Since the outbreak of Covid-19 and the governments imposed lockdown beginning in March, home cooking has seen a boom in popularity throughout the UK. According to a new study of 2,000 adults, more than a fifth of Brits are now cooking every meal from scratch, with over half having experimented with additional ingredients. Long before lockdown, stockpiling and panic buying saw the supermarket shelves entirely stripped of non-perishables; then when baking became social media’s biggest trend (specifically banana bread and sourdough), eggs and flour became the 2020 equivalent of a shiny Charizard. In addition to a clutch of excellent restaurants now delivering, some have also tapped into the home cooking trend, introducing DIY meal kits for customers to prepare and enjoy at home.
Comprising high quality ingredients, most of the meal kits are less expensive than if they were to be ordered in the restaurant. They’re also delivered responsibly, adhering to social distancing guidelines. A fun, interactive way to support restaurants and small businesses during the pandemic, while practicing those new found home cooking skills.
TACA Tacos DIY Taco Kit
Inspired by the Mission District in San Francisco, TACA pays homage to California-style Mexican food. Drawing from memories of eating Mexican food as a child while visiting California, the brand was set-up by Thorne Addyman, following extensive research. Before the government’s imposed lockdown took effect, Mission St hosted a string of successful pop-ups in south-east London and a monthly night at Villages Brewery Taproom in Deptford.
In response to the coronavirus pandemic, TACA has launched a new DIY delivery service, offering superlative tacos within the M25. Each kit features the prepared ingredients to assemble an exceptional feast at home, anchored by soft corn tacos. The weekly-changing menu features a meat or vegetarian option, including the likes of barbacoa beef with mole, chipotle beans, or pulled-mushrooms – a vegetarian riff on carnitas. Accoutrements such as home-made salsa, radishes, lime, coriander, home-made tortilla chips, pico de gallo, guacamole, and hot cheese dip are also supplied. DIY taco kits are available to order from TACA Tacos’ Instagram (@tacatacosuk), priced at £25 for two people, or £42 with plenty to feed four.
Mac & Wild The Venimoo Kit
Scottish restaurant Mac & Wild has launched a DIY meal kit, for customers across the UK to recreate its famous Venimoo Burger at home. Complete with all ingredients, each burger kit is delivered in line with Mac & Wild’s ethos of offering sustainable Scottish produce, with all game and meat sent direct from the Highlands, delivered in ethically-sourced packaging. Alongside helpful recipe cards complete with photographs, a full list of ingredients and allergens, the boxes contain enough produce to make four Venimoo burgers at home. Four venison patties are joined by four beef patties, baby gem lettuce, gherkins, burger cheese slices, onions to be caramelised at home, and firm sesame brioche buns. A selection of sauces are also included, with béarnaise, mustard, and the restaurant’s Red Jon sauce, making it possible to cook a restaurant-standard burger at home.
Priced at £12 each in the restaurant, the DIY meal kit offers great value, with ingredients for four burgers, priced at £28 (£7 per burger). Further information can be found at macandwild.com.
Bancone At-Home Meal Kits
Available for delivery within a five-mile radius of Bancone Golden Square (W1F 9EL), the renowned Italian restaurant has launched new at-home kits. Including starters, pasta mains and desserts, portions are available for two or four people, available for Friday delivery if ordered before midday on the previous Tuesday. Delivered with packaging that’s as green and sustainable as possible, dishes contain all necessary ingredients besides salt, pepper and parmesan, including the likes of burrata with kale leaves, marinated beetroot and chive oil; exemplary mafalde with a fiery ragù of pork and ‘nduja; and refreshing coconut panna cotta to finish, complete with mango and passionfruit, plus coconut and cherry crisp. Deli ingredients are also available, as well as a selection of wines and beers. Further information can be found at bancone.co.uk.
Burger & Beyond DIY Lockdown Kits
Providing some of London’s most gloriously decadent burgers, Burger & Beyond have also launched their own DIY Lockdown Kits. These kits include everything needed to make the restaurant’s BBB (Bacon Butter Burger) or Krispie Fried Chicken burger. Additional dishes include ‘Dirty Tots’, fried chicken, ‘Truffle Tots’, and gourmet hazelnut brownies. For the BBB, four demi brioche buns are provided alongside eight slices of pancetta, American cheese, burnt butter mayo, pickled onion, and enough 35 day aged minced beef to produce four patties. This is accompanied by a full guide to recreating the burger at home, involving dividing the meat into four balls and smashing in the pan, toasting the buns, and adding a splash of water before covering to steam, encouraging the cheese to melt perfectly. Priced at £11.50 each, in the restaurant, the DIY kit is priced at £25 (£6.25 per burger). Further information can be found at burgerandbeyondshop.co.uk.
