How to Create a Summer Lunch that’s a Love Letter to Simplicity

Summery vibes are starting to take over Melbourne again revealing all the laidback loveliness Australia is famous for including a sense of summer dining. But in a city that’s as famous for its food as its fashion, barbeques are more like banquets, and even alfresco sandwiches become feasts fit for kings. Eating and drinking is the purest pursuit of pleasure in Melbourne. With so much local fresh produce available, it’s easier than you think to whip up a summer celebration table that even hard-to-please locals will love. In our experience, the best lunches are a love letter to simplicity. They are as much about the social summer experience as they are about the beautiful food. So whether your hosting a summer celebration at home or your taking your vintage picnic blanket elsewhere, Moby has paired down our top tips on creating your own gourmet paradise.

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1. Drinks

When choosing your menu, don’t be afraid to mix and match between home cooked fare and carefully selected outsourced items. Always work to your strengths. Drinks provide a great opportunity to add wow factor. Fresh juice for example, is a wonderful addition to any table. Good for you if you have the time to DIY, but market fresh in this city is just as good if you don’t. Creating a custom cocktail for the day is also a great idea. It can be as simple as a spirit and soda mixed with a particular muddled fruit and herb such as basil and strawberry or peach and mint. This easy addition will add an authentic foodie vibe with relatively little extra effort.

2. Main Offering

This has to be the crowning glory of your lunch. While it’s nice to do it yourself, it is still perfectly acceptable to buy something. If you’re culinary skills are eager for a little workout then we recommend a whole baked fish served at room temperature. At Moby, we are big fans of ocean trout for garden lunches because the fish isn’t only easy to bake, and easy to present, it’s also a delicious crowd pleaser. Another easy yet impressive option is slow roasted lamb shoulder. It really needs to be roasted for 16 hours to achieve that melt off the bone give-me-more sensation, but once it is the oven there is very little you need to do. Serve your main on a large platter in its full glory with self-serving utensils.

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3. Sides

Sides add colour and drama to your summer table and salads are our go to option. It’s important they match the main, but as a rule there should be one green, one carb and one as-you-like-it extra for depth. An easy way to give your salad an arty edge is to invest in a mandolin. Not only will it save you time, but also your veggies will be perfectly sliced or spiralled. Our top recommended salad side for lamb is apple and fennel, but of course another easy side essential is rustic artisan bread – you can’t go wrong.

4. Dessert

Sweet treats are important, but we recommend considering them a delightful morsel rather than a second main. Bite size delicacies look exquisite on large coloured plates. Different bliss balls or colourful fruit salad create an eye pleasing option for the more heath conscious. You could even offer goodie bags to take home as even adults love party bags at heart.

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