THE BEST DIY FOOD KITS

Lockdown changed the way restaurants across the city operate – many turned into takeaway businesses overnight and those that weren’t able to send out hot food for delivery came 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. Now we’re in lockdown 2.0, here are the best of the bunch to order…

AngloThai at Home – Anglo Thai, the restaurant concept run by husband and wife team John and Desiree Chantarasak, is back with HG Walter and Newcomer Wines for another at-home box. The banquet box includes a 950g grass-fed Irish T-bone steak, aged for 35-days in the HG Walter salt chambers; two beef bone marrow with beef fat umami crumb; tamarind & roasted chilli ‘jaew’ dipping sauce; som tam veggies (white cabbage, heritage carrot, vine tomato) & som tam dressing; toasted seed mix; new crop jasmine rice; and a bottle of Blaufränkisch ‘Bela Joska’ 2017, selected by Desiree from Newcomer Wines. YUM. It’s £100 for the box and they feed two hungry people. 

Club Mexicana – Taco ’bout a fiesta. Club Mexicana now deliver their infamous vegan tacos nationwide for people to recreate in the comfort of their own home. The menu changes monthly and they make it very easy for you put the Mexican feast together. The Al Pastor taco box features Club Mexicana’s homemade al pastor seitan, marinated in Meriel’s secret chilli adobo sauce, accompanied by fresh corn tortillas and Taco toppings like caramelised pineapple, red onion and a zingy salsa verde with coriander, and chilli lime seasoning.

Smith & Wollenksy – Raise the steaks at home with one of these Smith & Wollensky boxes. You can choose from a monster 28 day dry-aged, grass-fed Irish tomahawk; 28 dry-aged USDA bone-in-rib-eye; or USDA fillet, and each cut comes with whipped potatoes, creamed spinach and peppercorn sauce for you to have on the side. And if you happen to be in a big household, the boxes can be scaled up to feed four and six people….bring on the meat sweats.

Lyle’s – Michelin-starred Lyle’s is getting into the delivery game with not one but three different food boxes. The Provisions Box is ingredients based, featuring goodies like damson jam, Neal’s Yard cheese and Lyle’s mince pie mix & pastry. The Meal Kit, as the name suggests, is a dinner box including dishes like crab & barley porridge, fore-rib steak with beetroot sauce, and quince sponge with vanilla custard to be finished off at home. And the Wild Food Meal Kit is similar to the last one, just with some game dishes in there instead.

Bocca di Lupo – Jacob Kenedy is making it easy for you to take a tour around Italy with the Bocca di Lupo at Home boxes, which change each month to reflect a different regional menu that’s running in the Soho restaurant. There are three options each month – veggie, fish or meat – and each one has three courses for two people, and it’s all super simple to put together. For the Lazio box, which included mozzarella in carrozza, suckling pig with grapes, chestnuts and greens with potatoes, and burnt ricotta pie, it’s a simple matter of baking the starter, crisping up the pork in the oven and warming through the sauce and sides. Step-by-step instructions are provided on the website so you really can’t go wrong!

The Vurger Co. – We love the The Vurger Co.’s naughty, plant-based fast-food range and now they’ve launched ‘At Home’ DIY New York Melt burger kits for those who can’t make it down to their spot. The 100% vegan feast includes Beyond Meat burger patties, cheese, lettuce, sliced gherkins, tomatoes and jar of house-made burger sauce, with two portions of skin-on fries to be cooked at home. It’s an eco-friendly kit with completely compostable packaging and a reusable freezer bag, plus they’re delivering nationwide, and we think it’s basically a steal at only £18.95 for two people.

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.

Chotto Matte – The Peruvian-Japanese restaurant based in Soho recently launched the ‘At Home’ kit which is £60 for two people which is pretty amazing value considering you get Padron Peppers, Choclo Corn, Pollo Anticucho, Black Cod Aji Miso, Asado De Tira and Purple Potato Purée. Chotto Matte has done most of the hard work on all these dishes, which are delivered in pouches and mostly just need heating up in the oven or via the ‘boil in the bag’ method. There’s also loads of mini sauce bottles that go with each dish and really solid clear instructions. 

Stein’s at Home – Chef Director Jack Stein and the team have added two new menus to their at-home range – the sea bass box with mussels & black beans, Thai sea bass and mango fool, and the coq au reisling box with smoked salmon pate, coq au riesling and chocolate torte. The hake and Indonesian curry menus are still available to order but if you want a real blowout, it’s gotta be the scallops, lobster thermidor and chocolate pave box, because let’s be honest you’d never be making all that from scratch.

Yum Bun – The sun may not be out but your buns still can be thanks to Miso Mushroom Bao box from Yum Bun. The hard graft has been done for you, like making the baos and cooking the mushrooms, so all you have to do is steam the buns, glaze the shrooms and get the garnishes ready. If you’ve got meat eaters in the house you can also get a pork belly bao box or a mixed one if you just can’t make your mind up.

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 chicken and seafood paella. 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.

Wild RadishWild Radish is a new chef-led recipe box service featuring dishes from the likes of Phillip Howard, Anna Hansen, Alyn Williams and Marianna Leivaditaki. The boxes come with the best seasonal ingredients, sourced from the chefs’ favourite suppliers, and easy-to-follow recipes and tips so you can recreate restaurant quality food at home. Each box comes with a little surprise, like fresh bread or artisanal chocolate, and you can also add on a bottle of wine matched to the dish by Matthew Jukes. One to order for the time you’re trying to impress your mates with your kitchen skills.

Supa Ya Ramen – The Hackney Road outpost of Supa Ya Ramen may have had to close but you can still get your hands on its ramen thanks to feast box delivery service Dishpatch. The Supa Ya Ramen box, which serves two, features ramen with tamarind & chipotle braised chicken, roast chicken soup, mushroom soy, confit garlic oil, hand cut noodles & fudgy egg, plus buttered miso cabbage, bacon fat glazed brussel sprouts, radicchio with ponzu vinaigrette, soy pickled cucumbers and pickled turnips on the side. All you have to do it heat the bits up and serve.

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.

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 – 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.

BAO – not content with launching new delivery brand Rice Error, BAO is also doing Home Kits 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.

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.

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.

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 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.

Le Swine  Le Swine is making sure your breakfasts are still on point in lockdown with their DIY bacon butty kit, containing middle bacon, bacon butter, milk & onion buns and homemade ketchup

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.

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.

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.