BAO Home Kits
Towards the start of the UK’s imposed lockdown, BAO launched Rice Error, a new delivery format available to local residents. As part of the brand’s ongoing mission to bring the restaurant experiences to customers’ homes, new BAO Home Kits have been launched. Currently available within the M25, the kits will become available nationwide from the start of July, available via BAO’s online convenience store, CONVINI. Priced at £20 each, the DIY meal kits feature six ready-to-steam baos as well as the elements needed to build their namesakes. The ‘Classic BAO Box’ is packed with 12-hour-braised pork, fermented greens and peanut dust, while the ‘Daikon BAO Box’ features individual panko daikon. Boxes of plain baos will also be available to buy separately, while a selection of BAO Bakery goods will be available as of July. Further information can be found at baolondon.com.
Truffle DIY Burger Meal Kits
In response to the temporary closure of their Covent Garden home, Truffle has launched their DIY burger kit, including all the ingredients needed to create their unique burgers at home. Within the M25, kits are available for Truffle’s ‘The Aged Beef Burger’ (90-day aged beef patty, caramelised shallot puree, smoked cheese, house pickles, truffle and garlic sauce, brioche bun) and Truffle mac and cheese. The ‘Truffle Burger’ is available nationwide, however, featuring bacon and beef blend patties, truffle mayo, fig jam, raclette, crispy shallots, and brioche buns). Vegetarian options are also available, using Beyond Meat products. Each meal kit box is £25 and includes enough ingredients to make four burgers (usually priced at £8.50 each).
Moreover, Truffle is challenging their customers to take the best picture that they can of their homemade burgers using the hashtag #trufflelockdown for a chance to win a £100 voucher to spend online, or at one of their London sites once they re-open. Further information on delivery can be found at truffle-london.co.uk.
Wun’s Sugar Skin Iberico Fatty Char Siu Kit
Inspired by 1960s Hong Kong, Wun’s is a Cantonese restaurant, bar and tea room from Alex and Z, the husband-and-wife team behind Bun House. As many restaurants continue to deliver kits for customers to make restaurant-quality dishes at home, Wun’s has launched a new sugar skin Iberico char siu pork kit, available for delivery across London. With the kit, the restaurant’s glorious signature dish is quick and easy to assemble at home, featuring two slabs of pork, a house-spiced sugar pack and pillowy blini buns, enough to feed two – three people.
Wun’s sugar skin Iberico fatty char siu kits are priced at £18.81, and can be ordered via wunstearoom.slerp.com.
Bocca di Lupo At Home
Coinciding with the launch of ‘In Viaggio Regione’, a series of monthly-changing regional menus, Bocca di Lupo now also offers the chance to make their regional Italian feasts at home via their online delivery service and shop, Bocca di Lupo at Home. Established at the beginning of lockdown, the team have put together a selection DIY boxes filled with some of the restaurant’s most-loved dishes, plus Italian wines to accompany. With a choice between a meat, fish, or vegetarian box, October’s feasts focus on the food of Lazio. The meat box for two features a starter of mozzarella in carozza – thin, crispy toasted sandwiches filled with cheese, basil, and anchovy, with tomato sauce; suckling pig with Fragolino grapes and tender chestnuts cooked in stock and bay; and slices of burnt ricotta pie. Priced from £52, the Bocca di Lupo at Home boxes are available to order from boccadilupoathome.com.
Honest Burgers ‘Honest at Home’ Kits
Following the success of their ‘Honest at Home’ kits, Honest Burgers has launched two new DIY kits, available for nationwide delivery. In addition to the ‘TRIBUTE’ kit, featuring everything needed to re-create the burger at home, the vegan ‘PLANT’ kit has also been introduced by popular demand. In addition to revolutionary plant-based Beyond Meat patties (unusually meat-like in flavour and texture), the kit also includes vegan smoked gouda, Rubies in the Rubble chipotle ‘mayo’, mustard, red onion and homemade pickles. All that’s needed to recreate the dish at home is a head of lettuce, which doesn’t tend to travel well. Honest Burgers’ DIY kits are available in packs of two or four, with gluten free buns available, sold exclusively via the Honest website. A reusable Honest Burgers tote bag is also included with all orders, plus rosemary salt to season fries at home.
