THE BEST DIY FOOD KITS
Lockdown has changed the way restaurants across the city are operating, turning the ones that have managed to stay open into takeaway businesses almost overnight. Whilst some restaurants are able to send hot food out for delivery, many don’t have the capacity to do so safely so they’ve come up with a new option; the DIY meal kit. They put together a box of ingredients, which you then cook at home, meaning you can get a taste of your fave restaurant and feel like a pro chef in the kitchen. Here are the best of the bunch…
Bubbledogs – Sandia Chang’s Bubbledogs is now offering grower champagnes via the new online Bubbleshop. Her and the team have created four home kits – The Mac Daddy, The Reuben, The Mexican, and The Chilli Cheese – that you can recreate at home. Each kit serves two (although you actually get four hot dogs) and is priced at £20, with the added touch of the restaurant’s serving trays and Bubbledogs greaseproof paper, so that they can be plated up restaurant-style. For the full experience, add a bottle of Sandia’s recommend Champagne pairing for each ‘dog.
TOU – Fancy recreating one of London’s most hyped dishes at home? Well now you can with TOU’s katsu sando DIY kits. You have to pick them up on Fridays from the pop up in Soho and you have to order through Instagram DM by the Wednesday before, so it’s not the easiest to get hold of, but maybe that adds to the excitement? Anyhow, once you’re home, you’ll have all the ingredients for that Iberico pork katsu sando – and it works very well too. We just wish you got more of the katsu sauce!
Santo Remedio – Edson and Natalie Diaz-Fuentes have launched three Remedy Kits so you can get your fix of Santo Remedio’s Mexican food at home. All the kits come with sides of black beans, citrus potato salad, slaw, corn tortillas, chips and salsa, with the choice of beef short rib with mole negro, barbacoa lamb shank or duck carnitas. It only takes some heating up and mixing together to create the spread, and although they say the kits serve two, you get a serious amount of food. Add on a bottle of ready-mixed margaritas to really get the fiesta going.
Jose Pizarro– There’s a new delivery hero in town – José Pizarro. His new tapas at home menu is by far the best restaurant delivery we’ve had. José has landed on a method that gives you amazing dishes for minimal effort. All the cooked dishes have been vacuum packed, meaning to finish them at home you mostly just have to pop the bags into simmering water for a few minutes and then cut it open. But just to make sure you get everything right, José has done a video to every single dish, showing you how to assemble the final bits. We recommend getting the Iberico Bellota ham, olives, boquerones, pan con tomate, the chorizo, mini Spanish tortilla, and the incredible suckling lamb leg cooked in rosemary. Super professional and super easy – this is the most restaurant-like meal we’ve had in lockdown!
Island Poke– As you’ll see from the rest of this list, most DIY kits out there are a bit naughty. Which is no bad thing of course, but if you’re after something a bit fresher then check out Island Poke’s new home delivery box. You’ll get everything you need for four bowls: two Classic Ahi tuna and two Yuzu Lomi Lomi salmon, plus a load of sriracha mayo to slather on top. All the ingredients come ready prepared so the most difficult part is cooking the rice, which isn’t that difficult, but make sure you rinse all that starch off before cooking! Other than that, you just assemble the bowls according to the instructions and you’ve got yourself a fresh, tasty lunch or dinner for summer days.
Mambow – Chef Abby Lee is bringing the Mambow experience to you with build-your-own Mambow At Home boxes. You choose a main, two sides and a dessert from her Malaysian Nyonya-inspired menu, which features dishes like char sui pork shoulder with pickled chillies, pork & prawn beancurd parcels, black rice salad with sambal, and coconut palm sugar caramel and dark chocolate tart, and it’ll come to your door complete with instructions for finishing all the food off in your kitchen.
Nonna Tonda– After closing their London restaurant owners James and Rebecca switched Nonna Tonda into a delivery service, sending out pasta kits featuring pasta made fresh that morning, homemade sauce, fresh parmesan and a garnish. It takes five minutes to get it from box to plate, and with the menu changing weekly you’re always in for an exciting and interesting bowl of pasta, like Venetian squid ink spaghetti with braised cuttlefish and pangratto.
