Who’s cooking tonight?

Sparked by lockdowns, we’ve seen an explosion of ready-made meals. After exhausting every recipe in the repertoire and perfecting the sourdough, families were reeling for an alternative dining experience. Darling discovers the best ready-made dinners on the peninsula. By Mina Iacono

Ricotta Gnocchi Alla Vodka Original 1Madre began where a lot of good ideas bloom - with a mum looking to ignite a passion business (of the culinary kind in this case). While juggling full time work and family, founder Rebecca would give herself ‘a night off’ from cooking at the end of each week, so her Friday nights would involve getting takeaway or heading to the pub for dinner.
When lockdown hit, Rebecca set her energies to creating Madre to give other families a Friday night experience - a delicious meal that you can serve to your family without having to cook. All meals are ‘family friendly’ and suitable for the fussiest of eaters. Madre has fresh and frozen meal options including massaman beef curry and roasted turmeric cauliflower. For something different, try the soft pillows of ricotta dumplings served in tomato cream and vodka sauce!

Lilyfield local Kathy grew up with delicious Asian food and developed a love for cooking from her Chinese Aunty Phyl. Kathy missed having a well-stocked Asian grocery store on the peninsula, so she created her own.

Wong She & Co was the name of the first Asian grocer in Wellington, New Zealand, established in 1883 and Kathy’s father grew up in a flat above the shop. It was only fitting that this new Asian food provedore would take the same name. Among the products on offer are Wong She & Co’s pork and water chestnut or vegetarian dumplings. If you need a dipping sauce to complement your dumplings, try the homemade crunchy chilli oil or black bean sauce. You may have to put a little bit of effort in, but from the time you turn on the steamer until dinner is on the table - it’s less than 10 minutes!

There’s no denying the passion behind chef Laura’s work, dancing the samba while doing what she loves best - cooking. The owner of Our Farm Kitchen had to relearn how to eat after being diagnosed with coeliac disease. With a goal to promote a healthy lifestyle throughhomemade food, Laura serves up a menu of certified organic, sustainable and gluten free dishes, made with the freshest seasonal produce.

Some of Our Farm Kitchen’s specialities include Spanish paella, which regulars can buy with the paella pan, gluten free pies and chicken curry on the pan. Laura also makes delicious gluten free sweets such as banana bread and raspberry crumble.

The boys at Bertoni have been serving up their Aussie-Italian fare to peninsula locals for over 18 years, and while they’ve always had ready- to-eat meals in single serve, they launched ready-to-serve family dinners during the 2021 lockdowns.

Bertoni’s ready-to-serve meals include their classic lasagna, made with the same recipe for over 100 years, as well as tortellini, spaghetti bolognese and a variety of soups, all available in family sizes of two and up.

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Home delivery

Pick up in store
354 Darling St, Balmain

Home delivery or pick
up in store
281 Darling St, Balmain

BNSW 2021 Awards Reg Winner State Finalist White

We acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the land on which this business operates, the Gadigal and Wangal peoples of the Eora nation, and pay our respect to Elders past, present and emerging.

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