How to do Mother’s Day from afar

Published on 30 April 2020

Photo: Cutler & Co has launched a special at-home menu (credit: Jo McGann)

How to be closer from a distance? While in years past it’s been as simple (or as difficult) as landing a table for Mum and the family at a favourite restaurant, or getting everyone together under the one roof for a home-cooked meal, this year you’ll have to plan a little further ahead, think outside the box and get a little creative to make mum feel special from afar.

But fear not – plenty of help is at hand. Whether you want to send something delicious to a mum across town, to a mum under your own roof, or simply to treat yourself as every mum should, with the aid of these Victorian businesses and with ideas from a few leading women in Melbourne hospitality, Sunday 10 May can be as special as ever.

 

Gestures

We asked a few of our favourite hospitality folk who also happen to be mothers what the day might look like for them this year. Stephanie Alexander hopes to have dinner with one of her daughters “proper distance across the table of course”) while they FaceTime with her other daughter and four-year-old grandchild. “I love the videos that she makes of her adventures with her four-year old so that I can appreciate the learning-to-ride-the-bike phase,” she says, “or the special dance moves in a special private group she has established on Facebook.”

In the household of Jerry Mai, owner-chef of Annam, Bia Hoi, Pho Nom, the tradition has been to have breakfast at home and then lunch somewhere with both mother and mother-in-law. “This year it’s obviously very different and I’m thinking we’ll cook up a storm at home and then do a FaceTime call with our mums over lunch so we still get to be together as best as possible.”

As far as gifts go, she’s hoping for a sleep-in. “My son has only just turned two and he’s better at making a mess than anything else. I can only hope he’ll sleep in past 7am.”

Fleur Studd of Market Lane says her wishlist includes “a picture from my daughter Rosie and a cup of coffee in bed, brewed by our three-year- old, Archie, who has recently mastered the Moccamaster and brews us filter coffee each morning!”

In the Madrusan household, Zara – one half of the team behind The Everleigh, Heartbreaker and Bar Margaux – is keen on a big bouquet of fresh flowers “to bring some life into the house”.

“I know Flowers Vasette are delivering a brunch-basket of fresh produce coupled with a bouquet. That’s a lovely idea. Mums always deserve indulgence, but with things as they are, I think we're all craving a little extra TLC.”

 

Food on the day

Cutler & Co

It doesn’t get much better than a Sunday lunch in the Cutler & Co dining room. Team McConnell might not be able to pull out all stops for Mum in person this year, but it’s making its first foray into takeaway territory especially for Mother’s Day. The menu the team has come up with features a hearty spiced duck pie with sides including roasted Jerusalem artichokes, cosberg and radish salad, and black barley with rocket and spring onion. A spiced quince crème caramel seals the deal. A tight selection from the cellar is also available to order, as well as flowers and other thoughtful touches.

$45 per person for a minimum of two people. Pre-order for pick up on Saturday 9 May or Sunday 10 May, 55 Gertrude St, Fitzroy. Order at: cutlerandco.com.au/mothers-day

The Italian Job by Mister Bianco

If you too believe that Italians do it better, put your Mother’s Day menu in the capable hands of Joseph Vargetto and the Mister Bianco team. The restaurant’s delivery service, The Italian Job, has created a menu for two that features antipasti of cacio e pepe arancini and caponata-filled cannoli, wild mushroom tortellini in brodo and slow-cooked chicken with fennel and orange. Dessert is an elderflower panna cotta. Plus they deliver wine.

$72 for two people, free delivery or pick up, 285 High St, Kew. Order online.

St Ali

Leave breakfast in bed to the pros and order a box by St Ali that’s got all the good stuff. There’s a classic box with bacon, eggs, bread, coffee (obviously), two bottles of prosecco and a bouquet by Victoria Whitelaw Beautiful Flowers. Or, if your plans for mum extend to a full day of indulgence, get the Complete Box. Not only is breakfast covered – with pancakes, Pepe Saya butter and St Ali’s espresso-infused maple syrup – the fun extends through to lunch or perhaps dinner with a family-sized lasagne. A 250-gram bag of St Ali’s Orthodox blend is also included.

From $80, free delivery within 10-kilometre radius of South Melbourne, pick-up 7am-5pm, 12-18 Yarra Place, South Melbourne. Order at stali.com.au.

Grossi a Casa

Mother’s Day lunch cooked by Guy Grossi? In times of lockdown, the impossible becomes possible. Grossi a Casa is the Grossi restaurant empire’s at-home offering, a selection of top-quality family favourites delivered to you ready to heat and eat. The Mother’s Day menu includes pumpkin tortellini with sage and brown butter, a roast chicken dressed in chilli and lemon and served with sides and, the real hero, the house tiramisu.

$100 for two people, $200 for four, $300 for six. Pick up or delivery on Saturday 9 May only, 80 Bourke St, Melbourne. Order online.


