London's Best DIY Meal Kits
Look, we know you can cook. We’ve seen you whip up a banging spag bolly and we’ve heard rumours that you’ve even been known to knock up the occasional Greek salad. But you can’t always be bothered can you? Some nights all you want is for someone else to go to the trouble of filling your stomach with warmth and happiness while you doomscroll Twitter. That’s why restaurants exist. Or, at least, it’s why they did. Before – y’know – “all this” happened.
Although a lot of London’s restaurants, cafes, and pubs are currently struggling to keep their heads above water and stay afloat, there’s a lot of great ways that you can support your favourite local and independent food and drink businesses while still fulfilling your need for a faff-free dinner. All from the comfort of your own home.
Ordering takeaway is one solution, for sure, but we’ve found that not everything travels well when it’s bunged in a plastic container and wheeled round Brick Lane on the back of a fixie bike. One of the best ways to get restaurant-quality food into your own kitchen is through one of the many delicious DIY meal kits that London’s top restaurants have available.
From BAO’s signature steamed buns to fall-apart pork tacos from El Pastor, there’s a load of excellent cook-at-home options out there for you to enjoy. All you have to do is whack them in the oven, wait however long the instructions tell you, and dive right in. It couldn’t be easier.
Here are some of the best DIY meal kits and recipe boxes from London’s hottest restaurants:
Cue Point - Lamb Brisket Naco Kit
What’s a naco, you ask? Well, it’s kind of like a naan taco. And now you want one, don’t you? Like, really, really badly. Well, luckily for you, the heroes at British Afghan barbecue joint Cue Point have put together this decadent meal kit that arrives on your doorstep chocked with an exhaustive spread of smoked brisket, smoked lamb, green chutney, crispy onions, red onion pickles, jalapeño jam, sour cream, pickled chillies, and – of course – those deliciously dextrous nacos. You won’t find a meatier meal kit in London.
PRICE: £35 for a 3 person serving
Patty&Bun - DIY Kit
This meal kit from Patty&Bun – which includes all you need to assemble two of their banging Smokey Robinson burgers and two of their Ari Gold burgers – will have you feeling like a smashburger expert in next to no time. Along with a simple step-by-step guide, the kit contains Patty&Bun’s signature HG Walter beef patties, soft and doughy brioche buns, a pot of Smokey P&B Mayo, cheese slices, and a lovely little tub of home-made pickled smoky onions. You can’t beat that.
Dishoom - Bacon Naan Roll Kit
One of the few advantages of working from home is the chance to spend less time on the tube and more time eating. While your pre-pandemic weekday breakfast might have been a bowl of cheerios and a few sad slices of banana, the sky’s the limit now, my friend. This idiot-proof bacon naan roll kit from Dishoom contains everything you need to make two breakfast-friendly bacon naan rolls. The best part of it all? Dishoom will donate a meal to Magic Breakfast – a charity who provide nourishing free meals to schools – for every kit sold. Lovely.
Smokestak - 15-Hour Brisket Bun Box
This banging barbecue brisket bun box (try saying that three times fast) is one of the most popular restaurant meal kits going. It’s not hard to see why. Each packed delivery contains 1 lb of 15-hour slow cooked beef brisket, four soft milk buns, Smokestak’s house barbecue sauce, pickled red chilli, and beef dripping – it’s the perfect night-in for anyone who’s a big fan of the maillard effect. Orders go live every Monday for delivery that Friday. Don’t miss out.
Monty's Deli – Reuben Sandwich Pack
Have what Sally was having with this reuben sandwich pack from Monty’s Deli. Choose from either the seminal salt beef (£38) or pastrami (£28) option and strap yourself in for one of the best sandwiches that your hands have ever constructed. Each pack contains your meat of choice (in your preferred size) with a sliced light rye loaf from The Snapery Bakery, sauerkraut, mustard, Russian dressing, and cheese. All you’ve got to do is put it all together. Simple.
Bancone – Spicy Pork & ‘Nduja Ragu With Mafalde
Bancone’s handmade pasta kits are a great dinner option for when you’ve got a hankering for fresh pasta but can’t be arsed actually making the stuff for yourself. This seductively simple kit for two is our pick of the bunch: a box stuffed with wavy mafalde pasta, spicy pork and ‘nduja ragu, and a small pot of Parmesan. What more could you ask for?
Lahpet – Lahpet At Home Meal For Two
Burmese joint Lahpet has created this meal kit medley of its most popular dishes; a selection perfectly designed for those both familiar and unfamiliar with the cuisine. Work your way through a paratha with yellow peas before tucking into a salad of your choosing, fiery and creamy coconut noodles, and whichever one of the tasty drinks the fancy. The serve to go for is the Lahpet margarita – a refreshing cocktail made with betel leaf-infused tequila.
Wun’s – Iberico Fatty Char Siu Kit
Get down and dirty with some Iberico char siu pork thanks to this quick and easy-to-assemble meal kit from Wun’s Tearoom & Bar. Combined with blini buns and a house-spiced sugar pack, each juicy, caramel-crusted portion of pork should serve 2 or 3 people as part of a main meal. Or one if you, like me, have no self control when it comes to perfectly cooked pig. The reheating instructions are painfully simple and this meal kit is best consumed within 3 days of delivery.
