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. Here are the best of the bunch to order…
Susuru by Masaki – This ramen kit from Dinings Chef Masaki Sugasaki doesn’t come cheap (£18 per person) but OH BOY it is worth it. Going to put it out there and say it’s one of the best ramens we’ve ever had, including Japan. The price doesn’t seem so bad once it’s arrived and you realise all the work that’s gone into it – there’s all manner of little powders and oils that go into an already delicious chicken stock broth to take it up a notch. From the yuzu scented broth to the perfect fresh noodles and smoked chicken breast – this is one banging bowl of ramen. Available this January only for delivery or collection as part of Dinings at Home.
Mortimer House Kitchen – Knock up an entire porchetta feast for four, minimal effort required, with this kit from Mortimer House Kitchen. As well as a whole porchetta, garlic roasties, broccoli, salsa verde & mustard jus, the box contains capocollo & burrata to start, tiramisu to finish AND ciabatta rolls & onion jam for leftover sarnies the next day. Now that’s what we call service.
Koya – The udon noodle specialists are now on delivery platform Big Night with a choice of three appropriately-named DIY meal kits – the Big(ish) Night, the Big Night and the Big Night Vegetarian – which come wrapped in a Furoshiki scarf. All of them include the signature udon noods and broth plus a range of small plates like pickles, creamed tofu with Jerusalem artichoke and plaice sashimi. Not only is it very easy to pull the whole feast together as a lot of the side dishes can be eaten cold, it’s food you’d never attempt to make from scratch, which makes it even more impressive when you knock it all up.
Hoppers – Hoppers’ own ‘Cash & Kari’ retail range features meal kits, restaurant-blend curry powders, Sri Lankan spices, ready-to-drink cocktails, and Hoppers’ own-brew beers. Kari-home kits (a mix of ready to eat and cook-at-home dishes) include the paneer and lamb kothu kits, kalupol chicken, and the bone marrow varuval, one of Hoppers’ most popular dishes.
Joanna’s – You can’t go to Joanna’s, the Crystal Palace institution, but Joanna’s can come to you (anywhere within the M25) with its new three-course boxes for two. The boxes reflect the same comforting and hearty food you’d get in the restaurant with dishes like mackerel with compressed cucumber & herb creme fraiche, confit duck with lentils & buttered greens, and sticky toffee puding with vanilla cream. It all tastes gorgeous and it’s a breeze to make – opening a few pots and popping some foil trays in the oven is about as taxing as this meal gets.
Juici Jerk – You can bring some island sunshine to your kitchen thanks to the new DIY kits from pop-up Caribbean kitchen Juici Jerk. As well as perfectly marinated chicken the box also includes rice & peas, plaintain, festival dough, coleslaw, mac & cheese and homemade sauces so you can put on a right spread at home. Every ingredient is helpfully numbered, the instructions are easy to follow, and it’s properly tasty – a real winner of a DIY kit.
Sasha Pasta – Sasha Pasta is a one-woman power-house making fresh dough every morning from her kitchen in Islington. And this pasta is the real deal. The weekly changing menu features quirky flavour combos you probably won’t find anywhere else too, from salami, olive and rose harissa tagliatelle to pistachio and basil trofie packed with fresh chilli.
Flesh & Buns – Flesh & Buns have finally bringing their baos to our homes with this kit featuring their signature buns stuffed with crispy pork belly, karashi mayo and pickled apple sauce. They even offer the option to add a bamboo steamer into your basket for a proper authentic experience and for guaranteed fluffiness. This at-home kit is truly un-bao-lievable.
Fidelari – Fidelari is a brand new pasta delivery brand run by Vanessa and Valentina, who are both from Puglia and who met at Restaurant Theo Randall, and it’s all about proper authentic pasta. The kits include handmade pasta and sauces, with combos including pappardelle & beef shin ragu, troccoli with squid & tomato and gnocchi with rocket pesto, and all you have to do to is heat and eat.
Ampeli – A Mediterranean holiday may be off the cards for the moment but Fitzrovia restaurant Ampeli is bringing you the next best thing with its new at-home meal boxes. You get a choice of two social plates, like salt cod croquettes and roasted cauliflower with labneh; a sharing main like lamb shoulder souvlaki with citrus potatoes and feta dressing (which is essentially a fancy kebab and chips); and a pud like baklava cigars or Greek rice pudding. It’s all pretty easy to pull together and they even give some plating up suggestions so you can go full MasterChef.
Where the pancakes are – The London Bridge restaurant has a new at-home Big Brunch box (£45 to feed six) containing organic buttermilk (or a vegan alternative) pancake flour mix, Canadian maple syrup, Swaledale smoked streaky bacon, blueberries, bananas, buttermilk, eggs and butter so you can flip out stacks and stacks of pancakes.
Breakfast En Bread – The Barge House in Hackney is famous for its breakfasts inside sourdough loaves and you can get them at home thanks to the Breakfast En Bread delivery service. The loaves are stuffed with spinach, leeks, mushrooms, tomatoes and, depending on which variety you choose, cheese, bacon and sausage, and each one comes ready to go in the oven so all you have to do is add the egg yolk right at the end. It’s the most low-effort brunch you can get and you can even freeze the loaves if you want to save up them for a treat.
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.
Dinings SW3 – The super swish Japanese restaurant Dinings SW3 has just launched its Dinings at Home menu. If you’ve always fancied making your own sushi then the DIY kits are a great place to start, with all the fresh fish, seafood, nori sheets and sushi rice you need to get rolling. There’s also the DIY Tar Tar chips box, containing premium “Toro” fatty tuna, salmon, potted native lobster, seared wagyu and roasted beetroot to be piled on crispy rice bites. If you’re not so in to the DIY then there’s also ready made dishes available for delivery.
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.
Bancone – Bancone at Home is back with two- and four-person pasta kits featuring some of the restaurant’s classics like bucatini cacio e pepe, spicy pork & n’duja ragù with mafalde, and spinach & ricotta mezzaluna ravioli with sage butter.
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 Radish – Wild 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.
Officina 00 – Officina 00 has launched a range of finish at home versions of their signature pastas, including pumpkin gnocchi with brown butter & gorgonzola, corzetti with wild mushroom & pork sausage, and occhi with beef brisket genovese. It takes about five minutes to get it from box to plate so it’s super speedy and easy to cook, and the kits are available on demand so you can order one as soon as the pasta cravings strike.
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
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, piri piri tonkotsu and the vegan white natural. You can get them as single dishes, double kits and even a family pack of six mixed ones.
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 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 a range of bangin’ DIY kits. There’s 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. There’s a DIY pitta kit; these 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. And they’ve got a sabich kit, with roast aubergine, sliced eggs, homemade pickles, chopped tomatoes, fresh mint & coriander topped with creamy amba tahini, and a drizzle of shug and harissa oil to finish things off. For £30, there’s enough for four stuffed pitas.
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.