Grossi family tiramisu

Embla

Roast chicken with mustard and tarragon. Stracciatella, braised dandelion, walnut and quince. Dutch cream potatoes done hasselback-style. And a passionfruit and white chocolate Eton mess. All for $40 a head. Technically you don’t even need to be a mum, have a mum or be ordering for a mum to take advantage of the stunning menu Dave Verheul and his confrères have written for Mother’s Day. And hey, it’s available on the Friday and the Saturday. Optional add-ons are both numerous and tempting, ranging from Champagne to loaves of country sourdough (baked to the Tartine recipe) with toasted fennel seed butter, and a Brillat Savarin triple-cream cheese for two with preserved figs.

“Some assembly required,” $40 per person, for a minimum of two people. Delivery 10am-noon, pick up 10am-11am, 122 Russell St, Melbourne. (03) 9654 5923, embla.com.au

Market Lane

There’s nothing like starting the day with a delivery of flowers. Throw in some of the city’s finest coffee and something sweet, and you could be mum’s number-one. Order the Market Lane Mother’s Day Hamper and next Sunday morning, she’ll receive a bunch of tulips by Cecilia Fox, Wildlife’s cult-worthy choc-chip cookie dough in a log that’s ready to be cut and baked, and a bag of Market Lane coffee, roasted to her preference. The team have also put together a gift guide with all the coffee kit mum could possibly need.

$95 for hampers, including delivery on Sunday 10 May to select suburbs. Orders close 5pm Thursday 7 May. Order via text: 0499 446 499. More information.

Brae at home meals

If you’re lucky enough to live local, Brae’s Saturday pick-up packs are quite the treat. While Wednesdays are all about produce, Saturdays are when Dan Hunter and his team have some fun with big pieces of Flinders Island lamb or Barongarook pork, cooked slowly, perhaps in some fermented black bean paste and spices, or perhaps honey, chilli and red bean. There’s morning buns from the bakery on offer, too, as well as a perfect pear tarte Tatin, wine and chocolates from Hunter’s range with Koko Black. Orders open 48 hours ahead so set that calendar reminder on Thursday (if not sooner).

Saturdays, pick up only, 4285 Cape Otway Rd, Birregurra. Order online.

Bar Carolina

The folks behind Bar Carolina have been feeding Melbourne for decades, whether at Il Bacaro, Sarti (now Marameo) or their expanding South Yarra empire of restaurant, bar and cantina. Leave Mother’s Day in their capable hands this year and you’ll be rewarded with osso buco braised in sage and white wine, spinach and ricotta cannelloni, sides and a raspberry-lemon myrtle tart. A bottle of prosecco is also included, but we think one of the handsome bottled cocktails will really make mum’s day.

$180 for four people. Delivery within 10-kilometre radius of South Yarra for $10. Pick up 10am-noon, Saturday 9 May, 44 Toorak Rd, South Yarra. Orders close noon Wednesday 6 May. Order online.

Estelle

In these times of physical distancing, Estelle is keeping your social life afloat with its virtual dinner party service. You email the team with a date and your guests' details, they send you a menu (choose from one, two or three courses), and then they’ll arrange the order and collection with each member of your party. You can choose to add matched wines or some batched cocktails, or simply dig into the cellar at home. Mother’s Day couldn’t be a more perfect time to give it a whirl. 

Email info@theestelle.com.au with the subject line “Virtual dinner enquiry”.

Maker & Monger

If the only thing cheesy your mum appreciates is a good Gruyère toastie, move quick to snap up one of Maker & Monger's breakfast in bed packs featuring not just the store's legendary toastie but plenty of other treats. Karen Martini has shared her baked ricotta with grapes, olives and herbs, to be spread on The Fine Cheese Co's fruit toast, Baker Bleu is throwing in two bagels which Maker & Monger owner Anthony Femia recommends smearing with whipped mascarpone and honeycomb, while Prahran Market neighbour Damian Pike is supplying the oranges, ready to be squeezed by you, dad or the grandkids so mum doesn't have to do a thing.

$75, delivery within 5km of Prahran $15, within 10km $25, pick up also available at stall 98, Prahran Market, 168 Commercial Rd, South Yarra. Orders close 3pm Friday 8 May for Saturday delivery. Order online.

Chin Chin

Dial up the fun with a helping hand from Chin Chin, who have created not just a banquet menu of greatest hits but a playlist and place settings to amp up your dining room. From pork and chive dumplings to Thai-style barbecued chicken and beef rendang, it's a generous spread right down to the Peach and Yuzu Collins and frozen yoghurt cheesecake. You can also throw in a cookbook when you order and kill both gift and lunch prep with one stone.

$88 per person, minimum two people. Pick up available 10am-3pm Sunday 10 May at Chin Chin, 125 Finders La, Melbourne or Kong, 599 Church St, Richmond. Order online.

Crown Conservatory

Before you go out and buy a tiered cake stand and individual moulds for mini quiches, take a look at the high tea delivery service of Crown Conservatory. This perennial favourite is boxing up all the favourites, from scones and finger sandwiches to Pithiviers, kugelhopf and hand-crafted chocolate, so you can uphold your annual Mother's Day tradition or begin a new one. 

