Well, there's not much to say is there? Lockdown is back, and it's here to stay for at least a month. But thankfully we're all a bit better prepared for round two, and so are our favourite restaurants, which have been hard at work making sure we can still get the taste of their cooking inside the prison – sorry, we mean comfort – of our own homes thanks to their snazzy meal kits.
Let's face it, there's no way your cooking will beat a meal kit prepared at the hands of these chefs, so do yourself – and them – a favour, and order one of these restaurants' home delivery boxes. They're the best way to pretend you're in your favourite spot without actually being in it, and you get to support them while you're at it. And the cooking is (almost) sorted for you. You will have to do a tiny bit of washing up, of course – but we promise it's worth it.
From Michelin-starred affairs to bacon naans to a full-on Christmas feast, we've got you covered: here are the restaurant meal kits you need to know.
Fine-dining meal kits
£125 for two.
For the movers and shakers of Mayfair, Le Gavroche is like a second home. Lunch at Le Gav is a perennial favourite for those who have the means; and a full-on dinner here is a treat for those who enjoy the very best of French cuisine. So, just about everyone, then. Fortunately, Michel Roux Jr has teamed up with Lake District Farmers to make sure you don't have to go without this Lockdown. Lake District Farmers are suppliers of Michelin-starred restaurant quality meat from small-scale hill farmers in the Lake District. Working with Le Gavroche, they have created an indulgent three-course meal for two people at home, plus bread and petit fours – and are now delivering it nationwide. The boxes contain part-prepared dishes created in the chefs’ Michelin-starred kitchens using top grade meat from Lake District Farmers. The menu starts with salmon gravadlax; moves on to braised venison haunch; and finishes with a dark chocolate and praline dessert.
Le Gavroche At Home menu is priced at £125 for two people; lakedistrictfarmers.co.uk/boxes
Bocca di Lupo
From £52 for two
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The travel corridor to Italy has closed, but our mouths are always open for Italian food – especially when it's created at the hands of Jacob Kenedy and Soho stalwart Bocca di Lupo. Each month, the restaurant is creating meal kits with a different theme. November revolves around the Puglian region, with kits packed with regional delights like salt-baked sea bream, burrata and roasted red and yellow peppers, topped with capers and bread crumbs. In December, the restaurant will shift its attention to Piedmont, which means truffles. Mmm-hmm. Choose from the Truffle feast, the Truffle & Veal Feast and the Truffle & Trout feast, each of which is a three-course meal for two. For a special occasion – yes, yes, you know what we're talking about – you could plump for the Partridge Feast, where you'll get roast partridge with cream polenta, bagna cauda and topped with shaved truffle. And if all that sounds a bit ambitious for a meal kit, they come with step-by-step videos from Jacob himself.
Available nationwide; boccadilupoathome.com
From £100 for two
Order this kit, keep it a secret, knock out an absolutely fantastic Christmas dinner in 40 minutes and bask in the glory for years to come. Jun Tanaka of Charlotte Street's Michelin-starred modern European resto The Ninth has truly thought of everything and then some for this recipe box. There are three choices, for starters: turkey ballotine, beef fillet in salt herb crust, or celeriac, potato and truffle pithivier (who said veggies don't eat as well at Christmas?). Then there are the sides – well hello there brussel sprouts with onion and smoked bacon, nice to eat you – and panettone bread and butter pudding. The only problem is that you might be asked to cook Christmas dinner every year from now on, and you're on your own there.
Order before 12 December. Available nationwide; theninthlondon.slerp.com/order
From £150 for two
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Proving that there's more to Sketch than toilets, the restaurant of Instagram dreams has come up with a series of menus that you can make at home in just two steps. Two! You'd take more steps to get to the fridge. Choose from Menu & Wine, Vegetarian & Wine or Sunday Lunch & Wine: the menu changes all the time, but highlights at the time of writing include grilled guinea fowl, cumin polenta, mint jus, smoked yoghurt and endive salad; and pumpkin and passion fruit soup, porcini duxelle, curried popcorn. Bonus points because the containers the food comes in are made out of sugar pulp and are therefore biodegradable. (Not edible, though – unless you're really desperate.)
