There used to be a divide between happy cooks and unhappy cooks. But now a kind of passive equilibrium has been reached by everyone. In other words, no one can be arsed anymore. This makes it hard when you’re in the mood for something that isn’t straightforward or available on delivery apps, but you absolutely do not want to lift more than two fingers to switch the hob or oven on. Enter pre-prepped 16-hour brisket, fine dining extravaganzas, and other DIY restaurant meal kits full of stuff that make complex-sounding meals very easy.
THE DIY KITS
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.
How do step-by-step instructions, pre-measured ingredients, and the knowledge that you could eat Mei Mei’s nasi lemak at home sound? Pretty great, right. This Singaporean spot is delivering nasi lemak, bak chor mee, beef rendang, and a limited edition Singapore laksa. Hurry, they’re only making a limited amount to order online.
The Tel Aviv-inspired spot in Borough Market is doing all manner of sweet and savoury DIY kits, from sabich pita kits, to a Ginger Pig spiced brisket collaboration, to a whole load of chocolate-y and festive babkas for you to make at home. Check out all the options on their website.
Correct us if we’re wrong, but we think the odds of you making curried lamb buns, or beef and barley buns with horseradish cream at home, are reasonably low. You can order both to steam at home from the Marksman though, alongside a beef and winter truffle pie as well. Order for collection or delivery, Thursday to Saturday.
Shoryu is an always-reliable spot when you need a bowl of something hot and nourishing in lieu of a hug from your mum. Thankfully they’ve got a few DIY ramen kits available to order for when you need this at home. Every kit comes with their 12-hour tonkotsu soup or a white soy milk soup, depending on your order, plus noodles, toppings, and the rest.
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.
The Cheese Bar is delivering cheese and charcuterie survival kits, but you’re here for the Fondue-It-Yourself kit, which includes a whole bunch of cheese, a baguette, potatoes, cornichons, a bottle of wine, and a couple of shots of cherry liquor. They’ll even supply you with fondue pot stand and forks if you so desire.
Louisiana inspired seafood pop-up, Decatur, was planning on opening this year, 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.
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.
Not in the mood to hand-pull some udon? No worries, because you can get London’s best udon straight to your door instead. Koya has joined Big Night (along with lots of other great restaurants) so that you can enjoy hand-pulled udon with sardine kanroni, sides of plaice sashimi, or chashu pork. There are a few box options, including a vegetarian one, this way.
Philly cheesesteak specialists Passyunk are delivering cheesesteak, Buffalo wings, and combo bundles all over London. You can choose between provolone, American, and wiz cheese, or a mixture of all three. There are also some typically light-looking hoagies as well. Order here.
We once referred to Tata Eatery’s katsu sando as ‘London’s most precise formation of meat and bread’. And although the precision may not be as on point if it’s being made by you - a demotivated amateur who bites cheddar from the block - how can crispy Iberian pork in between two brioche slices, with raspberry and XO sauce taste anything other than seriously good? Get your DIY sando kit here.
If, like us, your days revolve around the excitement of deliveries, then imagine how you’ll feel when a hunk of salt beef or a full reuben sandwich kit is coming to your door. That’s the deal from Monty’s online shop, and we can’t really recommend it enough because, let’s be honest, you’re probably not gonna be making salt beef anytime soon. Plus, there’s freshly baked bagels, pastrami, and Monty’s mustard to get involved in too.
Scully is a restaurant that does not hold back on flavour, nor unusual ingredients, and now you can bring both into your own kitchen. The St. James’s restaurant is doing three banquet boxes (beef, chicken and vegetarian) with things like beef short-rib pastrami, XO rice and desiree potatoes, or chicken marinated Malaysian curry pasta. Order from their website.
Hawksmoor Air Street
If you aren’t the type to wander to a butchers and buy a chateaubriand, or swing by the fishmongers for a casual lobster, then 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.
A go-to for laksa in London, you can now get Sambal Shiok’s signature campur-style curry laksa to make at home. The kit is the equivalent of the special (with both poached chicken and king prawns) and comes with fat rice noodles, fried tofu puffs, bean sprouts, green beans, all in their hot shrimp-based broth. Order here.
Anyone who has attempted a fondue with ten Babybels and a few slices of American cheese can tell you that it does not end well. Leave the melted cheese to the professionals and head to Provisions’ online shop for their fondue kit, which includes fondue mix, wine, bread cubes for dipping, and a clove of garlic. Order here.
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.
Take the meaning of game night to an entirely different level with one of Lyle’s 7-course menu boxes. The fine dining spot is doing a special game menu that includes game liver parfait, venison loin, and a game broth. Or the regular box has things like crab and barley porridge and quince sponge with vanilla custard.
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.