Is It Safe To Dine Out In COVID-19 Lockdown?

dine out
Maximus Escouri
dine out

Here are 7 restaurant-style meals you can prepare at home…

In recent weeks, growing COVID-19 clusters in Sydney have been linked to interstate diners in restaurants, pubs, clubs, and cafes.  Naturally, parents in Sydney are worried about taking their families out to dine.   One of the questions of every parent’s mind today is ‘How safe is it to take the family out for a meal now?’        

Dining out during COVID-19 crisis can expose you and your family to some risks.  Here’s how:

  • You cannot wear a mask to protect yourself when you are eating

  • Workers and patrons in the restaurant could be asymptomatic (Asymptomatic people have COVID-19 in their bodies but do not show any symptoms. Asymptomatic people can spread the virus to others)

  • Some of our favourite places to eat are small so your risks of coming in close contact with others are quite high

There is no such thing as a ‘zero-risk’ situation when we are out in public so long as a vaccine has not been developed.  In reality, risks are an innate part of life.  Risks are embedded in every moment of our existence.  Driving a car or crossing a road, are normal things we do but each activity comes with risks.  Knowing what these risks are and taking steps to mitigate them is how we survive.

How to lower your coronavirus risk when dining out

lower your coronavirus risk 2

What should you look out for and how can you minimise the risk when you are dining with the family in a restaurant? 

Here are some important things every parent must know about dining out in a pandemic emergency:

  • NSW Government contact tracing can identify hotspots quickly and inform the public.

  • Food & Beverage outlets in Sydney must have COVID Safety Plan for each dining and drinking area.

  • The allowable distances in restaurants and cafes are one customer per 4-square metre.

  • Bookings per group cannot be more than 10 persons (unless it is a wedding, funeral, or corporate function).

  • Floors must have markers according to the prescribed 1.5-metre social distancing rules.

  • Restaurant workers must wear masks to protect others.

  • The restaurant’s management must practise strict hygiene including cleaning and sanitising all surfaces, equipment, crockery, and cutlery.

Parents can take extra precaution to protect themselves.  Here are some safe things you can do: 

  • Follow the government updates on hotspots and stay away from suburbs that have been affected.

  • Scan the restaurant or café, before you sit down. If you do not feel safe, go somewhere else.

  • Give your name and phone number in case you have to be contacted by the authorities.

  • Use the hand sanitisers provided by the restaurant or café upon entering.

  • Wash or sanitise your hands before you eat.

  • If you have to touch your face while you are eating, use a hand sanitiser first.

  • Sanitise your hands after you touch high-point surfaces (for example door handles, bathroom taps, countertops, and other surfaces).

  • Carry additional hand sanitisers and antibacterial wipes.

  • Keep your distance from others.

  • Use cashless transactions.

  • Wear a mask where possible.

  • Consider choosing takeaways instead of dining in if you are worried.

Are takeaways safe in lockdown?

Many restaurants and cafes have reinvented themselves and now offer a safe takeaway service. If you are missing your favourite restaurant but do not want to take the risk of dining out, ordering a takeaway is a good option.

But how safe are takeaways?  Here are some things every parent must know:

  • Drivers and riders of delivery companies have to practise COVID-Safe practices.

  • Empty the food from their packaging. Use a fork or spoon not your hands.

  • Throw the containers in the bin and wash your hands before you eat.

  • Consider sticking to hot cooked foods in the pandemic rather than fresh uncooked dishes.


5 restaurant-style meals to cook at home in COVID-19 lockdown

If you are not keen to take risks with dining out, now is the time to explore cooking at home.   Cooking is therapy. It has a calming effect on us because when we’re cooking our minds are not focused on the virus.  Cooking is also a good way to stay connected with our family and our cultures. 

The teachers at TopKidz have done some research on the internet.  We’ve found seven recipes from some of Sydney’s best restaurants for our parents to try at home.  Max is a great cook, so we asked him to adapt the recipes to make it easier for our parents.  Max has made the recipes simpler (no difficult tasks like baking your bread for instance). He has also adapted the ingredients slightly to make them kid-friendly (i.e. your kids will love to eat it) and super nutritious of course!   Enjoy!