$120 for two people. Pick up only, 10am-3pm, Fri 8 May-Sun 10 May at Crown Towers valet desk, 8 Whiteman St, Southbank (access via Queensbridge Street driveway). Order ahead now via phone: (03) 9292 6777.

Bar Margaux

What’s not to love about a knock at the door that brings three courses of Gallic fare? Bar Margaux’s Mother’s Day menu is sure to impress, with the signature onion soup, coq au vin, chocolate mousse and the option of adding a serious bottle of Champagne or a couple of Everleigh Martinis. Delivery is free to a selection of inner-Melbourne suburbs between Friday and Sunday. It’s a seriously chic way to show how much mum means to you.

$99 for two people, $180 for four, $350 for six. Delivery 9am-4pm, Fri 8 May to Sun 10 May to select suburbs. barmargaux.square.site


The Everleigh's Together in Spirits gift set

Wine, cocktails and more

If you’re on entertaining duties on Sunday 10 May, lean on these guys to help you get the party started.

Campbell Burton wine plus music

Campbell Burton’s palate is one of the city’s best when it comes to wine. With a CV that includes City Wine Shop and Moon Under Water, as well as working vintages here and in Europe, Burton makes selections for his wine import and distribution business that are always surprising and delicious. And for Mother’s Day Burton and his team have create two three-bottle packs and asked two Melbourne DJs for playlists to match. Guaranteed to set the mood, these packs range from a fresh, vibrant and celebratory three-bottle selection to another that’s more serious, “wines that I would serve at a calm, beautiful family meal” according to Burton. Tunes come from Carlo Xavier (for the more vibrant pack) and Shio Otani, covering the other. Sunday lunch sorted.

From $154. Delivery free to select suburbs, $5 rest of Melbourne, $15 regional. Order online.

Bar Americano

Help Mum enjoy cocktail hour in true Melbourne style with a pair of classic drinks, the Negroni and the Americano, mixed expertly by the folks at Bar Americano. For the Mother’s Day pack, they’ve also added the bar’s signature Negroni Pencil so that mum can do the crossword, practise her sketching or do a monster sudoku as she enjoys her drink. Being a special occasion, the Americano team have knocked a few bucks off the price, too. And if novelty decanters are more her speed, there’s a couple of typically bizarre examples from the Bar Exuberante days available on the bar’s website now.

From $49, delivery only, orders cose Tuesday 5 May. Order online.

The Everleigh

The Everleigh has just launched a new cocktail menu, including a special Mother’s Day tipple, Hot Buttered Rum For Mum. The bar takes aged rum, honey and butter, warms it through and tops it with a grating of nutmeg. It’s a bestseller in cooler months and what could feel more cosy than getting a Hot Toddy delivered to the door? Other cocktails in the range include a Red Grasshopper made with tequila, lime, honey and smoked paprika and a non-alcoholic number with Seedlip 94, ginger, cucumber, lemon and soda.

Hot Buttered Rum For Mum, $30 (includes an Everleigh Toddy glass). Free delivery to select suburbs. theeverleigh.square.site

 

Gifts

Wine & Food Solutions packs

To create a foolproof Mother’s Day wine pack, Liz Carey of Wine & Food Solutions did the most logical thing of all: asked her mum to put the packs together. “Wines picked by my mum for your mum” is a series of gift boxes that range in size and price, but all the wines have been rigorously tested by Carey’s mum, Ange, to make sure they pass muster. “It’s been a rather entertaining exercise, and some of the messages I’ve received have made me laugh,” says Carey. Our personal favourite is, "I quite like this. It stays in your mouth, not like the white wines where you have a sip and it vanishes". Get Mum some of that lingering goodness now.

From $95. Free delivery to Melbourne metro or to other areas on orders greater than $150. Shop now.

The Everleigh gift sets

Let Mum know you’re thinking of her with one of the Together in Spirits packs from The Everleigh Bottling Co. Just for Mother’s Day, the team are offering a second pack at half price so you and Mum can raise a toast over Zoom with Martini in hand. Plus you get two cocktail glasses in the pack so you’re already one step ahead of the next Quarantini hour.

$59 for one set (2 x Martinis, 2 x glasses) or $89 for two. Delivery all over Australia, rates vary, everleighbottling.com

The Borough Box wine subscription

There are wine subscriptions and then there’s The Borough Box. A selection of six wines that fall into the minimal intervention, organic and biodynamic camps, these Australian and European drops are for your more adventurous drinker. But when the wines are picked by an ex-Noma sommelier and another who’s done time at Oscillate Wildly and Love, Tilly Devine, you know that you’re in for a treat. There’s also no lock-in commitment – opt out at any time.

The Borough Box, monthly subscription box of six bottles, $180, free delivery, theboroughbox.com.au

 

By Emma Breheny and Pat Nourse