Available for collection and delivery. Order at least 24 hours in advance; sketch.london
£170 for four
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In an ingenious pivot, JKS – the group behind Gymkhana, Hoppers, Brigadiers and Trishna – have set up the Ambassador General Store, a one-stop online shop for anything and everything ranging from cocktail kits to meal boxes to spices and other top-notch ingredients from the Indian subcontinent. As you'd expect, there are an abundance of meal kits to choose from, but we suggest going straight in with the Gymkhana Food & Drink Club experience for four (£170). You'll get the restaurant's lauded classics, like the kid goat keema, the tandoori masala lamb chops and – wait for it – the wild muntjac biryani, which gets cooked in the same terracotta pot they use in the restaurant. The kit also includes gin and tonic and wine, chosen specifically for the food. And that, friends, is how a restaurant home kit is done.
Available for nationwide delivery. Order by 11pm every Sunday for delivery on Fridays between 7am-9pm, or you can select a date in the future; ambassadorgeneralstore.com
From £130 for two
When tasting menu maestro Adam Handling launched his Hame home kits during lockdown mark one, they were focused on food you could make at home – but for round two, he's shifted his approach to recreate signature dishes you'd find at The Frog. And yes that does mean you'll be able to eat Handling's delightfully light yet indulgent cheese doughnuts; his chicken butter; and even his lobster wagyu from the comfort of your home. It's all designed to recreate The Frog experience at home, with four menus (and an à la carte offering) to choose from: Sunday Lunch (£130 for two), Dine In Style (£200 for two), Dine in Style (£110 for two), and the cheekily named Who Are You Trying to Impress? (£305 for two). Go on, get your gladrags out and order the last one.
Available nationwide; adamhandling.co.uk/hame
Lyle's Game Menu Box
£140 for two
A progressive, common-sense approach to sourcing meets hugely creative cooking at Lyle's, James Lowe's and John Ogier's stellar restaurant in Shoreditch – and fans will be pleased to know this attitude carries over to its newly launched meal kits and provision boxes. The Game Menu Box highlights the best wild produce of the season (natch): scallops from Orkney, cep mushrooms from Norfolk, and red deer from Scotland, all of which are testament to Lyle's strong relationship with its suppliers. The box is bursting with delicious fare, from sourdough with cultured butter to raw scallops with blood orange vinaigrette and game liver parfait with toast and damson jelly. And while you're on the Lyle's Provisions website, you might as well go the whole hog and get the mince pie recipe kit, too.
Available nationwide. lylesprovisions.com
Davies & Brook's C.F.C.
From £45 for one
Fried chicken: so simple, so delicious, and probably not the kind of dish you'd expect from Davies & Brook, the restaurant at iconic Mayfair hotel Claridges. But that, dear reader, is exactly why you should eat it. The C.F.C. box (Claridges Fried Chicken) took lockdown round one by storm, and it's back for round two, with broad bean hummus with pickled beets, potato salad, house pickles and parker house rolls. If pieces of chicken aren't enough, go for the whole shebang with Davies & Brook's whole roast chicken with foie gras and black truffle, which comes with plenty of sides and mouthwatering apple maple tart.... Go on, you know you want to.
Available Thursday-Saturday, from 2pm-5pm for collection and delivery. daviesandbrook.co.uk
Mid-range meal kits
Townsend's Town-send kits
From £36 for one
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The Whitechapel Gallery is known for its forward-thinking exhibitions, so it makes sense that it would have an equally forward-thinking restaurant. Townsend got on the meal kit train early with its hugely successful Town-send recipe boxes, where you can order chef Joe Fox's modern British cooking plate by plate, or get the whole shebang with a tasting menu and paired wines. Paddock Farm pork and prune terrine? Potato dumplings with potted shrimp? Pink fir potatoes with smoked chilli and tomato chutney? Go on then, you've twisted our arm. Single during this lockdown? Get yourself Townsend's set meal for one with wine and cheese for £36 and solo dining won't feel so lonely anymore… Promise. For more festive feels, they're doing a Christmas box, available for up to eight people. Choose between turkey, rolled porchetta or root vegetable and truffle bake and watch the compliments roll in.
Available for nationwide delivery; townsendrestaurant.co.uk
Manteca at Home
From £50 for two
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Manteca's boxes are technically for Christmas, but they sound so damn delicious that we reckon you should order them for a Friday night treat, pronto. Chris Leach has taken his love of Roman and Neapolitan cooking and applied them to home kits and provision boxes, all of which, we're pleased to say, are stuffed with Manteca's signature cured and fire-cooked meats and hand-rolled pastas. There's a starter and a medium hamper, but we're just going to tell you about the luxury one (£150) because, let's face it, that's what you're going to get: housemade salumi, smoked cod's roe, chicken liver parfait and date jam (pictured); goose, cranberry and pistachio sausage; grape mostarda and pear and date chutney; tortellini in brodo (in broth); porchetta and apple ketchup; all the trimmings; Christmas pudding and amaretti; and even brioche buns to fill with leftover porchetta. Oh god, we're swooning.
