From pizza to pasta, curries to cocktails, these DIY kits bring restaurant-style dining to the comfort of your own home...
If you had told us back in April (when we were several weeks into lockdown), that staying at home would not only be encouraged but Government enforced for the second time, we wouldn't have believed you. Yet, here we are.
Now into week four of the six-week lockdown, this time around allows for a smidgen of freedom. Unlike the first one, which kicked off on March 27, we have been able to see our friends and family this time around (so long as we choose just one of them and meet them outside for an ill-advised walk in the rain). School and universities are open, the airports are all still operating and weddings with 25 guests or less can still take place. However, we have once again been cut off from the pubs, our favourite restaurants, and the gym. We are back to queueing outside supermarkets alone and two metres apart, solely to ensure we can get essentials – some supermarkets have even had to cordon off whatever they deem to be ‘non-essentials’. Many of us are back to working from home again, or dealing with furlough or redundancy, or faced with the task once again putting ourselves on the front line to fight against the virus.
READ MORE: What we're cooking this week
It’s understandable, then, that many of us are finding this second lockdown tougher than the first. We are many months into a life-altering pandemic with no end in sight. So, if it’s grocery shopping, wracking your brain for dinner ideas or eating the same toasted ham sandwich for breakfast, that you're sick of - we're here to say: it's okay. Everything is exhausting, daily takeaways (although great for local businesses) can get prohibitively expensive very quickly and baking your own bread gets tiresome after a while.
In any case, it’s as good a time as ever to try your hand at cooking something other than pasta and stirfries for dinner. Cue at home food boxes.
The virtues of at home meal kits are almost endless. You get a food shop delivered to your door; you often don't have to think about to cook, you needn't worry about measuring or even chopping ingredients; food waste is minimal; it makes it easier to get your hands on top-quality produce; you can get specific diets and allergies catered to, and although it takes a little effort than ordering a takeaway, there's something especially rewarding about cooking your favourite meal to restaurant quality.
READ MORE: Chicken wings with honey glaze
The only difficult part? Trying to decide where to order from. Cult restaurants all over Ireland have been creating their own kits, which means loyal customers can recreate menu classics at home and still get their fix for the best pizza, burgers, tacos, curries and more, in town. Each one comes pre-prepped, usually with most of the hard graft already out of the way so all you need to do is follow the instructions, reheat and plate up.
From vegan dishes to Friday night takeaways and delicious desserts, take a look at our pick of the best at-home meal kits and food boxes to get you started. Be sure to bookmark this page as we update it over the coming weeks and if there are any we've missed, get in touch on our social channels with your suggestions on who we feature.
Grainne O'Keefe, culinary director at BuJo and head chef at Clanbrassil House, has announced a new burger meal kit to satisfy your BuJo cravings. Containing 12 grass-fed beef patties, eight BuJo brioche buns, BuJo burger sauce, 12 slices of cheddar cheese and two dill pickles, this kit gives you everything you need to replicate BJo's classic burger in the comfort of your own home thanks to explicit cooking instructions from Grainne herself. Available for collection in Sandymount and for delivery in Dublin and parts of Louth, Kildare, Meath and Wicklow. Order here.
First revealing that they'd be reopening their doors for click and collect, they've since gone one further and unveiled a brand new The Dough Bros DIY home pizza kit. Containing three wood-fired pizza bases, the hard work is already done for you. All that's left is adding the sauce, toppings and cheese - all of which are provided in the box. Available for collection from Galway city centre or alternatively have the kits delivered to your doorstep anywhere in Ireland. The kits will be delivered the Thursday/Friday after you order, and they'll stay good in the fridge until Sunday evening, or even longer in the freezer! Order here.
The three-course 'heat at home' menu costs €32.50pp and is available for collection at Cliff Townhouse in Dublin (and for delivery within 10km), as well as Cliff at Lyons in Kildare. Also on offer are Afternoon Sea (€27.50pp), a breakfast kit for two (€30) and a takeaway menu that includes an excellent family fish pie serving at least four for €57, including salad and a bottle of wine. Order here or call (01) 638 3939.
Jack and Theo Kirwan, the brothers behind the healthy food company Sprout, have launched a food box delivery service, and as you’d expect it’s packed with fresh produce. Priced at €35, it includes two varieties of organic greens produced on the Kirwan’s own farm, as well as organic potatoes, courgettes, fennel, carrots, cauliflower, spring onions, broccoli and mushrooms. Also included are Compsey yoghurt, a ‘Free From Everything’ granola, pesto made with kale from the farm, French dressing and Nurney organic eggs. Customers can also add in sourdough bread from Le Levain and coffee from Roasted Ground for an extra fee. A smaller, veg-only box is available for €25, with a larger box also available for €50. There are two options for customers – pre-order for collection at Sprout Baggot Street through the website or app, or have your box delivered within a five-kilometre radius of Baggot Street via Deliveroo. Order here.
