's affordable. I want to be part of the neighbourhood so I'm keeping that. The

Comedy Steps Up for Bushfire Relief

Comedy Steps Up for Bushfire Relief

Does checking the news headlines or your social media feed send you spiralling into despair? Well here’s something to cheer you up: a massive night of comedy outside the Opera House, with all proceeds going to help bushfire-affected communities.  The all-star lineup so far includes Tim Minchin, Arj Barker, This Is Spinal Tap’s Harry Shearer, Urzila Carlson, Carl Barron, Joel Creasey, Kitty Flanagan, Becky Lucas and Julia Morris. More performers will be announced as entertainers rally to raise funds for the Australian Red Cross, the NSW Rural Fire Service, Wildlife Victoria and WIRES—and provide us with some much needed comic relief/ distraction from our dark ruminations about the smoky state of the world. You can do your bit to help by buying a ticket or four, which are $149 for general admission to the Opera House steps or $199 for reserved seating in the forecourt. (If you’ve got really deep pockets, there are also VIP experiences that include backstage tours, performer meet-and-greets, and drinks at Bennelong Restaurant.) Tickets go on sale on Wednesday 15 January, so gather your mates and plan a night out with a purpose.

News (39)

Make-Out Meals is a deliverable meal kit service with recipes from Melbourne restaurants

Make-Out Meals is a deliverable meal kit service with recipes from Melbourne restaurants

UPDATE 19/10/2020: Make-Out Meals is now delivering to regional Victoria, including Echuca, Cobram, Shepparton, Ararat, Ballarat, Gippsland, Bendigo and more. Check it out here. They say necessity is the mother of invention, and this lockdown has definitely seen the hospitality industry innovate. Restaurants and bars have branched out into delivery, finish-at-home kits, retail and even virtual experiences. But the latest concept is Make-Out Meals, a Melbourne initiative that combines the meal kit model of Hello Fresh and Marley Spoon, with the expertise of local chefs and restaurants. Here’s how it works: like a regular meal kit, you choose what you want to cook based on a database of available recipes, and the company then sends you the pre-portioned ingredients and instructions to make that meal. Make-Out Meals’ point of difference is that all the recipes were designed by the folks behind your favourite eateries: Mamasita, Bomba, Simply Spanish, Tipico, Fancy Hank’s, Ish, Babajan, La Tortilleria and others. And every time someone chooses to cook a particular recipe, that restaurant gets a cut of the sale, which helps support that venue during lockdown. You can order a one-off kit or sign up to a weekly subscription, choosing the number of meals you’d like to receive per week (two, three or four) and how many portions you need (two or four). Then select what you’d like to cook: Tipico’s pumpkin, gorgonzola and walnut risotto, Bomba’s skirt steak, La Tortilleria’s fish tacos,

Try it now: Shane Delia's premium heat-and-eat delivery service Providoor

Try it now: Shane Delia's premium heat-and-eat delivery service Providoor

We may be under lockdown but that doesn’t mean we can’t eat well. Really well. After all, we still have occasions to celebrate and a hankering for something special on a Saturday night. And we still have high-end restaurants willing to deliver to us. But therein lies the problem. Delivery. It’s hard to justify splurging on a fancy dinner that’s going to arrive lukewarm in a takeout container. Without the ambience and waitstaff that a restaurant provides, the enterprise seems even less worthwhile. To add insult to injury, you still have to do the dishes at the end of the night. While there’s nothing Shane Delia (Maha, Biggie Smalls) can do about your dirty dishes, he has tried to fix the problem of a dish’s degeneration during its long journey from a restaurant kitchen to your dining table. His solution? Finish it at home. All the meals on Providoor are ready-made but require simple heating and assembly before they can be served. While the idea of putting something in the oven for 20 minutes might seem counter to the entire convenient concept of takeaway food – i.e. not having to cook – completing the dish at home makes it possible to close the gap between what you’re eating at home and what you would have eaten at the restaurant. “The idea first started with the launch of Maha Go [Maha Restaurant’s home delivery service] during COVID,” says Delia. “When I experienced the success and demand for Maha Go, I quickly realised that premium ready-to-finish home delivery could be a v

