Family has always been at the forefront of everything Mr Papa does. When brothers Carlos and Monco Ramirez opened the food van in The Hamlet in Braddon in 2014 it was all about their family legacy - their family owned a big catering business in Peru - but also about the family they were creating in Canberra - a loyal customer base and staff who shared the same passion.
When the COVID restrictions hit, Mr Papa lost 90 per cent of its forecasted events for 2020. They were doing close to 40 weddings a year, catering for big concerts and private events.
"And then in 24 hours everything crumbled just like that," Carlos said.
"We thought about closing for six months and then just opening the doors and pretending that nothing had happened, but the business deserved better than that, our staff and customers deserved better too."
So now you can invite Mr Papa into your house.
"We wanted to bring a bit of joy to everyone," Carlos said.
"We didn't just want to do takeaway, with the same menu, we thought about what we were doing what we do at home, what we like to do at home, we can't go out and it all comes back to family.
"It's been nice to see everyone spending more time together.
"We come up with things we can use as an excuse to help Mr Papa stay afloat but also to just get everyone together."
Their "date night" and "family packs" have revived some of the dishes from The Hamlet menu, including the popular "chanchito" Peruvian pork belly burger and Peruvian Street food favourites..
The Mr Papa at Home packs include par-cooked meals for the family to make at home. Included is a card with instructions and Mr Papa's Spotify playlist so you can turn up the music while you're cooking.
One offering close to Carlos' heart is the Empanada Project, a take and bake box with the ingredients to make your own empanadas, complete with online tutorials.
He remembers a trip to Lima in the early days of Mr Papa where he had the most delicious empanadas and he stayed behind after the restaurant closed to talk to the chef about the recipe and process of making such delicious empanadas.
"It is a challenging time for everyone but also a good time to come up stronger and together as a community," Carlos says.
"We are using our own delivery services, we might not be as fast as some others but we are improving day by day, and most importantly, when you order with us, you are keeping everything local.
"By doing this we could keep everyone in the Mr Papa family employed, delivery drivers will be our staff, our servers, our bartenders, our food runners who also are full-time students, mums, dads, brothers, sisters and more."
- Order now at mrpapa.com.au
Lazy Su on tour
For a restaurant which didn't even - back in the day - do takeaway, Lazy Su is still thinking of new ways to get its food on the table of hungry Canberrans.
So now we have Lazy Su on Tour, where over the course of the next few weeks, on Wednesday nights, there'll be free delivery to your suburb.
On May 13, Wodenites (Wodenians?) will be the lucky recipients, followed by Gungahlin, Molonglo Valley/Weston Creek, inner north/inner south, Tuggeranong and Queanbeyan wrapping up the tour on June 17.
"We weren't able to logistically offer delivery all around Canberra so we have just been doing pick up with our takeaway," says co-owner Jared Calan. "We wanted to offer delivery in a different way that worked for us and for the customer. The feedback so far has been very positive. We're even thinking about continuing takeaway."
- Order now at lazy-su.com.au
World cocktail day
May 13 is World Cocktail Day. As if we needed another reason to imbibe. Here's a few things to check out to celebrate.
Campari Australia has launched Shaken not Broken where Negronis, Old Fashioneds or even Boulevardiers can be ordered from the comfort of your home via a partnership with online ordering platform HungryHungry. In Canberra Braddon's The Howling Moon and High Jinks in New Acton are on board.
Bar Rochford has cute little bottles of cocktails available from $28. Delivery available.
And learn how to make the perfect espresso martini using just five ingredients, with Nespresso ambassador Mitch Monaghan live on Nespresso's Facebook page on Friday, May 15 at 4pm.