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…

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.

Anglo Thai x HG Water have teamed up with Tabasco to bring you this EPIC Sai Ua hot dog kit. The kit contains 4 Northern Thai style sausages made with HG Walter’s meat (only the best British so you’re helping the farmers too!) and red curry paste, Paul Rhodes buns, pickled and crispy onions and a bottle of  TABASCO Sriracha Sauce. Perfect for BBQs. £25 quid, limited numbers – we expect these to go fast!

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 – 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.

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.

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 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.

Le Swine  Le Swine is now delivering DIY bacon butty kits, containing middle bacon, Clarence Court duck eggs, milk & onion buns, bacon butter and mushroom 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 if you wanna see how it’s done, have a look right here.

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.