The one light in the lockdown tunnel is the ever-increasing number of options for home delivery and takeaway.
A little prepping!
Kushan Marthelis is to home delivery what silver service is to restaurants. Charming, attentive, courteous and polished, with a uniquely personal touch. From the moment you make your enquiry until the minute your food arrives, Kushan is a delight to deal with and, when you sit down to enjoy your meal, oh my… a feast for the eyes, a treat for the tastebuds and worthy of a review on The Catering Club every single time.
Having worked in hotels, restaurants and as a caterer for many years, Kushan set up Cacao Catering last year and really got going in the summer with a barbecue offering. This involved all different marinated meat and fish plus wonderful salads and it was a sell-out every week. Since then, Borehamwood-based Kushan has massively increased the options but – get this – every single meal is bespoke.
He likes to get to know his clients and what they enjoy eating so he and his team can create a meal just for them. That said, for Valentine’s Day, he has created a general menu to enable more people to have the chance to order.
This features chicken liver parfait, potato blini with smoked salmon and champagne hollandaise, Sicilian cod with globe artichoke, soy braised beef with shitake mushrooms and caramelised baby onion, blackened crispy tofu with sesame aubergine, raspberry white chocolate dome or soft dark chocolate cake with salted caramel and champagne strawberry compote. There is also a Japanese menu (Kushan has a Japanese chef and his sushi platters are very popular).
“Catering is my baby,” says Kushan, “but my dream is to open a restaurant.” Watch this space.
MyKoCo is the brilliant answer to kosher ready meals – delivered. With a background in catering, the team behind this young, fresh, innovative brand has put together a huge range of dishes, including staples such as chicken soup, chicken pie and salt beef, plus more exotic options such as hoisin duck, beef madras and miso-braised lamb shanks.
There are fresh salads, too. Among the delicious desserts is everyone’s favourite – sticky toffee pudding. The team can also make bespoke dishes on request.
Maison Patron is a lovely little French bistro in Kentish Town (with a new branch in Highbury). It’s a simple, rustic place with simple, rustic food and it will always hold a place in my heart as the last place where I ate out ‘normally’, ie before lockdown #1.
It is now delivering to home and, last weekend, we enjoyed French onion soup, steak tartare, confit duck with dauphinois potatoes, padron peppers, rich, velvety chocolate mousse and a grill-the-top-yourself crème brûlée.
There’s a tiny bit of home prep, but this feels much more like a restaurant meal at home than a takeaway.
READ THE FOOD SUPPLEMENT HERE!
Eat out of the box
The lunchtime rush for Chick P falafels is not forgotten in Moorgate. Covid might have closed the doors to culinary choices in the city, but the bankers and traders who continue to work there can’t and won’t forget the sensational street food prepared by Ashley Burns.
Flavoursome, but not too herby as falafels can be, Ashley has taken the best of what Israel does to create patties of perfection in pitta, which are now delivered to your home.
The Barnet-based vendor has added (kosher) chicken schnitzel to his menu and he also does desserts, but doesn’t mix milk and meat, so you can go vegan and enjoy the afters or save them for later.
Only a day’s notice is required for delivery from Friday to Sunday and, now that Ashley is mobile he can do private parties too, once they’re permitted.
Sababa in Borehamwood is the kosher milky sister restaurant to meaty Balagan a few doors down, and the new baby of Hannan (formerly of Pizoyo).
With pizzas, pastas, salads, fish dishes and lots of desserts available for delivery and collection, Sababa is also running a street food stand outside the restaurant serving up soup, pizza dough balls, crepes and waffles every Sunday and occasionally midweek (weather permitting).
A great addition to the area and to your daily walk.
The Rising Sun
If I’m going to invest a gazillion calories in a pizza, it’s got to be a really good one.
Laden with toppings such as fior di latte, rocket, artichokes, sunblushed tomatoes, porcini mushrooms and truffle, the small but superb range at The Rising Sun in Mill Hill is delicious and has that perfect combination of crispy and chewy in the crust, which is what differentiates a good pizza from a great pizza. They come in a brilliantly designed bag – order one and you’ll see what I mean.