Al Dente– the Fitzrovia pastifico has launched DIY pasta kits so you can recreate the Al Dente magic at home. There are four options to choose from – their famous Carbonara, the classic Amatriciana, their truffle-y Ravioli Al Dente and their best-selling special Broccoli and Sausage. You can pick them up from the restaurant or get them delivered via Deliveroo.
SpiceBox– the vegan curry house in Walthamstow has gone nationwide with its SpiceBox @ Home DIY boxes. You can choose from a korma or tikka masala box and each one is packed with fresh veg, rice, curry sauce, tarka dhal, samosas, kachori, naans and chutney. You do have to prep all the veg and cook the curry yourself but it’s all super simple – there’s a recipe card to follow and you can watch videos as well. Not only does it all taste amazing, there’s enough to feed four generously too so it’s perfect for a curry night with the fam.
Mother Clucker – give the Colonel a run for his money and cook up your own chicken with the Mother Clucker D.I.Fry kit. The box contains brined chicken, buttermilk, flour mix, hot sauce, lime mayo and slaw as well as the all-important tips on how to achieve the perfect fry at home. It comes in two- and four-person servings and if you get the big one, £2.50 gets donated to Brixton Soup Kitchen. Cluck yeah!
Cue Point – if you’re over the same barbecue, it’s time to mix things up with a meal kit from Cue Point, who specialise in inclusive, British-Afghan smoked meats. The lamb and brisket kit includes smoked brisket, smoked lamb, nacos (Afghan naan tacos), Afghan green chutney, crispy onions, jalapeño jam and pickled chillies. YUM.
Burger & Beyond
Burger & Beyond– WOW. Even though we’re big fans of Shoreditch-based Burger & Beyond, we were not prepared for just how good its DIY home kit was going to be. The £25 box has everything you need to make four of its signature Bacon Butter Burgers, and let us tell you, you may want to order enough so you have more than one each, because they are EPIC. You get brioche buns, aged beef, pancetta bacon, American cheese, burnt butter mayo, and pickled onions in the box, as well as instructions on how to make it (it’s a breeze). The result is a delicious sloppy mess of a burger that’s become the new DIY box to beat.
Anna Mae’s Mac N Cheese
Anna Mae’s Mac N Cheese– the mac is back as Anna Mae’s has launched DIY mac n cheese kits. There are three options to choose from – classic, pancetta & basil, and truffle – and they all come with elbow macaroni, three cheese sauce, extra cheese and toppings. All you have to do it mix it up and cook it, and it takes less than 20 minutes.
Shake Shack – this is one for all the burger fans out there. Shake Shack has launched its very own DIY kit meaning you can recreate their famous ShackBurgers at home. The boxes contain enough patties, buns, cheese and garnishes for four people and a portion of sales from every one will go to Action Against Hunger, so you’ll be doing a good deed by eating these burgers!
BAO– not content with launching new delivery brand Rice Error, BAO is also doing Home Kits (from 8th June from their CONVNI shop) so you can recreate the fluffy buns at home. The kits include ready-to-steam baos with fillings of either 12-hour braised pork, fermented greens and dust or panko daikon.
Baggio Burger – Italian-American burger joint Baggio Burger is now doing meal kits for two of its signature buns, the Baggio Bacon Cheeseburger (with parma ham, American cheese and sundried tomato ketchup) and the Topolino (with mozzarella, gorgonzola and fig jam), and you can order them via meal kit platform Great Food 2U.
Shoryu Ramen – knocking up a Japanese feast at home just got a whole lot easier thanks to Shoryu Ramen. The restaurant chain is doing DIY meal kits (which you can whack in your freezer and save for later) of some of its most popular dishes, including ganso ramen, pork gyoza, chicken kastu curry and pumpkin croquette buns. You can get them as single dishes, double kits and even a family pack of six mixed ones.
