Restaurant meal kits were all the rage during lockdown, when instead of going out, restaurants delivered perfectly prepped meals to your door, often cooked to just before completely done.
In most cases, all that’s required on your part is warming up, slinging in an oven or simple mixing. In other words? Just enough effort involved to make you feel proud when you’re serving up - but not enough cheffy skills actually required to mess it up. It’s our favourite way to cook.
Although restaurants are back to normal operating procedure, trying to secure a booking at one isn’t always the easiest task, especially in a city full of hungry diners. When you’ve got an important event coming up - an anniversary, birthday, big date, just a fancy dinner party - ordering a restaurant-quality meal kit to make at home can save you the headache of trying to book a table.
Plus, as well as the food, you’ll be in control of all the other elements that make up a truly excellent night: music, seating and drinks. As for the conversation, well, you’ll have to provide that for yourself.
If your stomach is rumbling at the mere thought of one of these kits, you’re in for a treat: feast your eyes on our menu of at-home dining boxes below. We’ve found options to cater to every taste, and will keep updating when new boxes launch to the public.
Some may need a tad more effort than others, but it’ll be well worth it when you sit down at a heaving table.
Sometimes the day’s troubles can be solved by a good burger. Well, maybe not - but it’s worth a try!
When you want to chomp on pure burger goodness, order Libertine’s 007 burger kit, which took home the top prize at the National Burger Awards 2019 in the Blogger’s Choice category.
She’s a beast, made up of a 150g signature patty topped with American cheese, house chilli, chimichurri, ketchup, French’s mustard, lettuce and pickles. You’ll get enough to whip up four burgers, including greaseproof sheets to protect yourself, and your furnishings, from spills.
Find a slightly less extravagant vegan option here.
Buy now £39.50, Libertine Burger
Fill your table with the finest Greek fare, from a classic Greek Salad to Keftedes (beef meatballs), dips, bread and cheese. The menu has been devised by MasterChef UK Champion Irini Tzortzoglou and will take 90 min to come together, needing nothing more than pepper from your spice rack. The regular portion is enough to feed three but if you’re anticipating a bigger crowd (or really ravenous appetites), go for the larger option which will easily stuff up to five people.
Buy now £58.00, The Cookaway
Love the flavours of India, but don’t have the time or money to fly to Mumbai? The Cookaway brings classic Indian street food to your door with this 90-minute kit, packed with the hawker favourites: think palak pakora, gobi Manchurian, paneer and chicken malai tikka and some coriander mint chutney to dip all the morsels into. Wash the lot down with masala chai, also included. It makes a fun alternative to dinner party canapes or a leisurely weekend brunch.
£45 for two to three diners, £67 for a larger portion for up to five people.
Buy now, The Cookaway
Knock on The Cinnamon Club’s digital shop front to find kits that will help you recreate Vivek Singh’s legendary dishes at home. The meal offers four courses for two diners, starting with street food-style bhel papdi chaat, madras prawn and pepper fry, lamb shank Roganjosh and rounding things off with a spiced yet sweet garam masala pudding. All meal components will arrive in temperature-controlled boxes, needing nothing more than reheating or rudimentary cooking. If you’re not ready to tuck in straight away, it’ll keep in the fridge for up to two days.
Buy now £120.00, The Cinnamon Club
High-end London deli Panzer’s has whipped up a delicious breakfast box that’s perfect when you want to bring brunch home. We can personally attest to the quality of the smoked salmon, which slips down the tongue, it’s that silky. A 15g pot of caviar, fresh bagels, cream cheese, granola and orange juice are also included but it’s the half-bottle of Champagne and XXL Milk Gianduja & Hazelnuts Bar that elevate the box, making this an extra indulgent treat.
Buy now £110.00, Panzer’s
Fancy a Sri Lankan spread? Whip up a three-course meal that’s been made to near perfection with this dining in option. The box includes everything from mutton rolls to three curries, two daals and mango chutney to dip roti into. Finish with a chocolate biscuit pudding. The only thing left to decide is who does the washing up.
Buy now £65.00, Kolamba
Prepare to go up a belt notch. Arabica London’s fabulous lamb feast is made for big nights in, with all dishes stopping just short of being completely finished, allowing you to round things off at home. The restaurant-level feast, which includes handmade pita, grilled halloumi, tabbouleh, hummus and a seven-spiced lamb stew, comes with easy heating and serving instructions as well as a playlist to elevate your dining experience. Deliveries are made on Tuesday and Friday, and all food must be eaten within three days of delivery, so you can even split it up for lunches and small dinners if you prefer.
Buy now £60.00, Arabica
Can’t get a table at Gymkhana? No matter - the northern Indian feast will come to you.
Choose from the Lamb Shank Biyrani Feast, Tandoori Chicken Feast and the veggie Paneer Makhani Feast for two diners.
We’re suckers for a grill, so the Tandoori option which serves four has our vote: it comes with starters in poppadoms with mango chutney and samosa chaat plus sides of daal, naan, rice, salads, raita and a paneer curry alongside perfectly marinated and charred tandoori chicken.
Buy now £95.00, Ambassador General Store
The delicious breakfast bite is the best way to start the weekend, and there’s even a vegan version available so there’s something for everyone. With instructions simple enough to follow even with a hangover from hell, consider this meal one of the best acts of self-love you can give yourself.
The kit comes with enough dough to make three naans, plus bacon, spiced tomato chutney and ingredients to make steaming hot cups of masala chai. In desperate need of ‘hair of the dog’? Get the kits with Bloody Marys or mimosas available also. Serves two.
Buy now £18.00, Dishoom
Cornwall’s hungriest son Rick Stein has an array of at dining in kits on his website, from lobster thermidor and fresh catch like hake, to Indonesian curries for those who can handle the heat. Each one serves two diners and you can choose one, two or three course menus; useful flexibility if you’ve ordered a special occasion cake for afters.
As well as a simple cooking guide, each box comes with plating instructions so your food will look as good as it would in a restaurant. The company has partnered with the One Feeds Two initiative that provides a school meal to a child living in poverty for every kit purchased.
Drops are made every Friday and Saturday across the UK, making this a winning option for weekend dining. Prices from £49.95.
Buy now £49.95, Stein’s at Home
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