Some of our city’s most celebrated restaurants, like Josh Niland’s Paddington seafood shrine, Saint Peter, and nearby Lucio’s, pre-empted the shutdown of non-essential businesses and jumped straight in to the takeaway-and-delivery-only model. Other big names, meanwhile, have taken more time to find their feet and design their offerings. The past couple of weeks have seen heavy-hitters like Sixpenny, Fred’s and Mr Wong all throw their hats in the ring, and now a few more of Sydney’s finest have entered the fray.
Ester jumped in on the action ahead of the Easter long weekend, making some of its most popular dishes like the potato bread and leftover sourdough ice cream available for pick-up. Owner and head chef Mat Lindsay has lit up the wood-fired oven once more and on top of menu items you might already be familiar with, he’s also whipping up brown-butter granola. On Saturdays, members of his kitchen team will be taking the reins and adding to the spread, creating a heat-and-eat meal for two. Last week’s Turkish-inspired feast involved stuffed mussels, lamb kebabs and rice pudding for dessert. Pre-batched cocktails and minimal-intervention wines from the restaurant’s sharp list are up for grabs, as well.
If you’re looking to celebrate a special occasion or splash out on the full-blown restaurant experience, the Bentley Group has you covered. The brains behind Bentley Restaurant and Bar, Monopole, Yellow and Cirrus have launched an at-home dining service, ‘Bentley Group at Home’, offering four-course meals from each of the acclaimed restaurants. The menus are designed for two and cost between $75-$110, requiring only a few finishing touches from the novice home cook, and can be picked up from Yellow or delivered within a six-kilometre radius of Potts Point.
“We have have specifically designed these menus and dishes to travel well, that was our major challenge,” says chef and co-owner Brent Savage. “Some of the dishes are new but really sum up the restaurant, like the Cirrus King Dory-and-mushroom pie, and some are much-loved, like the Bentley chocolate bar.”
Yellow, the group’s vegetable-focused eatery, is packing up a vegan feast, which includes ravioli stuffed with kohlrabi, cauliflower and macadamia, and a main of pressed zucchini in a turmeric and yellow-pepper sauce, along with the restaurant’s sourdough bread. Monopole, just down the road, is sticking to their familiar wine-friendly script, rolling out a pork terrine, smoked chook and cheese to finish. As for the wine, sommelier and co-owner Nick Hildebrandt is offering pairing suggestions for all menus, as well as highlights from the cellars, all at retail prices – with some as low as $30. To complete the mood, Spotify now has a Bentley@Home playlist to pop on while you tuck in.
These may be crazy times we’re living in, but they are also times when it is possible to enjoy a four-course meal for two from some of Australia’s best restaurants in the comfort of your own home for less than what it might normally cost a single diner. Bon appétit.