Yummy Plant-Based – as you can guess from the name, Yummy Plant-Based is all about vegan goodies like their DIY Falafel Kit. Enough for four people, the kit contains enough mix for 25-30 falafels, spicy tomato sauce, houmous,
tehina, green chilli dip, pickles, red cabbage salad, za’atar seasoning and fluffy pitta breads, and they deliver anywhere within the M25.
Passyunk Avenue – make an authentic Philly Cheesesteak at home with one of the LOVEbundle kits from Philadelphia-inspired spot Passyunk Avenue. The sandwich boxes – there’s also a Hoagie one – come with all the bread and fillings you need to create some truly epic sarnies. They also do buffalo wings and Passyunk Pale IPA beer boxes for the ultimate Philly experience.
ZOILO – this is one for all the carnivores out there. ZOILO is doing steak boxes featuring prime Argentine ribeye steaks, chimichurri, flavoured oils plus provolone cheese and oregano honey so you can recreate their provoleta starter at home as well. Make sure you don’t go thirsty either with one of their Argentine wine selection boxes.
Dishoom – bacon naan rolls are back on the menu! The Dishoom DIY kit features enough ingredients to make TWO epic Bacon Naan Rolls – that’s dough balls, smoked streaky bacon, tomato chilli jam, and cream cheese. You’ll also get tea and spices so that you can brew a batch of their Masala Chai.
The Cheese Bar
The Cheese Bar– it’s all about the FIY (that’s Fondue-It-Yourself) with this fondue kit from The Cheese Bar. The box includes everything you need to replicate their signature fondue, including the cheese; bread, potatoes and cornichons for dipping; alpine white wine and kirsch; and you can even add fondue forks to make it extra authentic. And believe us when we say it’s GRATE.
Charred– normally found slinging smoked meats from a food truck in Spitalfields, the Charred team is now delivering the goods instead. The brisket DIY kit includes a massive chunk of 14-hour smoked brisket, house chimichurri, herb buttermilk, pickled cucumbers and naans for some serious wrap action.
Lahpet– as well as selling pantry items like shan tofu, tamarind sauce, pickled tea leaves and chilli jam, the Burmese restaurant is also doing DIY meal kits. All you need to do is pick some easy to get fresh items (like tomatoes and lime) and you’ll be able to recreate some of their fave dishes at home, like the signature tea leaf salad and coconut noodles with chicken. Each kit comes with QR codes so you can access full instructions and how-to videos.
Hame– this is the brand new home delivery service from Adam Handling. He’s done all the prep for you so all you have to do is finish off the dishes at home – you just scan the QR codes on the recipe cards to get videos of him showing you what to do. The menu includes those cheese doughnuts, wagyu beef tartate, wild mushroom agnolotti, beef wellington with clotted cream mash and tarte tatin, and you can get vino and batched cocktails too. It ain’t cheap but this is restaurant standard grub.
Arros QD– seeing as holidays to Spain are on hold for the foreseeable, you’ll have to bring Spain to you and you can do that with a little help from Arros QD. The Fitzrovia restaurant is now doing paella kits, which include a paella pan, spoon, a kilo of Bomba rice and stock of your choice. OLE.
The Vurger Co – knock up vegan burgers at home with meal kits for 2 or 4 people from The Vurger Co. They include patties, buns, cheese, salad, fries and bottles of burger sauce.
Truffle– pre-lockdown Truffle had been slinging burgers at Seven Dials Market and now they’re coming right into our kitchens with their DIY burger kits. There are two options, which both feed four, to choose from; the Truffle Burger (beef & bacon blend patties, truffle mayo, fig jam, raclette cheese, crispy shallots & brioche buns) and the Aged Beef Burger (90-day aged beef patties, caramelised shallot puree, smoked cheese, house pickles, truffle and garlic sauce & brioche buns). The burgers are super easy to assemble and taste exactly like the ones you’d get from the market – the only problem you’ll have is portioning that truffle mayo because it’s SO GOOD you’ll want it all in one go.