Co-Lab Pantry is a gourmet online store featuring all-Victorian producers

Co-Lab Pantry is a gourmet online store featuring all-Victorian producers

One of the few silver linings of lockdown (look, we’re trying to stay positive, OK?) is how much easier it has become to get restaurant-quality food at home. You can get takeaway from the city’s top chefs and cocktails delivered right to your door. Then there's the addition of online retail hub Co-Lab Pantry as well.  Founders Danielle Lebon, Natasha Buttigieg and Avin Chadee decided to launch the online store to bring together some of their favourite Victorian venues and brands in one place. The result is a drool-worthy virtual supermarket aisle with a Victorian all-star lineup that includes Chotto Motto, Drumplings, Fancy Hank's, Gingerboy, Meatsmith, Messina, Four Pillars and the Everleigh. Pimp your pantry with Lello pasta, Meatsmith bolognese, Entrecôte herb and butter sauce, Fancy Hank’s barbecue sauce, Negroni marmalade from Four Pillars, Chotto Motto chilli oil and Tuck Shop’s jalapeño hot sauce. Had a crappy day? It’s nothing a roll of Piccolina cookie dough, a jar of Messina hazelnut spread and a bottled cocktail from the Everleigh can’t fix. In addition to fridge and pantry items, there are also some ready-made meals available including mac ‘n’ cheese dumplings from Drumplings and oven-ready pizzas from King and Godfree. Plus Co-Lab has teamed up with some of the vendors and chefs to offer recipes. Getting hungry? Visit the Co-Lab Pantry website to start a seriously enjoyable shopping spree. // (function(t,e,s,n){var o,a,c;t.SMCX=t.SMCX||[],e.getElementById(n)||(o

St Ali is now selling rare and premium wines alongside coffee

St Ali is now selling rare and premium wines alongside coffee

Remember back in the Beforetime when St Ali was just a roastery-cafe? No longer. These days the brand is also operating an online marketplace selling coffee (naturally), pantry essentials, homewares, face masks, apparel and now, wine. St Ali Somms is the newest department you can browse in the ever-growing online store, with a tight list of curated by anonymous friends of the company who seem to have access to some rather impressive private cellars. Several of the bottles on offer have been sourced from mysterious personal collections, including a 2010 Chateau D’Yquem, a magnum of 1985 Penfolds Grange signed by Max Schubert (Penfolds’ first chief winemaker), and a 1976 Dom Pérignon Oenothéque. Respectively, they’ll set you back $1,155, $2,399 and $2,499 per bottle. Apparently, St Ali has some well-connected friends. No need to platz – the majority of the wine list is less astronomical. About a third of the wines are premium, a third are mid-range and a third priced below $30 a bottle, so there’s a little something for everyone. The promise from St Ali is that no matter the price point, everything on the succinct list has earned a right to be there. And each month, the enigmatic curators will refresh the offerings and make available a new lineup of rare, premium and recommended drops. Think of it as a monthly wine club, for people who love coffee. If you've been eyeing some of the things on the online store, St Ali is also doing a Black Friday sale right now, where you can sco

Here’s an easy way to help the hospitality industry, and get free booze in the process

Here’s an easy way to help the hospitality industry, and get free booze in the process

With no easing of restrictions in sight and the numbers moving in the wrong direction, things are looking bleak for Melbourne hospitality venues who were, just a few weeks ago, preparing to welcome back up to 50 customers at a time. While we hunker down for who knows how long, restaurants and bars are figuring out how they can stay afloat. Enter Hospitality Heroes, an industry-assisting initiative that allows customers around the country to pay now and eat later. The project is a joint initiative by beverage wholesaler Crush Wine + Drinks and Mitchelton’s Preece Wines. The idea is simple: customers buy a $100 voucher for a venue of their choice, to be redeemed at a time of their choosing. The money goes to the business now, helping it through this challenging period of low trading. To sweeten the deal, customers receive a free three-pack of wines from Preece for every voucher purchased, valued at $60. “In these extremely challenging times, many of our community restaurants are in desperate need of support… and these very restaurants are involved in soup kitchens, food distribution, and still carry most of their loyal staff’s wage costs,” said Matt Schmidt, founder of Crush Wine + Drinks, in a statement. “In the spirit of hospitality, we ask all Australians to show their support of our industry and become a Hospitality Hero if they can.” Some of the Melbourne venues you can buy vouchers for include Galah, Matilda, Moon Dog World and the Prince Hotel; restaurants and bars that