Available nationwide from 16 November. Order before 18 December for Christmas.; mantecarestaurant.co.uk
Farang's Thai feast
£50 for two
If you're looking for inspiration for a slap-up Friday night meal, head over to Dishpatch, a new meal kit delivery service that's teamed up with some of London's best restaurants. There are offerings from Crispin and Café Murano, to name but a few, but we've got our eyes on Farang's Thai feast for two. The menu changes monthly, but November's is centred on a massaman curry made with braised duck. Hubba hubba. You'll get chicken satay with cucumber ajat, and salmon and cod curried fish cakes to start; followed by said curry with pineapple, veg and rice; and then a stem galangal sticky toffee pudding with coconut and black cardamom butterscotch. Ooooh boy.
Delivers Fridays, available nationwide; dishpatch.co.uk
Top Cuvée's Take Cuvée
From £35 for two
Lockdown champions Top Cuvée continue to lead the charge into round two with their latest round of at-home kits, created by their new head chef Will Blank (formerly of Lyle's). The menus will change almost as fast as Boris's Covid strategy, but things are kicking off the cheese scones with cultured butter; celeriac and apple soup; a choice of either roast chicken and tarragon pot pie or pumpkin, lentil and Devon blue pot pie; sides; and sticky toffee pudding. It's only £35 for two, so you'd be mad not to get the recommended wine pairings, which start at £12 a bottle.
Available nationwide; shopcuvee.com
Arabica's Feast for Beirut meal kit
£45 for two
While we've included every last one of these meal kits because they're delicious, Arabica's Feast for Beirut dinner is really something special. The kits are a continuation from the hugely successful Bake for Beirut bakesale that happened earlier this year, which raised money for the 28,000 people affected by the fatal blast earlier this year. This time, you can get your hungry chops around Beirut-style classics, like beef short rib stew with pickled barberries; grilled halloumi sprinkled with Turkish dried mint; pumpkin kibbeh; and wrap it all up with flaky baklava. A vegan option is also available, and 5% of every sale goes to Red Cross Lebanon. Bonus: Arabica also does a DIY falafel kit.
Available nationwide for delivery on Tuesdays and Fridays. arabicalondon.com
Levan To Go
£59 for two
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Burrata, butternut squash, pine nuts and raisin; potato, mushroom and Vacherin pie [pictured]; caramelised onion brioche: Levan's meal kit menu reads like a love letter to our very soul. The Peckham-based restaurant – sibling to beloved Brixton haunt Salon – offers à la carte or tasting menus (including a veggie option) that'll warm the cockles of your heart as we slide into the dark winter months. Ideal for dates, mates, or just eating in your pjs.
London delivery only, also available for collection; levan.bignight.app
Gunpowder's DIY kits
From £30 for two
OK, so this one involves a tiny bit more cooking – but then you'll know how to make Gunpowder's smash hit tandoori new potatoes and malai broccoli, so really you're learning skills for life. Choose between the DIY bbq pork ribs, the DIY Kashmiri lamb chop and the DIY tandoori chicken kits, choose a delivery date and buckle up for the ride. Sure there's a little bit more work involved, but what were you planning to do with your Friday night anyway?
Available nationwide; greatfood2u.co.uk
Ampéli At Home
£65 for two
If you missed out on the white-washed houses, shimmering sea and banging souvlaki of the Greek islands this summer, you're in luck: you can recreate the exact same thing at home with Ampéli's At Home meal kits. When we say “exact same thing” we mean, you'll be in your pjs, the ocean will be replaced by your 'Life's A Beach' Yankee candle, and instead of the waves, you'll be watching repeats of Downtown Abbey. But that's OK when you've got the Grecian and Eastern Mediterranean cooking of Ampéli delivered to your door. Let salt cod croquettes; green olive tapenade and pine nuts; and slow cooked lamb shoulder souvlaki transport you to a land far, far away… Includes a selection of seasonal Greek wines, too.
