Just as you were getting used to making plans, going out, and, you know, talking to people and stuff, you’ve been traced as a contact of someone who tested positive. Now you’re self-isolating for a week and a half. Happy days. Fortunately DIY meal kits, 2020′s second best invention (sorry meal kits, vaccines pipped you to the post) are still going strong. So, before you fill your fridge with whatever’s on special at your supermarket delivery service of choice, consider these 16-hour briskets, fine dining extravaganzas, and other restaurant meal kits, all full of things that makes complex-sounding meals very easy.
Names can be deceiving, but Quality Chop House’s is not. Everything about this restaurant, wine bar, butchers, and deli screams, in the words of a Sky Sports commentator, absolute top, top quality. You can enjoy it all in your own kitchen as well. Their legendary, almost mythological, confit potatoes are available vac-packed and ready to arrive on your doorstep. While their QCH @ Home kits feature courses on courses, like slow-cooked glazed beef cheeks with a black truffle sauce, or mushroom cavatelli with 36-month aged parmesan.
You were hopeful. You were sweating. You were refreshing the webpage every ten seconds. No, we’re not talking about trying to secure Glastonbury tickets, we’re talking about what it was like trying to get your hands on Bao’s DIY kits when they launched during lockdown one. No need to be so organised now to secure one of their classic pork bao kits and maybe (definitely) one of their umeshu negroni cocktail pouches too from their online shop.
Chuku’s chop, chat, chill kits won’t just sort out your dinner, they’ll sort out your whole evening. Their ‘House Wrapper’ meal kit not only comes with a sweet and spicy honey suya sauce, a meat of your choice, house salad, and their signature jollof quinoa, you also get a QR code that’ll lead you to hours of entertainment. We’re talking upbeat playlists, contemporary Nigerian art to peruse, dinnertime conversation starters, and a short film about an Afrobeat legend. Heads up, there’s also a vegan option and the sticky caramel kuli kuli chicken side is a must.
You might have not heard of a naco before this sentence. But you’re definitely going to want to get to know them after it, because the naan tacos at this British Afghan BBQ spot are excellent. And they’re delivering DIY naco kits across the UK. They come with smoked meat, either brisket or lamb, mini naans, toppings like Afghan green chutney, crispy onions, and sour cream. There’s a vegan option as well.
We once described this stalwart Italian as “seamlessly excellent”, and now they are sending out some excellent-looking monthly-changing DIY kits. Each month focusses on a specific region in Italy and is available in a vegetarian, meat, or fish version. Currently, there’s a Piemonte partridge, or a Piemonte contadina feast. Order here for delivery across the UK.
A Sri Lankan feast is on the cards if you order the Kalupol Chicken Kit from Hoppers’ online store Cash & Kari. At £45, it promises to feed up to four people with mutton rolls and hot dipping sauce, a whole marinated chicken ready to roast, a selection of sambols and garnishes, banana chips, pol roti dough, and two chocolate-coco biscuit puddings to share.
A big carb-filled care package is never not welcome, especially when it’s got the loving generosity of an Italian mamma involved. Pacco di mamma (mamma’s package) is how La Mia Mamma in Chelsea is describing their enormous care package. It’s full of DIY and ready-to-eat bits, from pizza dough to arancini, to homemade sauces, and a kilo of pasta dough in case you’re feeling confident. The mega package is made for two, but you can also order it for one if you prefer.
Before you got pinged, you liked to think of yourself as the type to wander to a butchers and buy a chateaubriand, or swing by the fishmongers for a casual lobster, but now you’re confined to quarters, let Hawksmoor makes things a little more straightforward. They’re delivering steak, seafood, Sunday roasts, and more - all ready to be warmed up and plated.
Before 2020 happened, Louisiana inspired seafood pop-up, Decatur, was planning on opening a bricks and mortar restaurant, but until that can happen they’re delivering DIY shrimp boils that you can throw into a large stock pot and boil. Simple. The kit includes shrimp, corn on the cob, smoked sausage, potatoes, and their signature seasoning. Soon-to-be-sodden newspaper not included.
Philly cheesesteak specialists Passyunk Avenue are delivering cheesesteak, Buffalo wings, and combo bundles all over London. You can choose between provolone, American, and wiz, or a mixture of all three. There are also some typically light-looking hoagies as well. Order here.
The closest you’ve ever come to ‘mastering the kitchen’ is that time you played Mr Bumble in your primary school rendition of Oliver Twist. Luckily, the Smokestak meal kits look pretty foolproof. As well as meaty finish-at-home feasting boxes, they’re also delivering DIY bun kits including their beef brisket. Plus, there’s cocktails and sticky toffee pudding too.
Like your billionth rewatch of Notting Hill, you know what you’re getting with Patty & Bun. And you know you’re gonna like it. The burger mini-chain still tastes as good as it did ten years ago, and their DIY burger kits are about as straightforward a guarantee of satisfaction you can get. The Smokey Robinson - a beef patty with cheese, caramelised onion, bacon, and smokey mayo - is our go-to.
Forget burgers and order some beetroot borani instead. Bubala, the delicious all-vegetarian Spitalfields restaurant, is doing a nine dish vegetarian mezze selection for two. There’s laffa flatbread, halloumi and honey, mushroom skewers, potato latke, and more.