Sabor – Counter Menu Box
This special occasion box from the Michelin-starred Sabor, featuring a wealth of chef’s Nieves Barragan’s signature dishes, has all of the components you need to prepare a proper Spanish feast for two. Expect big hitters like prawn croquetas, Sabor’s melt-in-the-middle tortilla, perky gambas al ajillo, presa iberica with mojo verde, and more. It’s not cheap but this meal kit is more than worth it for when you want to push the boat out with some excellent Spanish eats.
El Pastor – Taco Party For Two
Fancy a Mexican feast for two? Stupid question. Of course you do. And that’s exactly why El Pastor has created this fiery box of fiesta flavour, packed with everything from tuna tostadas to soft and unctuous cochinita pibil, for you to enjoy. Finishing it off at home is a piece of cake and the option to add extras on top is especially handy if you feel like inviting a round of mezcal margaritas along to the party. In short: it’s all you need to have a delicious, socially distanced dinner party for two.
Honest Burgers - Honest Burger DIY Kit
Supermarket burgers are often a major disappointment, so why not treat yourself to a pair of patties made from chopped British chuck steak and lovingly marbled rib cap instead? Sourced straight from the Honest Butchery, these burgers come paired with quality Cheddar slices, dry-cured smoked bacon rashers, red onion relish, house pickles, buns from The Bread Factory, and a cute Honest-branded tote bag. The only thing this meal kit doesn’t include is any of Honest’s signature chips (or lettuce) but they will throw in a sachet of rosemary salt so you can zhuzh up your own portion of homemade potatoes.
PRICE: £15 serves 2
BAO – Classic Pork Made-By-You Kit
Want to chow down on soft and dimpled steamed buns that you can stuff with even-softer morsels of pork? Then this is the meal kit for you. The folks at BAO have put together this lovely little box kitted out with six of their signature fluffy baos alongside everything you’ll need to replicate their Classic Bao dish at home. Which, in this case, means 12-hour braised pork, coriander, fermented mustard greens, and peanut powder. The instructions are super easy-to-follow and this meal kit requires minimal prep for maximum effect.
Sambal Shiok – Special Laksa kit
Fire up your tastebuds with a fragrant laksa from Holloway Road mainstay Sambal Shiok. This laksa set for two is the perfect way to recreate that napkin-soaking, lip-tingling, forehead-glistening experience of eating at Mandy Yin’s Malaysian haven. Fat rice noodles, fried tofu puffs, bean sprouts, green beans, tender poached chicken and plump juicy king prawns all bob happily in this rich and savoury shrimp laksa broth. Everything is vac packed for freshness and all you need to do is give it all a quick reheat to allow those flavours to reach peak performance.
Quality Chop House – Cottage Pie
The simplest approach is often the most satisfying. And this simple cottage pie meal kit from Quality Chop House – which contains nothing more than a packet of fluffy potato mash and dark, rich beef mince – is edible proof of that. All you’ve got to do is assemble those two parts in an enamel tin provided by QCH before bunging it in the oven. The result is, perhaps somewhat depressingly, better than any cottage pie you will ever be able to make from scratch.
The Cheese Bar – Cook At Home Cheese Fondue Kit For 2
The Cheese Bar’s “Fondue it yourself!” kit wins our prize for the best-named restaurant meal kit out there. It might also be in with a shout as the most unique one, too. Each one of these cook-at-home kits contains a 300g mix of Coolea and Cornish Kern cheese along with 100ml white wine, 400g new potatoes, cornichons, spices, and a rustic sourdough loaf from Coombeshead Farm. It’s the stuff that dreams (and throwback fondue nights) are made of. Full instructions come with the kit. You don’t even need a fondue burner.
Supa Ya Ramen – The Inauthentic Ramen
If you’re after a delicious meat-free winter warmer, then this meal kit from Supa Ya Ramen (the hand-cut noodle brainchild of Luke Findlay) is the one for you. Each delivery contains two bowls of ramen loaded with roast celeriac, confit tomato broth, hand-cut noodles, green onions, sesame miso, Supa Ya’s house-made chilli pasta, fried garlic and a fudgy egg. Combine that with extras such as buttered chilli sweet corn, pak choi salad, soy-pickled cucumbers and mushrooms in black vinegar with confit garlic and you’ve got a veggie-friendly feast on your hand. Get ‘em while they’re hot.
PRICE: £45 serves 2
Hoppers - Paneer Kothu Roti Kit
Kothu roti is a popular Sri Lankan street food dish that hits just about every textural and flavour variation you could ever hope for. It’s crispy! It’s soft! It’s spicy! It’s fragrant! This finish-at-home paneer kothu roti from Hoppers delivers on all that promise, and then some. Each vegetarian-friendly kit includes a range of ingredients spanning from marinated paneer, chopped roti, and banana chips to kari sauce, tempered yoghurt and ready-to-fry vegetable rolls.
£30 serves 2