Jerry Mai has launched a home-style Vietnamese meal delivery

Jerry Mai has launched a home-style Vietnamese meal delivery

We all crave a bit of comfort food in times of strife. And for esteemed Annam and Bia Hoi chef, Jerry Mai, that means her mother’s home-style Vietnamese cooking. Fortunately for us, she’s sharing the love with the newly launched Bia Hoi at Home meal delivery. Although Mai is best known for her modern take on Vietnamese cuisine, the dishes in these kits are more traditional fare: canh chua cá (a tangy, tamarind-laced soup), thit kho trung cut (braised pork with quail eggs), beef bo kho (a hearty beef and root vegetable stew), and steaming bowls of good old-fashioned pho. The $60 kits contain a four-course meal for two, which requires simple heating and finishing at home before serving. The menu changes fortnightly and vegetarian options are always available. Orders must be placed by 4pm on Wednesday for delivery on Friday or Saturday within 20km of the Glen Waverley beer hall. Order via the Bia Hoi website, and follow the restaurant on Instagram for live cooking demos every time a new menu drops. Did you know this Saturday is World Dumpling Day? And you can celebrate by taking a virtual dumpling-making class with David Zhou from Oriental Teahouse. Time Out’s Love Local campaign is supporting local food, drink and culture businesses in Melbourne. Find out how you can help save the places that make our city great.

Misc Wines delivers fun, interactive wine tasting kits every weekend

Misc Wines delivers fun, interactive wine tasting kits every weekend

While the prospect of spending Saturday night in a wine bar is still a little way off, a new business called Misc Wines is helping locked down Melburnians replicate part of the experience at home. Introducing the Misc Wine Box, a wine masterclass delivery kit that contains six 100ml glasses of wine, plus a game to make your at-home tasting a little more fun and interactive. Here’s how it works: each week there’s a new kit with a different lineup of wines. The six selected drops are grouped around themes such as "Next Gen Winemakers" or "Victory to Victoria," and feature boutique wines, up-and-coming producers and alternative varietals. The box also includes a game board which challenges you to match each wine to a description. Once you’ve tasted your wines and assigned each one to a clue, you can reveal the answers to see how many you got right, as well as read more in-depth details about what you’re drinking. At 8pm each Saturday night, there’s also a free, live-streamed guided tasting when a sommelier talks through the characteristics of each of the wines that week. The idea behind the tasting box is to help you learn about wine and develop your palate in a fun and relaxing way. If you find something you love, you can order it on the Misc Wines website. If you don't, no worries; you've only paid for a glass, not a whole bottle. The tasting boxes were developed by the owners of Northside Wines wine bar, Jacob Davey and Charlotte Jennings-Sewell, in response to the lockdown.

Take a virtual dumpling class with David Zhou from Oriental Teahouse

Take a virtual dumpling class with David Zhou from Oriental Teahouse

Saturday, September 26 is World Dumpling Day, and while food holidays are for the most part thinly-veiled marketing ploys, this is one we’re excited about. That’s because David Zhou, the proprietor of the Oriental Teahouse restaurants, is marking the occasion by teaching a virtual dumpling masterclass. Don’t worry if you don’t know your shumai from your moneybags, after this session you’ll be able to DIY dim sum like a pro. The class costs $90 and includes a kit with ingredients to make 60 dumplings (half prawn and mushroom, half mixed veg), as well as 30 premade Oriental Teahouse dumplings. The hamper also includes a bamboo basket set for steaming your homemade yum cha, plus essential dumpling condiments such as chilli sauce and vinegar. Once you’ve been set up with everything you need, you can tune into the 15-minute video class which is available on-demand anytime on Saturday, September 26 (it will also be available to view for free after World Dumpling Day is over). During the video tutorial, Zhou will instruct you in three different dumpling-wrapping techniques while talking about the history and culture surrounding dim sum. He’ll also share three recipes to make use of your doughy creations: wonton soup, crispy wontons with chilli oil, and steamed wontons in spring onion sauce. All recipe ingredients will be included in the box. The dumplings kits must be preordered via Mr Yum or Colab Pantry by 4pm on Thursday September 24, for pickup or delivery on Saturday 26. Pickup

Belles Hot Chicken just released a super spicy F**K COVID hot wing

Belles Hot Chicken just released a super spicy F**K COVID hot wing

Belles Hot Chicken released two limited-edition menu items today – hot wings and spicy shoestring fries – that perfectly encapsulate how pretty much everyone in the world is feeling right now. The Wild Wings come in three different spice levels: mild Classic Southern, Spicy Maple Butter with a cayenne kick, and the thermo-nuclear F**K COVID that will have tears of rage-joy streaming down your face. Talk about eating your feelings. The spicy shoestring fries sit a little lower on the Scoville scale but still deliver enough heat to help you sweat out some of that pent up frustration. So what exactly is so appealing about the prospect of fried chicken so spicy it makes you cry? Perhaps there’s a perverse satisfaction to self-inflicting this level of pain, as if defiantly proving to ourselves that if we can swallow the fire of a thousand suns, this pandemic hasn’t got us beat yet. Or perhaps we just want to feel something again because after the emotional rollercoaster that has been 2020 we’re now basically numb inside. Who knows? At this point, we’re really past caring. Just bring us some wings, a paper towel to stuff in our collar like a bib, and then leave the room and close the door behind you, thanks. Wild Wings and spicy shoestring fries will be on the menu for at least one month, and possibly longer; Belles has promised they won’t nip the bird until we stop feeling the need to flip the bird. The limited-edition items are available for takeaway from all three Sydney branche

