12 DIY meal kits that will transport your tastebuds around the world
Even as restaurants begin to reopen, the prospect of dining out as we used to seems a speck on the horizon. However, for those who aren’t keen on socially distanced service, some innovative London restaurants have launched meal kits which allow you to recreate authentic dishes from the comfort of your home. Though they can’t replace the pleasure of perusing a menu, they may just teleport your tastebuds to another continent entirely, be it to the spice markets of Asia or the cobbled streets of southern Europe. We’ve picked 12 tempting options that will help you satisfy your wanderlust without leaving the house.
Immerse yourself in Asian aromatics
South East Asia is known not just for its world-class wildlife and stunning scenery, but also for its incredible cuisine. This backpacking hotspot may be off bounds for now, but chef Abby Lee of Mambow is serving up a slice of the region with a series of Malaysian-style DIY meal boxes, Mambow at Home. Londoners can choose any main, two sides and a dessert, which will be delivered to your door along with a set of easy-to-follow instructions. The menu marries Malaysian, Indonesian, Thai and Chinese cuisine, with dishes for all diets including char sui pork, fried tofu Kapitan and smokey aubergines.
If you haven’t yet experienced the fun-filled, bun-filled wonders of Bao, now is your chance. This London-based Chinese micro-chain has caused a stir in the capital since opening in 2013 as a market stall, and it’s now extending its reach by way of Bao home kits, currently available within the M25 and soon to be delivering nationwide. At £20 each, the kits include six ready-to-steam buns along with the filling of your choice, whether it’s the meaty 12-hour-braised pork or the veggie-friendly panko daikon.
Paying homage to the fragrant food of Bombay, Dishoom have taken London (and Edinburgh) by storm. Lovers of Indian food can now rejoice as one of the restaurant’s most popular brunch dishes is hitting houses across the country. The Bacon Naan Roll Kit can be purchased for nominated day delivery to any UK mainland address (excluding the Scottish Highlands) up to one month in advance. Along with the dough, bacon, fresh herbs and sauces, the kit includes Dishoom’s beloved masala chai. At only £16 for two people, it’s a delicious deal indeed.
Sample the best of British butchery
Of course, you don’t have to go abroad to get amazing cuisine, and you might simply be missing the taste of British beef reared on our green and pleasant land. When it comes to steak it’s not just about the way you cook it; it’s about the quality of the cut, which is why we are delighted that popular steakhouse group Hawksmoor is launching a nationwide delivery service Hawksmoor at Home, sourcing the best produce from UK pastures. It’s not a cheap box at £120 for two (it comes in at about the same price as a meal out), but with ingredients including a 35-day dry-aged Porterhouse Steak, you really do get what you pay for.
The Harwood Arms
There’s nothing better than a Sunday roast, and if you have been deprived of your mum’s roasties or your dad’s Yorkshire puddings for too long, The Harwood Arms are offering a worthy alternative. The only Michelin-starred pub in London has launched a delivery service that enables you to make their famous roast dinner in the same hearty portions. Roast at Home, created in conjunction with Lake District Farmers, supports British agriculture and includes a 500g piece of sirloin, beef fat for crisping up your potatoes and bone-marrow-enriched gravy.
Mac & Wild
When it comes to livestock, the Highland “coo” is our most iconic cattle. That’s why it seems fitting to order your burger fresh from Scottish restaurant Mac & Wild. Their DIY meal kit is sourced from sustainable Scottish produce and enables customers to cook up their famous Venimoo burgers at home. Each package contains enough for four burgers, with four venison patties and four beef patties alongside all your favourite fillings and a selection of sauces. This is also a great option for those wanting to save: at £28 per box, each burger will cost you £5 less than the restaurant price.
Cook up a wholesome Mediterranean feast
For foodies, there’s no better travel destination than Italy. While a trip to sunnier climes might not be on the cards, you can still indulge in the next best thing: fresh Italian flavours. Shoreditch restaurant Passo are now delivering special DIY pizza and pasta kits to doors across the UK with their new initiative Passo to Go. With a serving of three-day fermented dough and a selection of fresh toppings, it’s possible to create two or four of their signature pizzas, from the Spiced Salami and Smoked Speck & Portobello Mushroom to the Artichoke, Salted Ricotta, Potato, Olives & Rosemary. The recipes have been modified to be suitable for domestic ovens or frying pans.
Those lucky enough to live within a five-mile radius of the Golden Square iteration of renowned Italian restaurant Bancone (W1F 9EL) can try their hand at fine dining. The kitchen are sending out three-course at-home kits in portions fit for two or four, packaged as sustainably as possible and containing the highest quality ingredients, from burrata to smoked duck breast. The impressive menu includes refined dishes such as mafalde with a fiery ragù of pork and ‘nduja and coconut panna cotta with mango and passionfruit, coconut and cherry crisp, as well as a selection of wine and beer.
Sabor en Casa
If you’re looking for an even fancier spread, look no further than Mayfair’s Michelin-starred Sabor. Spanish chefs Nieves Barragan Mohacho and José Etura are allowing fans to recreate their tapas plates at home with Sabor en Casa, offering feasting boxes at £58 or £70 containing classics such as Sabor’s prawn croquetas, Sabor’s tortilla mix and churrasco de cordero (milk-fed lamb ribs) with chimichurri sauce. This celebration of Spain’s regional cuisine, from Andalucia to Castile and Galicia, can be ordered to London addresses each Monday and Friday, or picked up from the restaurant itself on Heddon Street.
Get the all-American experience
If it’s a journey across the pond that you are missing, Smokestak at Home has you covered. Chef and founder David Carter is giving us the gift of a true Southern BBQ with DIY bun boxes and smoked meats by the pound. All of the cuts are smoked, cooked, chilled and vacuum-packed in their Shoreditch kitchen before dispatch, with instructions for assembly on arrival. To get the full restaurant experience, customers can also download their Spotify playlist.
Patty & Bun
Burger sensation Patty & Bun are also releasing weekly soundtracks of “lockdown bangers” and Instagram cocktail tutorials alongside their lockdown DIY kits. You can choose from either the standard kit, which will give you the ingredients for two Ari Gold cheeseburgers and two Smokey Robinsons, or the new vegan kit, made up entirely of plant-based products. The package includes most of the ingredients used to make up the burgers in store – brioche buns, patties, onions, cheese and mayo – minus tomatoes and lettuce, which you can add yourself for freshness.
Mission St Tacos
Named after the distinct in San Francisco, this American fusion restaurant is an ode to California-style Mexican food. The brand, who have hosted a series of successful pop-ups in South-east London as well as a regular residency at Hacha bar, are now launching a new DIY delivery service in response to the pandemic. Each kit includes prepared ingredients on top of the iconic soft corn tacos, with a changing weekly menu offering both meat and veggie options, from barbacoa beef to pulled mushrooms and homemade salsa. The service is available at select addresses in south, east and north London and can be ordered via their Instagram, priced at £25 for two people or £40 for four.