The Good Egg – if you’ve got really into baking during lockdown, you can now recreate The Good Egg’s famous babka with their new bake-your-own babka kit. It comes with flour, sugar, yeast, butter, egg, chocolate chips and chocolate tahini, so you just need to provide the milk, and they’re delivering them within an 8-mile radius of the Stokey restaurant.
Caravan – The brunch kings have a got a mega new DIY kit on offer that has everything you need for a big weekend brunch. The main dish is baked eggs which is super easy to finish off at home, but the highlight is the whole loaf of corn bread – fry a few slices and melt the chipotle butter over it and you’ve got a winning dish in in itself. The box also contains coffee (of course), bloody mary mix, and a sourdough loaf.
Le Swine – Le Swine is has teamed up with Tabasco for two limited edition bacon butty kits, designed to revive two breakfast classics. Both contain middle bacon, bacon butter and Tabasco chipotle sauce, with the black pudding box containing black pudding, milk & onion buns and chipotle ketchup and the marmalade box containing bacon marmalade and marmalade milk buns. So are you team black pudding or team marmalade?
Mission St Tacos
Mission St Tacos– normally in residency at Hacha bar in Dalston, Mission St Tacos has got into the DIY kit game. They only deliver on Fridays to certain postcodes in east and south east (check their instagram fo details), and the menu changes each week. Their homemade nachos are on point and the mushroom ‘carnitas’ filling is just as good as the meat options.
Pasta Nostra– get your fresh pasta fix from Pasta Nostra with some of their individual pasta and sauce combos, like fresh fettuccine with amatriciana sauce, or go for a full dining experience with a box of pasta, sauce, focaccia, olives, salumi and vino.
Patty & Bun – you can still get your Patty & Bun fix with a Lockdown DIY Patty Kits, including patties, brioche buns, cheese, onions and mayo, so you can make the burgers at home. You can get meaty ones to recreate Ari Golds or Smokey Robinsons, with plant-based ones also available, and you can see how it’s done right here. And if you wanna impress, Patty & Bun has teamed up with Swingers to create a spesh Date Night Kit featuring ingredients for two Ari Gold burgers and four Summer Citrus daiquiris.
Shuk – The Israeli market stall at Borough has two bangin’ DIY kits. The first is a DIY babka kit, which you can get in chocolate, hazelnut & cookie crumb or in a special collab flavour with Bubala of baked ricotta cheesecake, biscoff and sour cherry. YUM. The second is the DIY pitta kit. The kits are £30 including delivery and include everything you need to make four stuffed pittas at home. There’s two signatures to choose from, the fish tagine or the spiced lamb meatballs, chilli yoghurt, pickled red cabbage, coriander & mint.
Pizza Pilgrims – whip up authentic Neapolitan pizza in your own home thanks to Pizza Pilgrims and their Frying Pan Pizza Kits. The kits contain all the ingredients you need so all you need to have on hand is a frying pan and a grill. And if you need a little help, check out how it’s done right here.
Passo – whip up an Italian feast with at-home salami and margherita pizza kits; fresh pasta including agnolotti, gnocchi, and pici; fresh sauces (hello sausage and n’duja ragu) and bottled negronis from Passo.
Arabica – you don’t have to go without Levantine treats during lockdown because Arabica is now doing deliveries. As well as mezze platters, including dips, boregi, kibeh and fattoush, you can get DIY falafel kits and jars of their own spices and sauces.
Padella – London pasta supremos Padella have got into the DIY kit game. You can pickup from the Shoreditch site or have it delivered for £5 if you’re in a 6km radius of King’s Cross. On the menu there’s a classic tagliarini with an Amalfi tomato sauce; beef shin ragu with parpadelle; and fettucine with nduja and mascarpone.
Honest Burger– Honest did a limited run of DIY kits back in April in order to rise money for charity. In early July, they announced they were bringing them back for good. So you can now get a four pack of burgers to cook at home for £30 including delivery. It’s a solid burger and we especially like the condiments that come in the kit – the pickles and the caramelised red onion relish are spot on. Plus, if you’re making chips, there’s a pot of rosemary salt included to throw on.