I’m unashamedly someone who likes to sit at a table, eat from a plate and use cutlery. I certainly don’t like eating messy things in a car with my hands – especially with a camera in one of them – but it’s something I’ve had to get used to.

It wasn’t all bad, though. As we now return to civilised eating, here’s a few unexpected lockdown delights. Please excuse the dodgy photos.

Takeaway doesn’t have to be second-rate

If there’s one thing we’ve learnt over the last few months, it’s that takeaway food doesn’t have to be second rate. With many restaurants quickly translating their menus to takeaway, there was plenty of treats to be enjoyed at home. Ordering apps? Easy.

My favourites of the period were Must Winebar, Authentic Bites and The Kch, whose food all survived the drive home fully intact and enjoyable.

Special breakfast mentions to Tribute, Steamlab and 1982 for outstanding chilli scrambled eggs and Boucla for its awesome takeaway quesadilla.

Home delivery

Hand-in-hand with takeaway came home delivery, and once again the revelation that anyone could do it (whether it was economically viable is another matter). Bringing the high fees charged by Uber Eats to the attention of the general public was undoubtedly the biggest positive of this. Let’s hope we see more competition in this area.

I live in Ellenbrook and it’s hard enough to get anything delivered here. Typika, however, delivered to me all the way from Claremont no questions asked. Amazing.

Young George

Maybe the best example of the trend-setting “pivot”, Young George turned its restaurant into a grocery store and bakery with some of Perth’s best pies and pastries. It certainly put all those best-Aussie-bakery-blah awards into perspective with amazing duck sausage rolls and beef rendang pies. I’m looking forward to their new deli Ethos where (hopefully) these products will live on.

Fast break

If pizza and burgers-on-weekends weren’t enough, the folks at Centrepoint Pizza / Rack City Ribs in Morley decided they should be cooking drive-through breakfast as well as “Fast Break“. Sometimes a challenge to eat in the car, their selection of burgers / wraps / bbq / outrageous things is still available with Blacklist coffee. Take a bib if you’re on the way to work.

115 Collective

Andy Kenyon, formerly of pop-up burger company Juicy Buns, has found himself a new home at cafe 115 Collective in Merriwa. It didn’t take long for him to put burgers and chicken on the menu, but lockdown allowed him to truly flex his muscles. With everything priced at $10 – including the Reuben and Cubano sandwiches – it was outrageously good value.

They’re now opening at night to satisfy the deserved demand for their burgers. Take your friends.

Social Manna

A final shout-out to one of my favourite cafes, who not only rapidly produced a range of take-away meals, they cooked loaves of banana bread for health workers and stayed open the whole time.

During this time, Social Manna’s chef Tristan developed his take on a Philly cheese steak, and it’s one of the best sandwiches in Perth. May it forever stay on the menu.