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Businesses in Southbank

09 Sep 2020

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Familiar faces doing things differently at Southgate

By Jack Hayes

If the past six months have taught us anything, it is that life can be unpredictable.

Following successive lockdowns and innumerable government restrictions, few businesses have felt this unpredictability worse than our restaurants along Southbank Promenade.

Although you can’t sit above the Yarra and enjoy a bowl of mouth-watering pasta, or a piece of King Island scotch fillet, you can have those same experiences from the comfort of your own home with take-away and delivery options from your riverside favourites at Pure South, La Camera, Waterslide and The Deck.

From being the first restaurant in Melbourne to check temperatures to avoid COVID-19 transmission, to evolving to a take-away and provedore service, the team at La Camera has continued to bring locals its authentic Italian taste throughout.

Now La Camera and Waterslide owner and Southbank icon, Lino Scidone and his team, have added another string to their ever-growing bow with a new range of take-home boxes.

The delicious hampers are priced at $100 and $200 respectively and are packed with cryovaced meals including the restaurant’s famous Roman-style pizza, hearty lasagna, an assortment of cured meats, as well as wine and premixed cocktails for those with a thirst.

“I had a meeting with my team about a month ago and said we might have to shut. But I had one more idea up my sleeve, and it was putting together these boxes,” Mr Scidone said.

“We’ve had a great response, selling out our first batch of boxes in two days. We cook it ourselves, package it up with cryovac bags and deliver for free. These boxes have taken me from Gisborne to Belgrave.”

For Pure South owner, Philip Kennedy, the dream of creating a premium fresh produce provedore was one 10 years in the making. Now, a decade on, that dream has come to fruition, albeit in the most unintended circumstances.

Pure South Food Co. is a new online premium fresh produce and pre-cooked meal delivery service designed by their chefs which showcase some of the finest, most sought-after food sourced from farmers, fishermen and women, and producers from around Tasmania, King Island and Bass Strait.

“Pure South has always been designed around relationships with farmers and fishermen from Tasmania to bring beautiful produce over here,” Mr Kennedy said. “The word ‘pivot’ may be overused, but that is just what we have done. We’ve created a third column in our business model to deliver to homes while you can’t come to us.”

“We’ve got access to a product that no one else has. We have King Island beef that is graded and classed to an international standard as the best in Australia. People want that premium product, and when you break down the price, there isn’t much difference.”

As he has seen his industry decimated over the past six months, and no clear future in sight following a cautious road back to “COVID normal” from the Victorian Government, it would be easy to excuse Mr Kennedy for feeling a sense of deflation.

His attitude, however, is one of infectious optimism. Not just for him and the future of business, but for his team that relies on Pure South remaining open to live.

“It has been a really tough time for some of our staff. Some people that have been here for years, now see themselves on a plane home. That being said, the help they’ve had from their teammates here and the people around here and the support we’ve had – it has been great. That shouldn’t be forgotten.”

With your mains meals handled, The Deck has your grazing plate sorted with the Aperitivo at Home package.

It consists of a batched cocktail for two, as well as a bottle of La Zona Prosecco to help wash down a healthy assortment of nibbles which includes whipped cod’s roe, smoked eggplant dip and pork, veal and chicken terrine, delicious ocean trout pastrami, house pickles, fennel salami, pickled mussels, cheese selection, and topped off with house-made bread.

The Aperitivo at Home bundle is perfectly suited for two people and costs $135.00. All orders are submitted via The Deck’s email at info@thedeckrestaurant.com.au

Here’s your chance to win one of a La Camera feast box, simply send an email to eat@lacamerasouthgate.com with your name, phone number and address. The winner will be announced via both venues’ social media pages on September 28. Mention this article at your next visit to the Waterslide Bar and enjoy a FREE icy cold pot of Furphy when re-opened [Offer valid until the November 23, 2020] •

For more information, visit: lacamerasouthgate.com, puresouthfoodco.com.au or thedeckrestaurant.com.au

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