Here are our top 7 restaurant-style meals to cook at home:

1. Momofuku-Seibo’s Famous Crab Roll

Momofuku-Seibo’s Famous Crab Roll


500gm crab meat

150gm Kewpie mayonnaise

2 tbs chopped chives

½ tsp ground celery salt

½ tsp togarashi (Japanese spiced pepper)

Brioche rolls

Potato chips and softened butter to serve


Mix all ingredients in a bowl

Cut brioche rolls in half

Spread with butter and toast on a hot pan

Serve with potato chips

2. Edition Café’s Gorgeous Souffle Pancake

Edition Café’s Gorgeous Souffle Pancake


2 large eggs 

1 ½ tbs milk

¼ tsp pure vanilla extract

¼ cup cake flour  *

½ tsp baking powder  

2 tbsp caster sugar  

1 tbsp neutral-flavoured oil for greasing the pan (Canola is a good choice)

2 tbsp water (for steaming)

Fresh whipped cream

Topping of your choice

*For a healthier option, substitute cake flour with wholemeal flour


A 12-inch pan can cook 3 pancakes at a time

Separate eggs into two bowls.  Put the egg whites into the fridge for 15 minutes

Add milk and vanilla into the egg yolks and whisk until light and frothy

Sift in baking powder and cake flour

Whisk to combine

Take egg whites out of the fridge and whisk on medium speed.  Add a little sugar at a time until you get a stiff, glossy consistency

Heat pan on low heat

Mix half the eggwhite with the egg yolk mixture.  Fold gently with a whisk.  Take care not to break the air bubbles.

Transfer the egg yolk mixture to the remaining egg whites and fold gently

Cook pancakes.  Serve with your favourite topping

3. Bill’s Best Scrambled Eggs


2 large eggs 

80ml cream

10gm butter


Mix egg with cream

Melt butter in a pan

Pour in egg mixture

Cook for 10 seconds until it starts to set around the edges

Use a wooden spoon to fold the sides into the centre.  Fold.  Don’t stir.

Cook for a further 20 seconds


Serve on toasted sourdough with finely chopped chives and your favourite sides

4. St Peter’s Genius Fish n’ Chips


600gm Ling fish


400gm rice flour

210gm self-raising flour

10gm baking powder

345ml vodka

45gm honey

550ml beer

Extra rice flour for dusting

Salt & Vinegar onion rings

500ml malt vinegar

80gm sea salt

2tbs caster sugar

4 large onions cut into rings

Rice flour for dusting


Heat oil in deep-fryer or pan to 140 degrees Centigrade

Sift flours together

Whisk honey with vodka

Add vodka mixture and beer to flours to make a batter

Dust fish with rice flour

Coat with batter

Fry for 2 minutes.  Turn and fry the other side until cooked

Top with onion rings and serve with fries and yoghurt tartare sauce

To make onion rings, remove the centres of the onions.  Separate the rings and cook in vinegar, salt and sugar solution.  Remove.  Drain.  Coat with rice flour and deep fry until golden brown and crispy.  Season with salt before serving

To make yoghurt tartare sauce, mix finely chopped dill with Greek yoghurt.  Season with salt and a dash of pepper

5. Bella Brutta’s Scrumptious Pizza

Bella Brutta’s Scrumptious Pizza


Fresh ready-to-roll pizza dough

¼ cup tomato passata (Italian tomato sauce)

140gm fior de latte (substitute with buffalo mozzarella)

½ cup finely grated parmesan

50gm medium spicy salami

Toasted fennel seed to serve


Heat a heavy bottom pan

Cook cheese until it starts to melt around the edges

Pour in honey and lemon juice

Sprinkle oregano

Serve hot with warm sourdough bread

6. The Apollo’s Sticky Saganaki

The Apollo’s Sticky Saganaki


1 wedge of saganaki (If you are buying cheese fresh, ask for kefalograviera)

50ml honey

½ lemon

A pinch of dried oregano


Mix all ingredients in a bowl

Cut brioche rolls in half

Spread with butter and toast on a hot pan

Serve with potato chips

7. That viral Dalgano Coffee

That viral Dalgano Coffee


2 tbs instant coffee

2 tbs granulated sugar

2 tbs cold water

Ice for serving

Milk for serving


Combine sugar, water and coffee in a medium bowl

Use a hand blender to whisk the mixture until it is thick and foamy. Approximately 8 to 10 minutes

Fill a glass halfway full with milk and ice

Dollop the creamy coffee mixture on top

Enjoyed our recipes?  Want more ideas?  Drop us a line and tell us your request!

Stay safe.  Be well.


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