Rudy’s Vegan Diner DIY Delivery Kits
Based in Camden Market, Rudy’s Vegan Diner has launched a new range of DIY delivery kits, available nationwide. With four kits to choose from, each box is filled with high-quality homemade products, made using original recipes created by chef Matthew Foster. Kits include the restaurant’s ‘Dirty Burger’, ‘Grilled Chick’n Caesar Burger’, ‘Broccoli Mac ‘n’ Cheeze’, and Rudy’s Reuben – a vegan take on the classic sandwich. In addition to vegan pastrami, the Rudy’s Reuben kits also features a loaf of rye bread, sliced ‘cheeze’, pickles, sauerkraut, grilled and crispy onions, and Russian and creamy ‘cheese’ dressings. Each kit arrives with all necessary ingredients, plus a full recipe card and a QR code directing customers to the Rudy’s YouTube channel. Rudy’s DIY delivery kits are available from the restaurant’s website, priced at £18, with £1 from each box donated to Friend Farm Animal Sanctuary.
A brand new recipe box delivery service, Wild Radish works with top chefs on recipes featuring great, seasonal ingredients. Co-founded by chef Anthea Stephenson (formerly The River Café and Polpetto) and entrepreneur James Bhardwaj, Wild Radish has been designed to share the participating chefs’ love of great ingredients, providing home cooks with easy-to-follow DIY recipes and tips to recreate exceptional restaurant quality dishes at home.
Inspired by each chef’s work at celebrated UK restaurants, recipe boxes provide the ingredients and tips to make the dish at home, without spending hours in the kitchen, or searching for specialist ingredients. Instead, participating chefs source ingredients themselves, using their favourite artisan suppliers, while core ingredients are sourced by Stephenson at Wild Radish with seasonality always at the forefront: Natoora for fruit and vegetables, Rare Breed Meat Co for meat, James Knight of Mayfair for fresh fish. Wild Radish uses the same suppliers as their chefs, providing its customers with farmers market fresh ingredients that are unable to buy elsewhere.
In line with peak seasonality and the natural farming cycle, the recipes change fortnightly, with a meat, fish, and vegetable option. Wines are also available, specifically matched to the dishes and ingredients in each DIY box, chosen by Matthew Jukes, championing suppliers such as Liberty Wines and Enotria & Coe – both of which are usually only available in restaurants.
For the launch of Wild Radish, participating chefs have included the likes of Philip Howard (Elystan Street), Alyn Williams (formerly Alyn Willams at The Westbury), Anna Hansen (formerly The Modern Pantry) Mark Kempson (Kitchen W8), Marianna Leivaditaki (Morito Hackney Road), Richard Galli (The Goring’s Dining Room), Daniel Fletcher (28 Market Place in Somerton), and Sam Ashton-Booth (formerly The Ledbury).
Recipe boxes with the wine are priced at £65 (£50 without wine). Orders must be made by midnight on Sunday, to deliver the following Thursday morning. Orders will arrive before 7am each Thursday and can be left in a designated safe space for ease, using relevant packaging for chilled items. Wild Radish currently delivers to London postcodes only. Further information can be found at wild-radish.co.uk.
The Barge House ‘Breakfast En Bread’
Hackney restaurant, The Barge House, has launched its ‘Breakfast En Bread’ for nationwide, next-day delivery. Here, sourdough loaves are filled with locally sourced ingredients, easy to reheat at home and ready in just 20 minutes. Free next-day delivery is offered to anywhere in the UK when four items or more are purchased, and a Click & Collect service is available from Monday-to-Friday on orders before 2pm (for same day collection).
Inspired by the Full English breakfast, ‘The Original’ is filled with oyster mushrooms, bacon, Barge House banger, spinach, and egg. A vegetarian option is also available. ‘The Smokey Salmon’, on the other hand, teams locally smoked salmon from Chapel & Swan with crème fraiche, spinach, slow-roasted tomatoes, and leeks, garnished with dill and a squeeze of lemon, topped with an egg. ‘The Au-Barge’ is filled with baked aubergine, tomato sauce with black olives, oyster mushrooms, vegan feta, spinach, and green sauce. All are complete with a fresh egg to be cracked on top. Further information can be found at breakfastenbread.com.
Pied à Terre Vegan Feast
Michelin-starred Pied à Terre is continuing to serve its Vegan Feast, available for delivery. Including a weekly-changing three-course menu of dishes based on the restaurant’s award-winning vegan menus, the Vegan Feast for two is priced at £50, with food arriving chilled, simply needing to be heated at home, complete with easy-to-follow instructions. Local delivery is available on Friday and Saturday, while nationwide deliveries are made on Fridays via DPD. ‘Local pickup’ can also be arranged on ordering. Example dishes from the weekly-changing menu include the likes of French onion soup with croutons; ‘ricotta’ dip with flatbreads; basmati rice salad with sweetcorn and peas; vegetable stir fry with noodles and ponzu sauce; and pecan and orange halva, to finish. Further information can be found at pied-a-terre.co.uk.
