Wendy turns to takeaway in tough times

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The front of Marion’s To Go, the new takeaway operation on the Kingston Foreshore. Photo: Wendy Johnson.

“How will restaurants, bars and cafés cope now that COVID-19 has robbed us of our beloved hospitality industry, such a key component of community in the ACT? How will social Canberra cope?” wonders dining reviewer WENDY JOHNSON

WE all expected the announcement, but it wasn’t fun when it came. Restaurants, bars and cafés closed except for takeaway and/or home delivery.

How will restaurants, bars and cafés cope now that COVID-19 has robbed us of our beloved hospitality industry, such a key component of community in the ACT? How will social Canberra cope?

Wendy Johnson.

Some hospitality folk aren’t equipped to play the takeaway game, and not all fine-dining operators will be able to. Some, even those who have been in the biz for yonks, are throwing their hands in the air and hanging a ‘closed’ sign on their doors until matters return to normal. Some have been quick off the mark to do as much as they can, knowing they won’t cover all the bills but hoping to at least hang on to staff. Some are still scratching their heads, wondering what to do. 

Every part of the ACT is affected. Tough times have just begun on the hospitality front, but we need to support as much as we can.

A friend and I decided to test ‘social distance lunching’. She works in Kingston, so we popped to the Foreshore for a bite and to soak in the scenery.

We discovered the new Marion’s To Go, the first dedicated takeaway on the Foreshore. There’s a takeaway window, space cordoned off for ordering and a preliminary menu with discounted prices.

We’re told a new and more permanent takeaway menu is being launched soon.

Honey-roasted pumpkin salad… delish and loaded with goodies as well as pumpkin, including baby spinach, chickpeas, quinoa and lemon vinaigrette. Photo: Wendy Johnson.

I ordered while my friend found a seat close to the water. There are loads of benches around the Foreshore and although everyone should respect one another by maintaining the correct distance, you can still socialise without screaming.

My friend ordered the honey-roasted pumpkin salad which came in a cardboard container with a wooden fork. It was $8.50 and a great deal for the size and quality of the salad, delish and loaded with goodies. In addition to the big chunks of pumpkin, the salad featured baby spinach, chickpeas, quinoa and lemon vinaigrette.

Caesar salad… one of the best, with crunchy baby cos, crispy bacon, egg white, salty anchovy, croutons and an amazing dressing. Photo: Wendy Johnson.

I tucked into the Caesar salad ($8.50), ordering salmon on top ($5). It was one of the best Caesars I’ve had in a long time – crunchy baby cos, crispy bacon, egg white, salty anchovy, croutons and an amazing dressing. With one coffee, lunch was $26 all up. 

My friend and I maintained our social distance. We enjoyed each other’s company, the sun, the fresh air and the views. Not so bad at all, and we felt good about contributing, in our own small way, to the hospitality industry that gives so much to the capital.

Marion’s To Go is located on the right-hand side of Walt and Burley, Kingston Foreshore. Order at the counter or call 6239 6648.

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Wendy Johnson
Wendy Johnson: Food reviewer for Canberra CityNews magazine since 2004, covering stories for true foodies to digest.

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