There are many B.C things we miss, but thanks to the ingenuity and speed of London’s restaurants, our favourite plates weren’t one of them.
From fast food chains to luxury restaurants, businesses got creative and came up with new ways to deliver their signature dishes to loyal and hungry diners.
Recognising that some dishes don’t travel well and fresher is always better, D.I.Y recipe kits and boxes are now part of our home dining menu.
Filled with pre-measured ingredients and clear, step-by-step instructions they guide even the most hopeless chef to a slap-up meal. They’re still doing a roaring trade, despite news of the UK’s roadmap out of lockdown.
There are so many kits available for every palate and pocket. To help decide which to get (if you can pick just one, that is), we’ve drawn up a menu of the best below.
So, what’s on the carte du jour? From luxe to low-cost, there’s everything from DIY birthday burger kits to gourmet kits for when you want to bring fine dining to your door.
In the words of Masterchef’s John Torode (because you’ll soon be at this cheffing level), let’s cook.
Prairie Fire x Cut Rum Caribbean Staycation Meal
Treat your tastebuds on a tour to the sun-soaked isles of the Caribbean thanks to Prairie Fire x Cut Rum's flavour packed meal kit. Made for up to three diners (or two ravenous ones), there's a low and slow Jerk-encrusted whole chicken, sides of rice and peas and cheesy jalapeno sweetcorn along with a 250ml pouch of passionfruit punch cocktails and limited edition Prairie Fire and CUT Rum BBQ sauces that will become mainstays of your BBQ feasts long after this kit has been devoured. It couldn't be easier to get on the table, just heat through and it's ready in around 30 minutes. It’s the perfect party for two on a night when the same old takeaway just won’t cut it. Nationwide delivery available.
Savoy at Home service
With a big Easter lunch off the cards for many of us, you may be looking for another way to celebrate. Enter The Savoy, where the at Home service offers myriad options for Easter lunch, from golden chocolate eggs to decadent chocolate afternoon tea. For the main meal though, the herb-crusted lamb stands out. The iconic hotel's chefs have slow braised the meat for seven hours, and it comes with an entourage of potato boulangère, grilled courgette and pumpkin and minted gravy. A sumptuous alternative to the traditional roast lamb lunch, it's available in single portions as well as for two diners.
Gousto Seoul Train
Get one step closer to South Korea thanks to recipe kit company Gousto, who is celebrating the country's dishes with a limited edition Seoul Train menu from March 30. From Bulgogi to Bibimbap there are punchy flavours galore - as well as generous helpings of kimchi, naturally.
Of the dishes we tried, the Korean Fried Chicken was most satisfying - done in a flash and covered in a moreishly sweet hot sauce that we'll definitely be making again. If you've never cooked Korean before, Gousto's pre-measured, hard-to-find ingredients, cooking hacks and ludicrously simple instructions will make it a doddle.
The dishes will be around for a month and may become part of Gousto's regular line up if there's hunger for it. Get in on the ground floor, and order now.
Hot Stone at Home Surf & Turf menu
If you’re looking for an at-home restaurant offering to impress, Hot Stone delivers (literally). The steak and sushi bar’s eight course taster menu includes drinks and dessert. Start, with a salmon handroll, followed by a 24-piece Omakase selection - highlights include the scallop with truffle and caviar and Japanese Wagyu roll. Next, the super fresh sashimi - butterfish and seared salmon is melt-in-your-mouth moreish with unique truffle-based salsas. The Japanese wagyu tataki (of the highest grade A5 quality no less) may be one of the most delicious things we’ve ever eaten.
Hot food-wise, miso aubergine so tasty and sweet it could be a dessert, grilled octopus with a teriyaki glaze and wagyu gyoza all will go down a treat. Finish (space allowing) with matcha green tea cheesecake. Down all the fine cuisine with the restaurant’s own Ume martini that has a fresh, cucumber taste and the Cloudy sake Old Fashioned will turn even the most whisky-averse amongst you. £295 for two with additional dishes for larger parties.
Chick'n'Sours at home
Craving a proper chicken burger? For those days the Colonel just won't cut it, head to Chick'n'Sours who have just launched at-home meal kits, much to the delight of hungry fans everywhere. From The General to K-Pop chicken burgers, tenders, wings and sides, everything comes a few easy steps short of being restaurant-perfect so you'll just need to do the bare minimum.
