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Photograph: Supplied Providoor

The best at-home meal kits to try this lockdown

Dining out in Sydney may not be an option just yet but these at home meal kits bring the restaurant to you.

Elizabeth McDonald
Written by
Elizabeth McDonald
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Is your pantry looking a little bare? Are you over going to the shops and wincing at the thought of another sub-par takeaway? Worry not, hungry Sydneysiders. While plenty of restaurants and bars have made the pivot (there’s that word again) to takeaway and delivery options recently, but some have gone a step further by inviting you to participate in the cooking process with them.

Meal delivery kits aren’t necessarily the new kids on the culinary block, but during this era of lockdown life, there's been a major influx of new local options come onto the market. Competition has never been more fierce since top-tier restaurants have entered the meal kit scene, so to help you navigate this crowded space, we've picked out a few of our favourites for you to try.

Rather leave the heavy lifting to the professionals? Check out our list of the best Sydney restaurants now doing takeaway and delivery.

The best meal kits to try this lockdown

In the before time, Randwick's Foodie del Mar was a bar and restaurant with a catering side hustle. Now that side hustle has become the team's bread and butter and they're not doing things in halves. With a focus on truly fresh, local seafood, the eatery are filling a niche in the market by providing DIY seafood cooking kits in partnership with GetFish (formally Decosti) at Sydney's Fish Market. As well as the cook-at-home kits that feature Spanish king prawn paella with marinara, Singapore chilli crabs and French style mussels with blue bheese and crispy bacon, you can book a live-stream Masterclass hosted by Foodie del Mar. Head to their website here for full details on kits and classes.

  • Restaurants
  • Filipino
  • Newtown
  • price 1 of 4

Filipino style coal roasted suckling pig. If that's not selling this at-home meal kit, nothing will. Sydney Cebu Lechon is famous for their hearty and intensely flavourful slow roasted pig and now all of your comfort food cravings are covered with the team's Kamayan (meaning 'to eat with hands') meal kit. $84.50 will score you charcoal roasted pork, pork BBQ skewers, steamed rice for three people and three extra mains to choose from like soy braised chicken, spiced coconut curry crispy pork, mixed vegetables with fermented shrimp paste and crunchy pork belly to name a few. There's also a 20 seconds plating-serving instructions video on their Instagram page. Head to their website here to order your Kamayan box.

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Radish Events are a catering business based in Sydney's St Peter's and have a hard line focus on ethical production and sustainability, with not a plastic fork in sight. The team have whipped up some themed meal kits like the Netflix and Chill pack with house-smoked trout belly rillette, gnocchi and pasture raised beef ragu, artisan cheeses as well as some chocolate goody bags. There's also the Ooh La La! kit which is here to inspire some sexy fun, 12 hour braised beef cheeks with native pepper berry, chocolate lava cake (with extra whipped cream, some for the cake some for... after) and even some pre-made cocktails from the legends at Brix Distillery. The team will even throwing in some bits and bobs to help you style your event at home.

FoodSt is a meal delivery service you can really feel good about. The platform works by empowering home cooks to make their traditional family recipes, which are then available for consumers to browse and purchase through the website. Bestsellers include Malaysian beef rendang, tofu and shiitake dumplings and lemongrass beef skewers. Many of the cooks have catering businesses, own cafés, or work as chefs.

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Here's a feel good one - coffee giant, Lavazza have teamed up with Scottish heart-throb and Masterchef host, Jock Zonfrillo to throw together possibly the most affordable meal kit on the market. The move is part of Lavazza's ¡Tierra! project, furthering sustainable coffee production. Just $20 will get you all the ingredients you need to create dishes inspired by coffee growing regions of East Africa, the Amazon and Central America. All proceeds of the meal kits will be going to a carbon off setting scheme in order to highlight the importance of sustainable agriculture when it comes to climate change. Head to the Atlas Masterclass website here to order your kit.

