Even those of us who adore cooking are missing restaurants, which is why so many of us are embracing Demi-dining out in lockdown with restaurant deliveries. Here are 11 to try:
Sanjay Dwivedi, Coya
The first bite of Sanjay Dwivedi’s tacos from Mayfair’s elegant Peruvian Coya is transporting. It is delicate, the salmon is zingy fresh, the avocado perfectly ripe, the aji amarillo yellow chilli, is fruity, spicy, and it is not something, even in my most ambitious moments, I could ever pull off at home. Supper only deliver in relatively small zones close to each up-scale restaurant they work with. Ravishing too is tiradito yellow tail with truffle and dashi dressing presented on banana leaf. A seabass main, diy guacamole with corn tortillas and a corn salad plus superlative salted caramel chocolate ganache felt even more special when accompanied by the Coya-recommended playlist. Match your meal to the music and away you go.
Supper are a newish deliver company who use superior Japanese scooters adapted to keep dishes warm and looking beautiful. They presently only work in the West End where they’re delivering exceptional dim sum from Yauatcha and unmissable spicy tuna maki from sophisticated Japanese Mayfair restaurant Sake no Hana besides black cod with yuzu miso from Roka.
For a celebration, order a dramatic paella from Arrosqd “fire and rice” menu. The enticing saffron-rich, seafood aromas of their Mediterranean red prawn and sea bass paella truly transport you to outdoor feasting in Valencia is immensely satisfying, add octopus redolent with the smoke of the flame and paprika for extra deliciousness. They also sell paella kits complete with pan, rice, stock and more by post.
Jose Pizarro, Slerp
Jose Pizarro’s approach is characteristically quirky. For those of us longing for a taste of Spanish travels, he offers a dazzling choice of tapas from Cinco Jotas acorn-fed iberico ham and croquetas to tortilla and pisto besides quintessential Iberian mains embracing cod with piquillo peppers and a whole leg of suckling lamb . Some dishes are ready to serve, others require a little finishing at home for which there is a QR link to videos with Pizarro showing how to add his magic. Larder treats can be added too as well as drinks.
Jackson Boxer (Orasay, Brunswick House)
Jackson Boxer, among the most intuitive chefs in town has brilliantly sensed the mood of his loyal neighbourhood customers. He has adapted his regular menus at both Notting Hill’s, Orasay and Brunswick House, Vauxhall to offer an ever evolving, enticing choice of appetisers and a couple of mains. As Boxer says: “it is the kind of food I want to eat.” There’s his trailblazing grilled garlic and potato bread with bagna cauda; salads that sing summer: merinda tomatoes with red peppers and capers, broad bean & baby pea falafel, 24 hour roast short rib of beef with celeriac puree and strawberry and ricotta cheesecake.
For a true splurge, order the whole roast Springfield chicken dinner for two with sherry sauce of exceptional intensity, taleggio, potato and rosemary gratin and a whole host of salads, plus an Original beans chocolate pot.
There’s an endearingly personal feel to Fenella Foodie’s home delivery. A high end, Leiths trained private caterer, she delivers dishes of exceptional finesse including Chalkstream trout en croute elegantly presented in biodegradable containers plus a choice of soups, desserts and cakes. The individual lemon and polenta cake is sensational too. Set order and delivery dates, see fenellafoodie.com
Nik’s Kitchen has pivotted from definitive kedgeree and Iraqi lamb stew at Vinegar Yard, Bermondsey to a SW London ultra local and personal delivery service. Order via their @nikskitchen instagram account (website in construction) for an original The Ivy type eclectic choice that changes weekly, using superlatively sourced ingredients, from the best ever moussaka with crispy bottom to thoughtfully spiced Thai chicken curry and cottage pie made with HG Walters beef.
Jake Finn, a Ritz trained chef who has cooked at La Petite Maison and Coya too was about to sign on a restaurant in Notting Hill when lockdown happened. He has quickly pivoted to delivery. His ambrosial shredded chicken (a whole corn-fed chicken) with sticky caramelised onions reminded me of my mum’s memorable chicken prowess and he cooks a spot-on seabass in sauce vierge too plus embracing bread and butter pudding, ready to bbq dishes and house pickles.
The Cookout Club
The Cookout Club opened with uncanny prescience in February. Chef-proprietor Phillip Britten held a Michelin star at Chez Nico and The Capital, albeit 20 years ago, before launching chef fresh food supplier Solstice. Dishes ranging from chicken liver parfait, seabass with puy lentils to Barbary duck with polenta mostly have a retro, upmarket French bistro ring. Most appealing is their Sunday roast full works served 1.30pm-10pm. Delivery to Clapham, Kennington and parts of Chelsea.
Strazzanti, an ultra-stylish Sicilian supper club run by three sisters have a rather different approach to delivery. Meals must be ordered before 8am each Wednesday before they are delivered contactless on the Friday. Working with local and Sicilian producers, they will put together “Il Piccolo Pacchetto”: pre-prepared stuzzichini, nibbles and antipasti with bread plus a step-by-step Strazzanti recipe card and video with the exact ingredients to make your own pasta from scratch. To finish, you can try Strazzanti’s Sicilian cakes in bite size portions and a bag of almond and sesame brittle with the optional added flourish of a bouquet designed by McQueens Flowers.
And have a go yourself with…Pasta Evangelists
Fresh pasta restaurant devotees should order Pasta Evangelists, either as a one-off or by subscription. This is ambitious and delectable pasta presented in restaurant style and in a different league to what is available in supermarkets yet takes less than 5 minutes to cook and serve. Seasonal recipes include asparagus and pecorino tortellini with garlic and lemon and spring lamb ragu with paccheri pasta and mint crumb (thoughtful garnishes to give extra restaurant pzazz are provided in separate containers).