Being in a perma-state of battening down the hatches is pretty exhausting, and so is making a meal sometimes. No amount of oil, fire, and passive aggressive love is going to make the 90 minutes that butternut squash takes to cook taste worthwhile when you’re not in the mood. It’s just a fact of life. Which is why you need backup options. That’s where your freezer comes in. Your freezer is where meals for the unmotivated should live. 10 minute pork dumplings, half an hour crispy lasagnes, ginormous tubs of empathetic ice cream. And if if isn’t, then you need to stock up from the spots below.
There are only so many YouTube dumpling tutorial videos one person can watch before respectfully (and predictably) giving up. Make your life easier by cramming your freezer with the namesakes of this east London favourite. Pork and kaffir lime, peanut and mixed veg, courgette and wood ear mushroom, and lamb and coriander dumplings are all available to order online.
Puy lentil soup, chicken tagine, and labaneh are just some of the delicious offerings you can order from Honey & Co’s shop. There are lots of excellent Middle Eastern pantry bits to fill your cupboards with as well.
The Ghanaian bakery in Seven Sisters has a tonne of goodies available to order on their website. There are chicken, vegetable, fish, and meat pies plus, of course, a whole range of sweet stuff, like coconut cake and mini doughnuts.
Pacco di mamma (mamma’s package) is how La Mia Mamma in Chelsea is describing their enormous Italian care package. It’s full of DIY and ready-to-eat bits, from pizza dough to arancini, to homemade sauces and four portions of aubergine parmigiana. The mega-package is made for two, but you can also order it for one if you prefer.
‘Ice cream pie in the post’ is the most exciting thing we’ve read for some time. Paired with ‘mini tub of handmade marshmallow fluff’, we think we may pass out in excitement. These are just two of the sweet delights on offer from weird and wonderful ice cream obsessives Chin Chin Laboratories. Their online shop is enough to make us regret daydreaming in chemistry all those years ago.
The Italian restaurant in Peckham has quite a few things that we’d be more than happy to find in and around our freezer. Squash, sage, and hazelnut lasagna is a delicious-sounding vegetarian alternative, while wild garlic and confit garlic sauce is a seasonal delight that you could have any season (with the correct ice cold storage). Check their full menu here.
The Thai-influenced neighbourhood favourite in Highbury has a whole larder menu for you to fill your fridge and freezer from. Pre-made red, green, and massaman curries feature, including vegetarian options. Or, if you’re happy to do a little bit of chopping, then the Ka Prow stir fry, or pad Thai caramel sauces, could be a good option.
Lasagne alla bolognese, whole tiramisu, and pumpkin agnolotti are just some of the things you can get from the Italian spot on Cambridge Heath Road. There are plenty of sauces if you’re looking for something to pair with their handmade pastas, and it’s available for delivery if you’re around east London. Check their website for the full spread.
Daylesford are delivering all sorts from their online shop, including a pretty good selection of homemade sauces, broths, curries, and more. Choose from things like lentil dhal, venison ragu, chicken tagine, and a never-not-welcome helping of bolognese sauce.
A favourite and a nemesis of kitchens the world over, Ottolenghi restaurants have now made things much easier with their ready meal range. Stock up on easy to heat (and easy to defrost) pouches of beef and ricotta meatballs, braised spinach with paneer, lime, and herbs, or confit tandoori chickpeas.
Both the original Soho and the King’s Cross locations of Lina Stores are open in deli form. There’re a load of fresh pasta options for you to choose from (and then squirrel away), like artichoke and fresh truffle ravioli, casarecce, plus homemade sauces you can heat up at anytime. Look for yourself here.
Jamaica Patty Co
The Covent Garden spot is delivering frozen patties, rum cake, and coffee anywhere within the M25. Choose between curried goat, vegetable, ackee and saltfish, spicy beef, and more. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or check their Instagram for more details.
South London’s favourite Taiwanese mini-empire have made their homemade pork dumplings available to buy online. 20 will cost you £15 or you can get 40 for £25. You could also get some kapitan curries to stick in there too. Minimum effort, maximum enjoyment. Check out the full menu.