Papa L's Kitchen
Sides from £5
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Chef Lawrence Gomez was quietly cooking up a storm at his residency at The Gojk in Earl's Court, dishing up grilled tiger king prawns and honey-glazed salmon supreme and other African fusion delights. And thanks to his new meal kit service, you don't have to travel to Earl's Court – Gomez's food boxes can be delivered to anywhere within the M25. Ding ding ding! There are eight dishes to choose from, each of which brings together Gomez’s Sexy Fish experience and his Gambian heritage. You'll even get a little boozy present thrown in too...
Available for delivery within the M25 or for click and collect Friday and Saturday, 9am-5pm. papalskitchen.com
Fun and filthy meal kits
Homeslice's Take, Bake and Jameson
£25 for two, plus cocktails
We hope you're hungry, because Homeslice is now offering its pizzas for pickup and delivery for you to bake at home, complete with all the essential ingredients for a JGL cocktail (or a Jameson, ginger and lime to you and us). Worried about how you'll fit one of Homeslice's trademark 20-inch pizzas in your oven or your belly? They've downsized their pies to a slightly more manageable 12 inches – although we'd never say no to a large, let's face it. Choose from classic margherita; chorizo, corn and coriander; and 'nduja, tenderstem broccoli, fior di latte and chilli oil (you can also swap for vegan nduja if you're that way inclined); and three more of Homeslice's creative combos.
Available nationwide. homeslicepizza.co.uk
SMOKESTAK at home
From £30 for four
The DIY Bun Box sent carnivorous Londoners into a spin when it launched during lockdown, and it's only gone from strength to strength since: a treasure chest filled with four buns, brisket, house barbecue sauce and pickled red chilli (other choices include pork belly or pulled pork) – and a lovely touch in the form of a playlist of the restaurant's fave tunes. Special Christmas meats include a treacle-cured smoked gammon, a whole-smoked Goosnargh or a whole smoked Devonshire bronze turkey.
Available for nationwide delivery (some areas excluded, check website for details). smokestakshop.co.uk
Bao's Made by You kits
£20 for two people
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Is it just us, or do bao just look so cute? They're almost too cute to eat. Almost. But when those pillowy buns swaddle melt-in-the-mouth meat and are sprinkled with sweet-but-salty peanut powder, we just can't help ourselves. You can get several different versions of Bao's Made By You kits – classic pork (goes without saying); the veggie version, stuffed with panko-breaded daikon; and then the even cuter little peach-emoji-shaped bao. The iconic London restaurant has really branched out with its home delivery service, and you can buy everything from essential ingredients to Bao's own beers, totes and t-shirts. We'll take one of everything, please.
Available nationwide. baolondon.com/shop
£30 for two
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We like brioche buns, we like chuck steak and rib patties, we like cheddar cheese and we like bacon. So it makes sense that we would really, really like Honest Burgers' burger home kits, which bring together all of these things to create a juicy, munchable, freshly cooked burg in your very own home. Honest has even included its rosemary salt so that you can make those chips at home (although you need to make your own chips). You'll also get pickles and a tote bag. What more could you possibly want?
Available nationwide. honestburgers.co.uk
Tacos Padre's Taco Fiesta
£40 for two
Just when you thought you were over tacos, boom, there's another totally brilliant taco restaurant to get your chops 'round. Sadly, of course, you can't actually eat in at the moment, but thanks to the ingenious new Dishpatch service you can still try there moreish morsels chez vous. Ringing in at £40 for two, Taco Padre's Cochinita Taco Feast is packed with cochinita pibil (slow-roasted pork), frijoles, habanero guacanchile, Xni-pec (a fresh tomato salsa made with habanero chillis), tortillas, fresh coriander, lime, guacamole and tortilla chips. Make sure you have ingredients for margaritas, eh?
Delivers Fridays, available nationwide. dishpatch.co.uk
Dishoom's bacon naan kit
£16 for two
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We'd never say there was anything good about the pandemic, but not having to queue to get one of Dishoom's bacon naans might just be a small silver lining. Of course, you'll still need to have your clicking finger at the ready to make sure you don't miss out 'cos these babies are popular. The two-person kit contains smoked streaky bacon, naan doughballs (enough for three because, well, why not?), the tomato-chilli jam, cream cheese and fresh coriander, as well as cooking instructions and a handy video. You'll also get everything you need to make Dishoom's sweetly delicious masala chai tea. Order for the morning after a date if you're feeling lucky…
Available for nationwide delivery. dishoom.com