Innovate or perish. That’s the reality City of London restaurants and bars are having to come to terms with right now. Covid-19 restrictions have left workers safe at home, spending money at their own local haunts rather than those in the Square Mile.
You simply need to walk around the area to see the devastating effects of that – businesses which cater to the commuter workers in the Square Mile are really suffering. Business meetings at restaurants are banned (or at least that’s what many of us would assume with new restrictions), and so are after-work drinks. The hospitality industry has been forced to evolve.
And we think that the very best things to come from all of this, are DIY cooking kits. They popped up at the nationwide lockdown and have only gotten better and better over time. More food and drink destinations are pivoting their model to cater to this trend, upping the at-home cooking kit game.
In general, chefs will prepare restaurant quality meals and send them to your house. All you need to do, are the finishing touches. Heat it up and plate it up. These kits can be so much better than the usual takeaway options which often leave you with lukewarm dishes which have gone a little soggy during the ride from the restaurant to your house. With these kits, it’s all cooked fresh.
And you can get them from a wide range of foodie spots in the City. Either go all out and do some fine dining tasting menus at home or simply go for the classic decadent burger with all the trimmings. Not only will you be eating all the most delicious food, you’ll also be supporting City of London businesses which need your help.
You may not physically be in the area as much, but you can still relish in all their offerings from home. Keep the Square Mile’s food and drink world alive by treating yourself to some at-home DIY cooking kits right now. Here are our faves.
We have been obsessed with Mac & Wild’s venimoo burger for years now – it is epic. And now we get to make them at home ourselves. Each kit is filled with ingredients and recipe cards to feed four people, packed with four wild venison patties, four beef patties, baby gem lettuce, gherkins, burger cheese slices, two peeled and finely sliced onions – ready to be caramelised at home – as well as sesame brioche buns.
A selection of sauces including béarnaise, mustard and Mac & Wild’s ‘Red Jon’ sauce will come served in sachets, ready to be spooned onto burgers and layered up. And, if that ain’t enough, their in-house butcher has also gone online so you can get a bucket load of sustainably sourced meat and game from the Scottish highland delivered to your door too.
You can now make Michelin-starred food at home thanks to Chris & Jeff Galvin. They are personally putting together at-home cooking kits which change weekly.
For £40 per person, you can eat a three-course meal of incredible quality – you won’t get so much for so little at any other time. And the dishes require very simple finishing at home, so don’t get freaked out by the possibility of having to be super skilled when putting together Michelin-starred food.
They even have video tutorials by Jeff Galvin, showing how to finish the preparation of the dishes – getting it to Michelin-starred standards. You’ll struggle to get finer quality meals from anywhere else. These are pure indulgence.
These guys aren’t messing about when it comes to creating the best damn burger in the UK – not simply London or the City. Just look at their 2020 UK National Burger Award for proof – their signature double cheeseburger took the gong home for them. This is the food of the gods. And now you can make it at home, not putting up with cold patties or soggy fries that often come with your usual delivery meals.
In the burger kit, you’ll get the same top quality meat, buns, cheese, and seasoning they use in their kitchens, and the team are even including a big bottle of Bleecker’s super secret house sauce for you to continue to use after you have enjoyed the burgers. The fun doesn’t end with just one serve of burgers. They deliver the kits nationwide every Friday so be sure to book a slot in nice and early.
Prepare for your next hangover by purchasing a Le Swine DIY kit. These guys have perfected the bacon sandwich and are now sending it to homes across London. Inside, you’ll find old fashioned middle bacon, bacon butter, their signature milk and onion buns, fresh sage and some homemade ketchups (enough to use over and over again in other dishes at home).
You can even add their Bloody Mary mix (minus the booze) to the order for extra fun at home. Every kit also comes with a voucher for a free bacon butty which can be redeemed once their food truck is back up and running – because if you support local businesses, they will give back whatever they possibly can in the future. Bacon butty dreams are made of this.
This City staple is offering a weekly changing meal kit for Londoners (as long as you don’t live beyond zone 6). Each week, their Executive Chef Mark Hix creates a bespoke menu, sourcing the best of British seasonal produce. Hix is known for his love for all things British and for taking the most classic dishes and elevating them to their greatest potential.
Expect all of that within the Goose Box which is sent out each Friday. Prices for the boxes change regularly but tend to be around £110 for two people. This includes three-courses of food, a cocktail each as well as two bottles of wine. That’s an epic feast. Because you should still be treating yourself at the end of the week, with all the top shelf booze and high-quality food you can.
We have been obsessed with these guys for so long now – but have missed their aromatic Indian dishes since lockdown. Especially because their Spitalfields flagship restaurant is so tiny (socially distancing within there would be almost impossible).
Thank the gods they are doing a series of meal kits for us fans to indulge at home. They’ve got flavour-packed DIY cooking kits for their pork ribs vindaloo, Kashmiri lamb chops and famous tandoori chicken (and each of these bad boys is massive). You won’t be going hungry after ordering these. But we do wish they’d do a few extra sides and nibbly bits to go with these mains. Although we really can deal with making our own rice and papadums at home – it’s not like we don’t have the time!
The Supermarket of Dreams is a collaborative concept which brings together several of the country’s most iconic independent food and drink companies under one roof.
Since opening in June this year, they have made it their mission to create an ever-evolving roster of the hottest names in hospitality with meals and DIY kits all going in this month from Kricket, Padella, Patty & Bun, Ottolenghi, Skye Gyngell’s Spring and HG Walter. This is epic guys! You have so many options here. Just go onto their site, find your favourite chef/ restaurant and go crazy with all the kits they will deliver right to your door.
Following the opening of Mambow on Commercial Street back in February, chef Abby Lee has pivoted her home style ‘mama’s kitchen’ to bring you Mambow At Home: a series of Malaysian-style build your own meal boxes, cooked by mama at Mambow but finished off and served at home.
Mambow At Home lets customers build their own box with their choice of main, two sides and a dessert, which will be delivered to your door along with a set of ‘how-to’ instructions for the finishing touches that will have you cooking up a storm in no time. Get around sticky char siu pork, crispy fried tofu and smoky aubergine dishes all made to be easily transported and quickly cooked a home. You get all the flavour and fun with minimal effort.
Lines for local butchers are still mega long. And once you go to all the effort of getting your favourite cuts of meat, you then have to go to all the effort of figuring out recipes and the like. That’s why we’re stoked to hear that Blacklock, a City favourite for steak lovers, is now offering up at-home kits for Sunday roasts and more.
Get all the top-quality ingredients delivered to your door, along with some basic tips on how to recreate the Blacklock flavours and experience. And delivery is free which is a massive win.
The Spitalfields based fish aficionados have launched Wright Brothers At Home kits, offering home delivery of sustainable fish and shellfish. They have a range of fresh, smoked and cured fish; oven-ready whole fish to share; cooked crab and lobster; oysters and mussels; and frozen prawns and seafood.
It’s what you order when you want something extra special. Especially when they have delicacies like octopus tentacles, Alaskan king crab leg clusters and Carabiñeros prawns. They even have a vegetable and salad box to provide all the necessary accompaniments.