Just like that, we’re back.
There’s no denying 2020 was a painful year for Melburnians. One that most of us have tried to put behind, move up and on, and frankly forget.
Dismal memories of celebrating momentous occasions on a screen, smiling at loved ones virtually, and notoriously (although impressively) sharing a restaurant dinner with family, in the comfort of your own home.
But, over the last two weeks, the past came back to haunt us.
Thankfully though – we’ve done this before and we’ve all become a pro. But the real heroes out there are restaurants, having to pivot their plans, reignite their enthusiasm – and celebrate their restaurants with the antithesis of hosting –helping us dine at home.
Having a birthday in lockdown 4.0 could be rather depressing, if not for the plethora of dinner options. Being the start of a chilly winter, the idea of eating lobster rolls in ugg boots could make Supernormal a super-appealing choice.
Quality wise, it’s on point but you have to work to earn your keep. Remembering that Providoor isn’t just food delivery, the procedure of ‘finishing touches’ sounds simple, but requires you to channel your inner chef.
Prawn and chicken dumplings are boiled on the stovetop. Asian greens arrive raw, and just need a stir fry to crisp not wilt, and XO sauce for a spicy bang. Delicate kingfish is reasonably straightforward. Neatly vacuum sealed next to shaved fennel, one just needed to open, plate up, and add a balanced citrus dressing. Slow-cooked lamb is a little consuming, but worth the effort. The tenderising of the meat needs 30-minutes of oven love, the spring onion pancake needs a crisp fry-up and sriracha sauce requires heating up. Hearing the foams, froths and sizzles is like MasterChef 101, and timing it all correctly makes you realise the blood, sweat and tears in the show are, in fact, real.
Seemingly straightforward lobster rolls require some TLC. Quick soften in the microwave, toast up in the pan for buttery goodness then pile and plate the glorious crustacean in a soft brioche bun. The result is sublime (but for the voice in your head screaming – who’s going to clean all these pans?).
Desserts are less complicated and, to be fair, even state on the instructions that it’s perfectly acceptable to eat that rich gooey salted caramel mousse straight out the container. Amen to that.
Bottom line: Previous lockdowns allowed us to nail the ‘at home’ restaurant experience. Hats off to our talented chefs who have thought of practically everything (except, someone still has to do the dishes).