PASSO TO GO
Let’s be honest, pizzas cooked in conventional ovens are often disastrous. But with a new nationwide delivery service, PASSO make their signature pizzas easy to recreate at home with DIY meal kits. Of course, pizza ovens are ideal for perfect pizzas, but PASSO TO GO sees recipes slightly tweaked for home ovens or frying pans, with easy-to-follow instructions and video tutorials available. In addition to pizza kits, the Italian-inspired Shoreditch restaurant also offers a selection of pasta dishes. Pizza kits include all necessary ingredients to make two or four pizzas at home, including balls of their three-day fermented dough. Alongside the standard toppings, PASSO has collaborated with LA restaurateur and Chef’s Table star Nancy Silverton on a one-off pizza special. On a sourdough base, Silverton’s pizza has a white base, topped with fennel sausage, mozzarella, onion, and fennel pollen which works exceptionally well with the sausage. Further information can be found at passotogo.com.
Arabica Feast for Beirut Meal Kits
With restaurants in Borough Market and near King’s Cross, Arabica has launched a new meal kit – Feast for Beirut – following the success of its Bake For Beirut cake sale. Available for nationwide delivery, the kits showcase the food culture of Beirut while raising money for Lebanese charities, donating five per cent of proceeds to Red Cross Lebanon.
Both priced at £45 for two people, the original Feast for Beirut DIY kit is available alongside a vegan alternative. Featuring all necessary ingredients (even cooking oil), the original kit includes the likes of crunchy pickles; hummus Beiruti, loaded with sweet peppers, red chilli, garlic, and roasted chickpeas; baba ghanoush with pomegranate; tabbouleh; grilled halloumi; exceptional pumpkin kibbeh; and pita bread. To follow, the main course includes slow-cooked beef short rib stew with vermicelli rice crowned with crispy onions and pickled barberries; finished with a selection of baklava. As well as offering excellent value, the kits’ portion sizes are particularly generous. Moreover, Arabica has also launched a ready-to-bake range, including Börek in either lamb and potato (£16) or spinach and feta (£16); and Kunefe (£18). Both are delivered frozen, ready to bake. Further information can be found at arabicalondon.com.
Rosa’s DIY Pad Thai Kits
Celebrating 75 years of Thailand’s national dish, Tourism Thailand and Rosa’s Thai Café have collaborated on the launch of Rosa’s DIY Pad Thai kits, available nationwide. Since opening its first restaurant in Spitalfields 12 years ago, Rosa’s Thai Cafe has sold over 1.4 million pad Thais. Now, for the first time, customers can make founder Saiphin Moore’s signature dish at home, without the hassle of sourcing and measuring ingredients. Available from Great Food 2 U, kits include everything needed to make either Rosa’s prawn or tofu pad Thai at home, besides a splash of oil and optional peanuts, to garnish. Each box is also embellished with a QR link to a step-by-step cook-along video, hosted by Saiphin, delivered alongside simple, easy-to-follow instructions. Priced at £40 for four people, it’s also worth noting that the portions are at the generous end of the spectrum. Further information can be found at greatfood2u.co.uk.
10 Greek Street Feast-Boxes
Soho restaurant 10 Greek Street has just launched food and drink delivery across a variety of platforms. In addition to delivery of their new pizzas and own brand Braybrooke beer, initially through Slerp, the restaurant has also introduced meal kits, available for nationwide delivery via Dishpatch. Each month, limited-edition feast-boxes are created by Head Chef and Co-Owner Cameron Emirali, showcasing the best of seasonal ingredients. Priced at £55 for two people, the two-course menu may include the likes of slow-cooked short rib of Dexter beef with confit potatoes, carrots, parsnips, and braised curly kale; plus poached quince, polenta and almond cake with crème fraîche to finish. Each kit is delivered with simple instructions to warm the easy to prepare dishes at home. Further information can be found at 10greekstreet.com.
Delivered to addresses throughout London, Fidelari produces fresh and homemade pasta. Set up by a team of close friends, founders Vanessa and Valentina met while working at Restaurant Theo Randall on Park Lane – Vanessa managed the restaurant while Valentina worked as Head Pasta Chef. Hailing from Puglia, the pair’s first solo venture hopes to produce some of the best handmade pasta in the capital, sticking to age-old Italian traditions, executed with a contemporary twist.
In addition to delivering plain fresh pasta, Fidelari also offers quick and east to prepare pasta kits, with dishes including the likes of gnocchi with rocket pesto and tomatoes Datterini confit, or shin of beef ragù with pappardelle. Aperitivo dishes include the likes of focaccia Pugliese, while a dessert kit is also available. Further information can be found at fidelari.com.
This article was updated on Monday 30th November, 2020.