Ever-changing lockdown restrictions forced chefs and restaurants to be creative and create different ways for you to enjoy their food outside outside of a dine-in service, meaning we’ve now got tons of takeaway options and an ever-expanding selection of DIY meal kits. Here are some of our fave new ones to get on order pronto.
Nothing beats a pastry fresh out of the oven but who’s got the time to be folding and rolling puff pastry from scratch? Enter Tarla Bakes. The pastry kit brand does all the hard work for you so you can knock up glorious viennoiserie at home with ease. The kits, which come in croissant, almond croissant, raspberry danish, apricot danish, pain au chocolat and pain aux raisins varieties, include fresh laminated dough cut to size and all the creme patisserie, chocolate or fruit fillings you need, so you just have to assemble the pastries, let them prove and pop them in the oven. Et voila, crisp buttery pastries baked to perfection.
If you’re short on time but still keen to get some nutritious food down you, then SimpleFoods is the new delivery box you need to know about. You can choose from a menu of breakfasts, proteins, super grains, veggies, soups and desserts which feature the likes of harissa shakshuka; smoky breakfast beans with avo; shredded peri peri chicken; coconut wild rice with cauliflower; and sticky toffee pud. Plus with all the ingredients coming from small British producers, everything being flash frozen for a longer shelf life AND packaged in 100% recyclable pouches, it’s just as good for the planet as it is for you.
A Cook’s Tour
A Cook’s Tour, the meal kit that combines food and travel with cook-alongs focused on specific destinations and led by top chefs, is back for 2022 and is kicking things off with the Discover Northern Thailand With John Chantarasak box. His menu includes Chiang Mai herbal sausage, sweetcorn fritters, chicken skewers, som tam salad, red curry salmon and sticky rice, and he’ll be showing you how to whip up this feast with a cook-along on 27th & 28th January. If you can’t jet off to Thailand, this is the next best thing.
Mindful Chef’s Low Carbon Impact Recipes
If you’re trying to keep it healthy and do your bit for the planet, Mindful Chef is making life easier for you by introducing carbon labelling on its menu (part of the company’s mission to become net zero by 2030), so you can choose dishes that have less of an impact on the environment. Not only that, all the recipes are nutritionally balanced and free from refined carbs and refined sugars, and all the ingredients are portioned out for you so there’s no waste either.
Millfield Stores Winter Deli Box
Millfield Stores, the delivery service started by Ben Bohm-Duchen and Sophie Dutton way back when it lockdown 1.0, is back with a new Winter Deli Box and boy is it a good’un. The Middle Eastern-inspired spread includes labneh with confit garlic & chilli, charred aubergine with spiced slow-cooked tomato, confit potatoes with Aleppo chilli, salt-baked beetroots with date syrup & hazelnuts, poached quince with mascarpone and sesame & maple syrup scones with tahini & cardamom butter. Want it? Course you do.
Japan Centre’s Okonomiyaki Cook Box
To celebrate its 45th birthday the Japan Centre has added new DIY kits to its at-home range, making it even easier for us to cook up Japanese classics in our own kitchens. The Okonomiyaki Cook Box contains all the base ingredients needed to make the savoury pancake, including flour, tempura flakes, sauce and mayo, leaving you to add whatever fresh ingredients you want – okonomiyaki does mean ‘grilled as you like it’! With full instructions in the box and enough for six servings, you’ll be flipping out okonomiyaki like a pro in no time.
Provisions Cheese Canteen
Provisions was already one of our fave cheese shops but now we like it even better because they’ve launched a new monthly cheese subscription service. Each Cheese Canteen box (available in one, three, six, nine and twelve installments with nationwide delivery) includes a kilo of different raw milk cheeses from small suppliers across Europe, plus tasting notes and info on their origins – the debut box featured 48-month aged Gouda, 24-month aged Comte, Sauvaget Cendre, Baron Bigod, and Gorgonzola Dolce, with upcoming themes including festive cheeses, Alpine cheeses and island cheeses. It makes a GRATE pressie, if you can bear to part with all the cheesy goodness that is….
Après Food Co
For the times when you just don’t have the energy to cook but you don’t want to order a massive takeaway, having a stash of healthy meals in the freezer is a lifesaver. And that’s exactly what Après Food Co does. They produce organic, nutritionally balanced, restaurant standard meals like slow-cooked Sri Lankan lamb curry, Thai vegetable curry with cauliflower pilau, roast Mediterranean vegetable lasagne, and sticky toffee pudding – yes dessert is most defo allowed as part of a varied diet – making it easy for you eat good food without having to go to any effort. And all the packaging is home compostable too.
Dishoom Home Feast
They nailed their DIY bacon roll kit and now Dishoom are boxing up their daytime dishes with their new Home Feast kit. It contains some of the restaurant’s most-loved dishes, including the House Black Daal, Mattar Paneer, Lamb Sheekh Kababs, Murgh Malai, Bhel, Kachumber and Tawa Rotis, plus the Gulkand Mess for pudding, Mango Lassi to sip on and a Dishoom tea towel to mop up any spills during the prep. And for every kit ordered, Dishoom donates a meal to a child through their partnership with the Akshaya Patra Foundation in India.
Oma Kitchen is a recipe box company with a difference – instead of sending out all the bits you need to make a set of dishes along with a step-by-step recipe, they send out a selection of ingredients and provide info on where they come from and how to use them. The idea is to encourage you to discover different produce and build up your cooking skills.The boxes change monthly, with the ingredients selected by a different chef around a specific theme (the likes of Ivan Tisdall-Downes, Tom Cenci and Jay Morjaria have all done boxes with themes like sustainability in food, North American road trip and food for the Seoul), plus a booklet containing tips and tricks on what to do with them but ultimately what you make is up to you. A great one to try if you need some inspo but don’t want to be hemmed in by pages and pages of recipes.