A second wave may be on its way and eating out is proving a minefield with Londoners limited to dining with members of their own household. But never fear – London’s restaurants are launching yet more takeaway boxes to provide the culinary delights of your favourite eateries from the comfort of your own home.
If you’re panic buying flour supplies and stocking up on loo rolls, it might be time to bulk-buy your favourite dinners and get restaurant-quality plates direct to your door, ready for the perfect dine-in dinner date on cosy autumn evenings. Here’s the best new restaurant boxes to try at home.
The fine-dining option
Clapham’s silhouetted chimneys glimpsed from the kitchen window won’t compete with the elegant, gothic backdrop of Galvin La Chapelle’s Spitalfields interiors, but their just-launched make-at-home meal box offers a slice of fine-dining from your kitchen table. Each box delivers a complete three-course meal to your door that only needs a little finishing on the home pass, following step-by-step videos from the Galvin brothers themselves. The menu changes weekly, but past dishes have included potato, girolle mushrooms and artichoke mille-feuille served with a black garlic purée, puy lentil velouté and a fudgy pear, blackberry and almond tart.
£45 per person, galvinrestaurants.com
Creamy burrata draped over grilled aubergines, blushing roast veal scattered with salty capers and the stubborn warmth of ‘njuda pocketed in petite orecchiette pasta shapes – the latest dine-at-home menu from Soho’s Bocca di Lupo puts indulgence at the heart of their autumn offering.
And did we mention those plates are the antipasti options? Peruse the secondi section for sharing plate of whole salt baked sea bream or risotto dishes that envelope the season’s frilled girolles in comforting, creamy rice and pair colourful chard with scamorza. But wait, there’s more: a changing three-course menus awaits those content to live out an evening imaging the burnished hills of autumnal Tuscany or the October heat of Italy’s heel: inspired by the country’s north, south and west, a trio of set menus look directly to regional favourites across Italy.
From £46 for two, http://home.boccadilupo.com
Back to nature
If an oven-ready quick fix makes you shiver, take a gander at Wild Radish’s meal boxes. Their early morning delivery will bring a box of ingredients, an (optional) bottle of wine and some detailed instructions from a renowned chef to your door, ready to be transformed into a fine-dining feast. There’s no pre-chopped onions or whack-it-in-the-microwave here: you’ll be wielding knives and juggling pans in accordance to some slightly-daunting step-by-step instructions.
With the likes of Phillip Howard and Alyn Williams on board, you’ll be picking from meat, fish and vegetable dishes worthy of a visit from the Michelin man: spiced duck breast with orange-braised fennel, baked gurnard with a butternut bisque and casserole vegetables or celeriac, potato and pear gratin with wilted greens, a smattering of chanterelles and brown butter. You’ll be treated with a thoughtful addition to your meal – some complimentary crusty bread to soak up the juices or after-dinner chocolates to round up the box.
From £55 for two (with wine, £70) wild-radish.co.uk
For the meat-eaters
East London’s meat brigade can sigh from relief – beef brisket, pork belly and beef rib racks can now be ordered on demand to your door and ready for a quick warm in the oven, thanks to Shoreditch meat house Smokestak’s new takeaway menu. Pulling from the restaurant’s beefy menu options, you can opt for a whole slab of 15-hour beef brisket, brined pulled pork shoulder and dry-rubbed pork belly (in 2-pounder or 4-pounder box sixes), or take delivery of a DIY bun box, packed with pillowy buns ready to be filled with your choice of the above and garnishes including house barbecue sauce, pickled red chilli and ginger slaw.
Still hungry? Chef David Carter is also sending out whole 30-day dry aged beef rib racks if you’re a little peckish over a weekend, and there’s also the restaurant’s classic sticky toffee pudding for dessert once you’ve finished off the meat offering.
Minimum order £24, smokestakshop.co.uk
Time to taco
Turn off your No.10 press announcements and switch over to the Club Mexicana channel – if there’s any comfort to brighten up the dark and dreary days ahead, it’s news that the East London restaurant is now shipping its sunshine-filled menu to vitamin-D starved Londoners.
If there’s a lockdown on the horizon, why not spent it crafting your own tacos, without an animal product in sight? Made for sharing between four, the vegan restaurant’s DIY delivery boxes provide all the fiddly bits for a Mexican feast, including corn tortillas, smoky caramelised pineapple, salsa verde, and their homemade al pastor seitan which comes enveloped in an Adobado sauce, spiked with tongue-tingling chillies. Other fillings on offer include soy mince with creamy jalapeno ‘cheese’ sauce, biting pickled onions and handfuls of coriander and sides such as guacamole and the restaurant’s signature chipotle chili oil.
One for slurping
Providing a 5* take on delivery apps, Dishpatch has teamed up with some of London’s best restaurants to provide meal delivery kits during the pandemic – and of their new autumn packs, noodle connoisseurs Super Ya Ramen top the bunch. Their inauthentic ramen, devised by head chef Luke Findlay, chucks roasted celeriac atop a viscous sesame miso and confit tomato broth, topping hand-cut egg noodles with a fudgy-yolked egg, fried garlic and tongue-tingling chilli paste. On the side, other umami-packed plates on offer include pickled cucumbers and turnips, a pak choi salad dashed with ponzu vinaigrette and buttery chilli sweet corn. Slurp away.
£45 for two, dishpatch.co.uk