Smokin’ Bones has all of their biggest hitters available in their BBQ in a Box. Pulled pork, brisket, smoked pit beans, corn on the cob, slider buns, American red slaw with sweet chill mayo dressing and three of their most popular sauces (Memphis BBQ, North Carolina and Spicy BBQ) are all included in each box. And don't panic, this box does not require lighting up the BBQ whilst holding an umbrella either. All you have to do place all meats in a hot oven for 35 minutes. Take out and serve. It could not be easier. Order here.
Kete Kai box delivery from Good Day Deli
This South Pacific-inspired café is now delivering sustainable food boxes right to your door. Each box, which serves two to four people, contains Good Day Deli mezze with bread, cheese, nuts, fruit and pickles, a bottle of Le Caveau natural wine and your choice of four decadent cake slices. Each box is made up of sustainable local ingredients, including Hegarty's cheese, Bushby strawberries and more. The delivery is completely contactless with an online ordering system. Order here.
Featherblade's €39.99 bacon cheeseburger box - six burgers, applewood-smoked sweet thick-cut bacon, brioche buns, black garlic mayo, dijon mayo, aged cheddar and pickles - is available for collection at the Dawson St restaurant and also for delivery to Dublin, Bray and Greystones. Order here.
Mastering the art of crispy buffalo chicken wings is one even the greatest chef's struggle with. Give yourself a break and order an at-home meal kit from Wing It. Customers can choose from three different boxes including their Traditional Wing Box, Boneless Wing Box and Mixed Wing Box. Order here.
Although we may not have pizza ovens of our own, Uno Pizza is on hand with their at-home kits and an excellent food hack for achieving that restaurant-quality char. The Rathmines-based pizzeria has launched ‘Uno At Home’ kits, delivering all the essential ingredients for you to perfect a take on Neapolitan pizza at home with just a frying pan and an oven or grill. You can choose from the classic Margherita (€16) and the spicy Diavola (€18), or if feeding a crowd the Family Kit, which includes ingredients for both kinds. You can even add a bottle of prosecco to your order for an extra €20. Kits are available for collection or delivery is available nationwide. Order here.
Have a little Mexican fiesta of your own with 777 At Home which includes all you need to replicate a night at the fan-favourite restaurant. Each box includes totopos and salsas to share, chorizo taquitos, chicken (tinga) tostadas, mushroom (setas) taquitos, grilled corn slaw, pico de gallo and chocolate cremeux. The box costs €50 and is available for collection from 777 or Dillingers in Ranelagh. Top tip: while you’re there, you should pick up a bottle of their pre-made margarita too - trust us, you won't regret it. Order here.
Asador | Prado At Home
After a successful launch of Asador | Prado At Home with their BBQ & Deluxe Boxes (€49/€75) the team has now expanded their offering with the introduction of the new Surf ‘n’ Turf Box €59. Inside, you will find all you need for the perfect meal for two, complete with a prawn pil pil starter and the most delicious and tender, premium dry-aged chateaubriand. Room for more? Asador and Prado are also thrilled to introduce the brand new At Home Cocktail Kit €49 to their menu. The Cocktail Kit is without a doubt their most innovative and playful offering yet,partnering with distillers such as Teeling Whiskey to bring you exclusive cocktails pre shaken or stirred and delivered straight to your door. Order here.
BANG @ Home
In response to the Dublin lockdown, Bang Restaurant & Wine Bar has launched Bang @ Home, a delivery and collection service. Every week, a unique five-course set menu will be curated and made available to order from the Michelin Guide restaurant. Delivery is available Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday evening in Dublin. Order here. Order here.
Allta Box comes from the clever and innovative folks behind what was Dublin’s hot-ticket restaurant before Covid-19 restrictions came into play. You can still get the Allta experience, however, in the shape of their delivered box of culinary tricks and treats. Visit their site and place your order, it gets delivered, it’s that simple. The Allta Box is €73 with paired wine, €55 without. Previous boxes have included Ølands sourdough porridge bread, shiitake miso butter, fuet, spiced olives, Ballymakenny and smoked Gubbeen malfetti, cime de rapa and hazelnut miso, squid ink sopressini with cuttlefish ragu and foraged sea herbs, plus chocolate cake with salted caramel and espresso cream, and pecan and oat cookie dough. Due to high demand, these at home boxes have been known to sell out in instant, so fingers on buzzers, this, and every, Saturday at noon for delivery the following week. Order here.
It’s one of the country’s most popular pizza restaurants, and now Platform Pizza in Bray in Co Wicklow is getting in on the food box action. It’s offering a ‘create your own pizza’ service through the website StuffUNeed.ie. The box, which can be delivered across Dublin as well as in Bray and Greystones, costs €34.99 and includes the making of five pizzas, along with tips on cooking them. Sounds like just the thing to keep the kids occupied. Order here.
The Butcher Grill
Meat lovers can have a restaurant-quality steak night thanks to Butcher Grill and their three options are surprisingly affordable. You can choose between Cote de Boeuf (€40), striploin (€45) and Chateaubriand (€50) with each option coming with a choice of two sides. The sides available are broccoli and hazelnut dressing, mashed potatoes, smoky beans and bacon, or cheesy cauliflower. There’s also a selection of desserts on offer. Order here.
Did we miss an at-home meal kit you love? Get in touch on our social channels with your suggestions on who we feature.