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Kate’s Week in Food: A virtual garden party + bingo and a meal

Ross and Kate
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NEPTUNE FOOD AND WINE – Neptune Food & Wine have launched their ‘finish at home’ menu and it’s a cracker. Perhaps the showstopper is their famous nduja and smoky scamorza jaffle which not only comes ready to toast, but for $30 you can order two sandwiches complete with jaffle maker!! But if it’s a more substantial feast you after, then check out the great value Lamb Shoulder Feast for two, with house-made foccacia, salumi, babaganoush, crackers, stunning lamb shoulder, roast potatoes, bean salad and tiramisu for just $105. There are also Seafood and Vegan feasts, plus these guys are doing special banquets for solo diners.

YARRA VALLEY GARDEN PARTY – Usually, Springtime is THE time to visit the Yarra Valley – with fun festivals, and stunning spring blooms. The Tulip Festival is an icon, and the Blossom Festival has been growing in popularity. Well, it’s all a bit different this year, now the events can come to you in the form of the Yarra Valley Garden Party – a virtual event on October 3 and 4 filled with colour, classes and blooms. Locals have come up with a schedule of online events that champion flowers, festivals, food and the loved wine of the region. Wake up to yoga in Alowyn Gardens, do a virtual morning walk with our mate, Elder Murrundindi in Healesville, wander through the blossoms at Cherry Hill Orchards, and enjoy it all with a Garden Party six-pack of wines, curated to inspire future visits to the region, it contains six gorgeous Spring wines, a recipe to go with each one, a spring garland DIY kit, sweet pea seeds, a Tesselaar tulips voucher, and Spotify playlist inspired by the wines and region. More info at:; and order your wines from

OMNIA LUNCHES – South Yarra’s Omnia has added a new lunch service to their takeaway offerings, featuring bagels made by one of this country’s best pastry chefs, John Demetrios. Build your own bagels with house-made cream cheese-based schmears like spring onion, jalapeno and chive with roast garlic, then add smoked trout or chicken and finally pick your garnishes. There’s also a range of delicious sandwiches, salads, soups and sweets (home-made raspberry jam donut – YUM!). Order to pick up at 03 98080 8080 or delivery is available via UberEATS & Doordash.

DHABA AT THE MILL – I was rapt to hear Jessi and Amar Singh headed back to their roots, and reopened their Kyneton Indian restaurant Dhaba By The Mill this week, plus the Dhaba food truck heading to neighbouring Gisborne on Friday nights. At the restaurant, there’ll be new outdoor seating, a $20 Saturday and Sunday Thali brunch offering, and guest specials on the drinks and dinner menus from Jessi’s Melbourne restaurants Daughter In Law and Mrs Singh.

ROCHFORD COOK-ALONG – It was so popular last time, they’ve bought it back. Rochford Wines are doing another Virtual Pinot & Pasta Cook-along Class with executive chef Raki Andriana on Friday 25th of September. Raki and winemaker, Kaspar Hermann, will take you on a wine and food journey from 6.30pm. You’ll receive hamper for two that includes charcuterie and snacks; house-baked sourdough and lavosh; fresh pasta sheets; Venetian duck ragu; ricotta salata; a bottle of Rochford Estate Pinot Noir 2019 and a bottle of Rochford Single Vineyard ‘Dans les Bois’ Pinot Noir 2018. You’ll need to order by noon on Monday 21st September to be part of the fun!

TOKYO TINA – Tokyo Tina brings joy into the homes of Melburnians with an online version of Bingo Academy Live each Sunday. Hosted by Melbourne queen Valeria Hex, your bingo pack will include a selection of Tokyo Tina dishes, eight Aperol spritzes and everything you need to play the virtual game of bingo via Instagram Live – like pens, bingo cards, rules, a QR code for Tina’s bingo music, playlist, cooking instructions and a cocktail recipe. You’ll dine on edamame, cured kingfish, karaage chicken, Okonomiyaki Japanese pancake, beef brisket SSAM and kimchi fried rice and get enough booze for EIGHT Aperol Spritzes.

ARBORY AFLOAT – A sure sign we’re heading in the right direction, Arbory Afloat has announced it’ll re-open on the Yarra River on Monday 26 October. It’ll all happen in line with Victoria’s roadmap and social distancing guidelines for outdoor dining venues. The theme this year is “Australian Beach House”, with fresh coastal interiors, layered with impressive cocktails and the best of local fare on the menu. Open for bookings and walk-ins, 11am to 1am daily.

SUCETTE CANELE – One of my favourite discoveries of the last year or so, was trying the french dessert Canele du Bordeaux for the first time. These small French pastries with a soft and tender custard centre and dark, thick, crispy caramelised crust are just delicious. And now, you can get your hands on them at home! Angelo from Sucette is making them at his Moorabbin bakery and delivering free within a 20km radius. Be careful, they are addictive.

MONTALTO – Montalto have announced that friend of this program Matt Wilkinson has come on board as their new Culinary Consultant. Embracing the rest of lockdown, they’re oferring weekly, weekend lunch menus inspired by long lunches with friends and family in times gone past to enjoy at home. The first menu features the very best estate-grown and locally sourced produce from across the Mornington Peninsula and is available for pre-order now, for delivery on 26th   September. Delivery is FREE across much of Melbourne and Mornington Peninsula.

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Ross and Kate