This “Welcome to Adulthood” cask wine is the classiest goon bag you’ve ever seen

This “Welcome to Adulthood” cask wine is the classiest goon bag you’ve ever seen

Most of us assume wine that comes in a box can’t be good. But Marcus Radny, director of Gonzo Vino Wines and a self-described wine nerd, is here to change that perception. The 29-year-old winemaker is focused on creating the most sustainable wine he can make. That means sourcing grapes from chemical-free, low-impact farms, using minimal intervention winemaking techniques, and selling the final product in large format, 100 per cent recyclable packaging. The result? Actually-good cask wine that’s environmentally friendly. And it’s still cheap. Although they have a romance to them, glass wine bottles are extremely problematic, according to Radny. The bottles are imported from France or China, covered in non-recyclable plastic-backed labels, and then there is the high cost and emissions involved in shipping these heavy, breakable containers where they need to go. Gonzo Wines, on the other hand, come in supersized three-litre casks which are completely recyclable, lighter and more compact. That means the cost of packaging and shipping is reduced (as well as the emissions), and the savings can be passed onto the consumer. A GVW cask costs $60 but contains the equivalent of four bottles. And this is good-quality vino we’re talking, not the goon you drank when you couldn’t afford anything better. The cask has other benefits, too. It keeps the wine for six weeks after opening, a shelf-life that’s unheard of with bottles. And it looks good. Gonzo’s branding is fun, leaning into the goo

Belles Hot Chicken just released a super spicy F**K COVID hot wing

Belles Hot Chicken just released a super spicy F**K COVID hot wing

Belles Hot Chicken released two limited-edition menu items today – hot wings and spicy shoestring fries – that perfectly encapsulate how Victorians are feeling. The Wild Wings come in three different spice levels: mild Classic Southern, Spicy Maple Butter with a cayenne kick, and the nuclear F**K COVID that will have tears of rage-joy streaming down your face. Talk about eating your feelings. The spicy shoestring fries sit a little lower on the Scoville scale but still deliver enough heat to help you sweat out some of that pent up frustration. So what exactly is so appealing about the prospect of fried chicken so spicy it makes you cry? Perhaps there’s a perverse satisfaction to self-inflicting this level of pain, as if defiantly proving to ourselves that if we can swallow the fire of a thousand suns, this pandemic hasn’t got us beat yet. Or perhaps we just want to feel something again because after the emotional rollercoaster that has been 2020 we’re now basically numb inside. Who knows? At this point, we’re really past caring. Just bring us some wings, a paper towel to stuff in our collar like a bib, and then leave the room and close the door behind you, thanks. Wild Wings and spicy shoestring fries will be on the menu for at least one month, and possibly longer; Belles has promised they won’t nip the bird until we stop feeling the need to flip the bird. The limited-edition items are available for takeaway from Belles Hot Chicken in Fitzroy, Thursday through Sunday, 11.30am

This CBD restaurant is handing out free meals to struggling Melburnians – and you can help

This CBD restaurant is handing out free meals to struggling Melburnians – and you can help

Over lockdown, Alan Chong has been travelling back and forth between his home and his restaurant, Tiān38 on Flinders Lane. While in the city he often comes across people who are struggling or even destitute. He began to think about the people he knew who have been negatively impacted by the pandemic – out of work chefs, staff members who are not eligible for JobKeeper or JobSeeker, and international students who are his regular customers. “I realised there must be heaps more people in a similar situation,” says Chong. “So I started thinking about ways we could help.” Chong decided to organise a food drop at his restaurant on July 25. He prepared 30 meals and spread the word on social media and among his network. On the night, a queue quickly formed around the block. Chong took one look and yelled at the kitchen staff to start packing more food. They ended up giving out 60 meals that night, double what they had anticipated. Chong organised another food drop the following week, and then another, setting up a GoFundMe page to help cover the costs of what has become a weekly food drop. The campaign has raised $7,885 in three weeks, making it possible for the restaurant to hand out more than 300 meals as well as care packages containing food and essential supplies. “Every week I’m in a bit of shock because of a. the magnitude of people that need to be helped, and b. the response from the community. It’s great to see the community rally but it’s a sad situation that we’re trying to