A definite guilty pleasure, save this for the morning after Zoom parties or just when you fancy a delicious succulent feast. Prices start from £50 and delivery is nationwide.
Shake Shack Burger Kit
Make four single-patty burgers with this handy kit. The bumper pack serves up the classics with American cheese, a four-pack of potato buns and a salt and pepper blend to make it taste identical to the real thing. Shack Shake even includes 40g of its signature ShackSauce as well as lettuce and tomato so you have all the ingredients ready to get your feast underway.
We tried this on a BBQ to add a flame-grilled flavour, but you can pan fry too.
Pizza Pilgrims pizza kits
The pleasure of pizza may be in the eating, but Pizza Pilgrims’ Pizza in the Post kits are undeniably fun to make. Straightforward with big flavour results, everything can be made with equipment already in your kitchen. Kits include classic margherita, ‘nduja and double pepperoni with spicy honey drizzle and mushroom and truffle.
Each kit makes two pies so there’s no need to share. Make it extra special by getting the Nutella Ring kit (£4.95) for dessert.
SMOKESTAK Feasting Boxes
Enjoy barbecue SMOKESTAK-style. The legendary East London BBQ joint has come up with feasting boxes, bringing juicy, succulent joy to mealtimes.
Containing the likes of beef brisket and ribs, each dish is designed to have you licking your plates clean. Everything has been prepared so you only have to do the bare minimum at home - a short spell in the oven left the brisket pull-apart tender.
Kricket Butter Chicken Curry Kit
We expected good things from modern Indian restaurant Kricket, but the meal that wound up on our plates truly surpassed expectations. Choose from a butter chicken kit (to feed two or four) and an Old Delhi chicken curry kit (£35).
Everything arrives 10 minutes shy of being ready, just empty the wonderfully fragrant dal and makhani sauce into saucepans on medium heat. The most ‘cooking’ involves baking tandoori-marinated chicken - once done, it can join the makhani sauce party.
The butter chicken curry kit comes with ghee pilau rice, tarka dal and four black pepper-speckled papads with mango chutney. There’s plenty for leftovers, so ready the tupperware - it would be criminal to waste a single drop of this joy-revving meal.
Benares at Home Menus
You'll want to ensure you're properly famished before booking Mayfair restaurant Benares' at Home delivery - the portions are extremely generous. To bring the taste of the posh Indian home, try the tasting menu (£120) which includes favourites like samosa chaat, chicken makhani, lamb biryani and more. Veggie and vegan options are also on the cards. Everything is prepped to within minutes of perfection, meaning there's little more than some assembly and plating to do on your end.
The Coach Makers Arms At Home Kits
Acting Shopping Editor and long-time carnivore Ellie Davis tried the steak box: “The 1kg hunk of Côte de Boeuf comes with detailed instructions to avoid that dreaded over (or under) cooking that often occurs with a steak of this magnitude. Alongside the meat, there’s Dauphinoise potatoes, broccoli and roast veg. They couldn’t be easier to finish off - 20 minutes in the oven, and you’re good to go.”
From lauded Indian restaurant Gunpowder comes a new London-only delivery service, Empire Biryani. Meals are focused on tradtional Dum Biryani from nothern India - so expect richly flavoured meat and veggies nestled in fragrant rice.
You’ll need to pop the pastry-topped rice dishes into the oven for half an hour, but the result is the best, most addictive biryani that will ever pass your lips. Make it a true feast by adding in orders of butter paneer and beef kebabs. Unforgettable.
Finish & Feast
Fancy fine dining without having to battle for a table? Step right this way to Finish & Feast, who hosts elite chefs like Tom Aikens to create meals so delicious you’ll want to crack out the black tie to eat them. The luxury kits span top kitchen-quality seafood, meat, veggie and vegan options. Gift cards are also available.
Nutshell at Home
Passionate about Persian? You’ll love this feast from Nutshell, bursting with the flavours of the Middle East. The three-course kits start with fresh mezze selection (expect Bazaar Bread, Jerusalem Artichoke Veloute, and Beetroot Borani) before mains of fish, lamb or veggies. Finish with an incredible dessert, made to remember.