22 August 2021

Hot in the City: Get a taste of Sydney’s best restaurants without leaving home

| Michelle Rowe
Rockpool Bar & Grill Sydney Banquet for four people

If you don’t feel like doing the hard yards at your next dinner party, Rockpool’s banquet for four will do the trick. Photo: Rockpool.

With COVID-19 wreaking havoc, it’s impossible to plan that next big meal out in Sydney. But that doesn’t mean Canberrans have to forego the interstate fine-dining experience entirely.

Giving a radical new meaning to the concept of ‘meals on wheels’, upmarket delivery service Providoor now transports meals from leading Sydney restaurants to Canberra.

Home cooks who want to boost their kitchen cred by turning out dishes of the calibre of Australia’s most-awarded restaurants can now do just that. Little more effort is needed than reheating a vacuum-sealed pack and sprinkling a dressing or sauce over the top (extra points for hiding the packaging before the guests arrive).

Rockpool Bar + Grill is one of the award-winning Sydney restaurants using Providoor to make long-distance deliveries, and culinary director Corey Costelloe says it’s a boon not just for customers, but also for the venues themselves.

Culinary Director Corey Costelloe

Corey Costelloe is culinary director of Hunter St. Hospitality, which owns Rockpool Bar & Grill. Photo: Rockpool.

“For Rockpool, producing a high-end home delivery and pick-up service has resulted in around 30 team members coming back to work. Quite simply, it is paying salaries, keeping our team members motivated and in meaningful work, and giving us purpose during a catastrophic time for hospitality,” he says.

“Rockpool @ Home doesn’t make money for the business, but it creates paid employment for our team, who are the backbone of the restaurant. I believe this is a common story across the sector.”

Rockpool has already seen strong demand from Canberrans, with orders coming in from Campbell, Macquarie, Barton, Chapman, Gungahlin, Kaleen, Lyneham, and Majura.

Rockpool Bar & Grill mac and cheese

Comfort food at its finest – Rockpool’s mac and cheese. Photo: Rockpool.

Top menu choices are Rockpool’s famous steaks and classic side dishes including mac and cheese, creamed corn with chipotle chilli butter and Manchego, and potato and cabbage gratin. Eastern rock lobster and whole marinated prawns are also a hot commodity, alongside the restaurant’s eight-layer chocolate cake. If you don’t feel like doing the hard yards during your next dinner party, there’s also a Banquet For Four on the menu.

“Providoor was built for premium restaurants and designed to deliver a home-dining experience that not only preserves the high quality of the food, but also brings a little of the restaurant into the family kitchen. Every dish is made using the same ingredients, and we prepare as much of it as possible in advance so customers just need to finish it off at home. The finish-at-home formula enables us to prepare high-quality dishes and control much of the outcome for our customers.

“From a logistics point of view, the Providoor online platform is easy to use – we cook, pack and chill the food, and Providoor takes care of delivery. It’s a seamless experience for the customer too.”

Rockpool Bar & Grill, Sydney

While it’s not possible to visit Rockpool Bar & Grill in Sydney at the moment, the restaurant is delivering its meals direct to Canberrans. Photo: Rockpool.

Providoor was launched in Melbourne in June 2020 by chef and restaurateur Shane Delia and now has 35 upmarket Melbourne restaurants among its clients, including Spice Temple, Di Stasio, Grossi A Casa, Longrain and Burch & Purchese Sweet Studio.

The service was extended to include Sydney restaurants last month. Some of those joining Rockpool among the early adopters are Icebergs Bar + Dining, Bentley Restaurant + Bar, Restaurant Hubert, Fratelli Paradiso and boutique bars Shady Pines Saloon and Baxter Inn. The Sydney service delivers across NSW and into the ACT.

“It opens up a whole new dining experience for [customers],” says Corey. “With the current restrictions in NSW, I think individuals are increasingly looking for new things to do, ways to fill their time, and different experiences to enjoy. Cooking at home – along with eating – is often a great comfort at times of unease, and it’s something the whole family can be involved in. Hopefully Rockpool @ Home helps to alleviate some of the boredom and food fatigue that some families are currently under.”

Visit Providoor to find out which restaurants are involved in the program and to book your home delivery – as well as availabilty due to the ACT lockdowns announced on 12 August. Rockpool Bar & Grill has venues in Sydney, Melbourne and Perth.

Original Article published by Michelle Rowe on The RiotACT.

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