If you’re anything like us, we’re more than ready for things to go back to pre-iso days. You know, a time when eating out at your local haunt on a Friday or Saturday night out was the norm?
Alas, we’re all dutifully bound by the ‘stay home’ restrictions, but that doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy chef-made, restaurant-grade meals in the comfort of our very own home.
Because, well.. you can.
Thanks to delicious., in partnership with American Express, its monthly reader dinner will take place online for the first time in its history. ‘Shop Small Delicious. Nights In‘ is a virtual dinner unlike no other, and will take place on Wednesday 3 June and Friday 5 June.
Guests who purchased tickets to this exclusive event will enjoy delectable dishes prepared by two of Australia’s finest chefs, Shane Delia (Maha; Biggie Smalls) and Mike McEnearney (Kitchen by Mike), as well as expertly-crafted cocktails by The Ugly Duckling.
delicious. Editor-in-Chief Kerrie McCallum will host the intimate virtual experience, with friendly contributions (and a side of witty banter) by comedian and delicious. drinks contributor Merrick Watts.
How it works
Those who placed an order to take part in Shop Small Delicious Nights In will receive a pre-prepared meal kit from Shane Delia’s renowned Melbourne restaurant Maha, or Mike McEnearney’s popular Sydney hangout Kitchen by Mike, with cocktails matched perfectly by the team at The Ugly Duckling (the barrel-aged chocolate negroni is truly special). For those that fancy a glass of wine with your meal, let Merrick Watts and his pairing notes guide you through each course.
The best part? There’s minimal cooking, so all you need to do is heat everything up and spend the rest of your evening enjoying this intimate experience in comfort #athome.
“It’s going to be a really fun night of really simple Maha cooking that will leave people smiling,” says Shane Delia.
What’s for dinner
The question that is on all of our minds! True to form, Shane Delia’s special Maha menu explores standout Mediterranean flavours that the chef is renowned for. Guests will have the option of choosing between either date-glazed pork cutlet, roasted eggplant, charred spring onion and barberry XO, or sticky roasted cauliflower, harissa and preserved lemon chermoula. Mains are accompanied by green beans with Lebanese garlic and lemon, and aged Persian rice with barberry and lentil pilaf.
“I wanted to give people a taste of the big flavours that we are renowned for at all my Delia group venues. So, I thought our always-popular sticky and charred date molasses glazed pork cutlet for two would be a winner,” says Delia.
For dessert, there’s a dark chocolate and peanut butter mousse on offer that’s sure to leave you wanting more – the star of the show in Delia’s eyes!
“Our peanut butter and chocolate broken baklava is epic. This DIY hero has raspberry jam, tahini salted caramel, broken choc biscuits and a peanut and Filo broken baklava shard.”
The DIY component adds a level of novelty to the night, as your dessert will arrive in separate components, allowing for Delia to show you virtually how to plate it up at home.
“I hope people will reconnect with the fun of cooking at home, without all the hard work of actually cooking – this style of eating and entertaining at home is the future of our industry,” says Delia.
“All of Melbourne best restaurants are now listening to their customers and offering ready-to-cook meals for them to finish off at home. It takes all the hard work out and just leaves the fun stuff.”
The future of hospitality
Shop Small delicious. Nights In comes at a time of unprecedented hardship for all involved in the hospitality industry and virtual dinner dates with meals prepped and cooked by some of your favourite local restaurants could represent an aspect of future of dining as we know it.
In an effort to combat the difficulties associated with lockdowns and the closure of businesses due to COVID-19, Delia has launched his timely project in the way of Providoor – an app that will not only give the public access to the best Melbourne and Sydney restaurants but will help the hospitality industry get back on its feet.
“My traditional businesses had been totally decimated. The bills and problems that are mounting as a result of our economic situation are overwhelming,” explains Delia.
“But I believe that this is an opportunity for everyone to take stock, reset and recalibrate. It is a time for lateral thinking and courage. So, I have launched my latest project, Providoor, that will not just give the public access to the best restaurants in Melbourne and soon Sydney, but will also help the hospitality industry thrive into the future.”
“We as an industry are fools if we think that things will just go back to normal. And why would we want things to just go back? They weren’t so good before. It’s time to create a new normal and a better future.”
Providoor will bring the best restaurants into people’s homes 6-days a week, with the likes of Supernormal, Tipo 00, Flower Drum, MoVida and more already on board.
“It’s [Providoor] a premium service offering quality food matched with a fair and industry-led solution to an essential industry that has been broken for way too long.”
Shop Small delicious. Nights In. is proudly supporting your favourite locals.