Swing by the superb wine bar and restaurant next to Shad Thames to pick up bits like pork and fennel ragoût, watercress soup, braised cuttlefish, and pear sorbet. If they have any of their daily sandwiches left, you’ll want to get one of those as well. Their Insta has more details.
Every Friday the legendary British restaurant will make a pie available to order online and collect from St. John Bread & Wine on Commercial Street. Fillings so far have included pheasant and trotter, pig and potato - both complete with an oozing piece of bone marrow in the middle. Order here.
The Malaysian spot that specialises in stews and curries, all of course with rice, has a great selection of stuff for you to heat up when the CBAs hit. There’s soy-braised chicken, a vegan set meal for two, potato curry puffs, and more. See the full menu here.
photo credit: Karolina Wiercigroch
The old school Bethnal Green caf will be delivering whole homemade pies, enormous trays of saucy lasagne, pasta sauces, puddings, and more. Check their Instagram for more details.
If your freezer isn’t full of your own mum’s food then why not fill it with a load of Italian mamma’s fare instead. The fantastic Chelsea restaurant has fresh pasta kits available for freezing, with ravioli filling, sauces, the lot. It’s not exactly boil-in-the-bag stuff, but it’s perfect for making a load of delicious pasta and saving some for later. Order from their online shop.
The fancy Chelsea fishmonger and seafood spot has lots of excellent produce that’s made to last online. There’s pre-marinaded black cod in miso, salmon in teriyaki sauce, and Mediterranean style prawns. Stick it in the freezer, forget about it, then thank past you in a couple of month’s time. Order here.
If getting what is probably London’s best gelato straight to your door doesn’t sound like an excellent idea, then we don’t know what is. Gelupo are delivering all over - you just need to reserve a weekend delivery spot - and the minimum order is two half-litre tubs. Which sounds about right to us. Get it here.
Choose three flavours between classics like pork belly or aromatic duck, or switch things up with a cheeseburger or mushroom and truffle number. There are vegetarian and vegan options, plus some dessert dumps as well. Get yours.
The Singaporean spot is delivering its signature curry puffs. There’s chicken curry, beef rendang, and vegetable potato curry, plus some curry meal options and skewers and snacks, if you’re looking to stock up for winter. Order for collection or delivery.
Parmigiana, lasagne, chicken stew, and tiramisu are just a few of the things that you can get from Trullo’s deli next door. Or, if the idea of boiling water doesn’t totally appal you, pick up some homemade tomato sauce, or nduja mascarpone, to add pasta. Check their Instagram for update.
London’s oldest pie and mash shop is still going strong through lockdown. You can bulk chilled deliveries of their meat and vegan pies, mash, liquor, and some jellied eels if you’re that old school. Their website is the place to order from.
photo credit: Giulia Verdinelli
The Camberwell Arms
Pies, hotpots, apple cakes, and whatnot are available to order from The Camberwell Arms - just make sure you clear some room in your freezer (and stomach) first. There’s beef, ale, and bone marrow pie, or a smoked haddock, mussel, and leek number with dauphinoise. Order for collection or delivery or give them a bell on 020 7358 4364.
The Burmese spot in Shoreditch has a whole online pantry to choose from that’s available for delivery and collection. There are coconut broth noodles kits for 2-3 people, lentil chow chow, and more. It’s a great option for vegetarians and vegans, especially if they’re of a lazy disposition. Find the whole menu here.
There’s no shortage of freezable and delicious opportunities from the Quality Chop House. Portions of their homely dexter mince (best loaded on thickly cut toast) are available, pies and those confit potatoes are too, as well as changing dishes and puds. Take your pick here.
Cash & Kari is both an excellent pun and also a new online shop from Hoppers. The Sri Lankan restaurant’s online store features that bone marrow varuval amongst karis, roti, and more. Have a gander here.
Another option for effortless top quality pasta is Burro e Salvia. All of their fresh handmade pasta is available for delivery and collection, from pumpkin and goats cheese tortelloni, to tightly packed cappelletti. There are sauces as well, and you can look at the full selection here. Or call 020 7739 4429.