  • Restaurants
  • Restaurants

Premium meal delivery service Providoor is expanding and now Sydneysiders have access to more top-tier restaurants than ever before. Joining the fleet of fine diners are Sydney big dogs Cirrus, Monopole, Yellow, the Apollo, Cho Cho San, Icebergs Dining Room + Bar, Golden Century, Spice Temple, Rockpool and Ciccia Bella. Meals are delivered with the idea of being finished at home by customers, integrating them into both the cooking and dining experience. Head to the Providoor website here to place your order.

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  • Restaurants
  • Surry Hills

Chin Chin is bringing the restaurant to you with their Make Me Feed Me packs and they’re not messing around. These meal kits are available for $75 each (which feeds two people) and they can be delivered direct to your door, with each pack including entrees, mains, desserts, and sides, plus cooking instructions. There’s even a playlist included to bring the Chin Chin vibes to your dinner. You can expect the likes of prawn shumai with black vinegar dressing, Vietnamese slaw with smoked trout and burnt tamarind dressing, wagyu brisket with sweet soy and chilli vinegar and roasted eggplant with tomato and chilli relish. An extra $50 will score you a Chin Chin cocktail pack for two. Get in quick though because numbers are strictly limited.

  • Restaurants
  • Bronte

The Three Blue Ducks’ DIY ‘feast boxes’ are prepared in house and are ready to be assembled with only minimal cooking or heating required. Simply follow the easy-to-follow instructions provided. Starting at $75 for two people, you’ll find salmon curries, maple glazed pumpkin with pepita cream, smoked brisket, lamb shanks and some cheeky dessert to boot. Pick up and delivery is available from their Bronte location.

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  • Restaurants
  • Seafood
  • Paddington
  • price 2 of 4

Anyone who is familiar with the mind of Saint Peter’s Josh Niland knows that any at-home meal kit he touches is going to be a thing of genius and beauty. During the first round of lockdown the DIY kits sold out at lightning speed and it’s looking like this lockdown is no different. A daily menu of morsels like drunken lobster, Murray River cod tagine, snapper laksa and el pastor style swordfish tacos means your DIY dinner needs are taken care of in the most delicious way imaginable.

  • Restaurants
  • Haymarket
  • price 1 of 4

Masterminds behind perhaps the richest ramen in Sydney, Gumshara, are now delivering frozen ramen kits to anyone within a 35km range who wants to get those nood sweats at home. A serving of microwaveable frozen tonkotsu ramen for one will set you back $16 and $48 will get you three servings to heat up at home when you wish. On select days, they're also delivering to Newcastle, Wollongong and the Central Coast for those regional ramen seekers. Head to their website here to get some of that good, good stuff.

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  • Bars
  • Wine bars
  • Potts Point
  • price 2 of 4

Romance isn’t dead if the team behind Dear Sainte Éloise has anything to say about it. Their DSE Date Night Packs are a cool $65 and offer a three-course feast (think pappardelle with white ragu, eggplant lasagne, romesco dip and braised greens) that changes weekly. Minimal prep is involved but just enough to show off to your date and flex your plating skills. The best part is that they’re offering up to 45% off their notoriously impressive wine list so you know you’re in for a good time. Full menu and ordering details are available on their instagram page here.

The Dinner Ladies are another long standing go-to for work/toddler/teenager weary parents and are often recommended as a thoughtful service to gift to new mums and dads. The no-fuss meals like Syrian chicken with honey and lemon, cumin-spiced lamb shanks and harissa rubbed pork loin with white beans, come frozen and many only require a quick zap in the microwave or a little bit of finishing to get dinner on the table in minutes.

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  • Things to do
  • Food and drink

Hello Fresh has been around for years now. You choose your meals, you pick a date for them to arrive and they appear on your doorstep, colour-coded and foolproof. While there are cheaper traditional meal kits on the market, you really do get what you pay for so it’s well worth the extra couple of dollars for the highly varied recipes and overall experience. Find out more about HelloFresh.

ChefPrep is another meal delivery service that's working to support restaurants still reeling from the impacts of the lockdowns. At this online marketplace, you can select frozen meals from multiple locations and have them delivered straight to your door with handy QR codes (who knew they'd become so damn useful) providing links to heating instructions. On the rotor you’ll find neighbourhood favourites like Delhi’O’Delhi, STIX, and Huxton’s Bronte to name a few.

Something sweet for afters?

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