Yamiko Japanese home delivery (kosher) comes from the team behind MyKoCo. Head chef Marco earned his stripes at Nobu and the menu features a great selection of nigiri, hand rolls, maki, sashimi and inside-out rolls, plus poke bowls, fish, chicken and beef dishes.
I’ve heard good things about the miso chicken skewers, the sesame seared salmon nigiri, and the crispy duck with cucumber and hoisin sauce inside- out-roll. Only available on Deliveroo.
Soyo Diner, Soyo CafÉ & Pizaza
Even in lockdown there’s no chance of kosher foodies going hungry in Golders Green.
SOYO Diner (www.soyodiner.co.uk) has a meal deal for two that includes two burgers, fries and wings for £25, while SOYO Café (www.soyo.co.uk) a couple of doors down has a daily colourful crepe stand and serves the best hot chocolate.
Pita (www.pita.london) remains the best place for shawarma and Hot Cut, (www.hotcut.co.uk) is doing a £10 lunch deal – a toastie, chips and drinks. Pizaza (also in Edgware and Hendon) has added a jumbo 18-inch pizza to the menu.
Salt Shed street food pop-up is operating out of Mill & Brew in Mill Hill (from Wednesday to Sunday). It’s a meat lover’s miracle of pastrami and burgers with sides including skin-on fries and padron peppers. The pastrami is superb.
Thick-cut smoked brisket, caramelised on the outside and tender on the inside with just the right level of saltiness and a honey mustard sauce to finish it off to perfection. The pastrami burger – a beef patty topped with smoked brisket, onions and pickles in a sesame bun – is comfort food at its best and all the sides are terrific. Order on Deliveroo or pick it up and save 15%.
Bhageecha means ‘garden’ in Hindi, and Mishal, who together with her husband Sundeep, owns the new restaurant of this name in Elstree (on the former site of The Fishery), vividly remembers fragrant aromas and laughter filling the air at garden parties as her father cooked in huge pots over a coal stove.
With an innate understanding of the combination of food and celebration, Sundeep built a successful banqueting business in north-west London. Now the couple have brought their expertise to this well-known venue and given it a whole new lease of life.
Until they can open the doors to show you the beautiful new interior, they are delivering their superb north Indian dishes to customers within a three-mile radius or you can collect. I’m hearing great things about the marinated and charcoal-cooked tandoori broccoli, chef’s speciality nihari lamb shank in a special curry sauce, malai kofta (paneer and potato balls in a thick cashew gravy) and macchi masala (tilapia in a thick masala gravy). Order direct or on Uber Eats.
Delicatessen(kosher), in Hampstead, has a great menu that includes huge burgers and there is also a walk-in falafel stand.
Reubens (kosher) in Baker Street has added loads of new takeout dishes including a brunch burger, salt beef croquettes and a sloppy joe ciabatta. Staples you know and love are all there too.
Kipferl is a little Austrian gem of a restaurant in Camden Passage. In ‘normal’ times, it’s a place to get your fix of Wiener schnitzel or beef goulash but, during lockdown, a ray of sunshine has been its Sachertorte, an intensely rich, fluffy chocolate cake with a layer of apricot jam and a personalised message on top, which is available for nationwide delivery.
There is also a delicious, dairy-free Jewish apple cake (a recipe from the 1900s), melt-in-the-mouth Vanillekipferl (the little Austrian shortbread from which Kipferl takes its name), and an Apfelstrudel that many who’ve tried it say is the best they’ve ever had.
The Cook School @ homes
Offering means no thinking, no shopping – just taking delivery of a box of goodies and logging on at 6.30pm with a glass of wine (not provided, although they do send peanuts to snack on). There are lots of different classes – I booked in for the Asian one. With his lovely Scottish accent, head chef Stuart took us through a bit of butchery, a medley of marinating, a soupçon of slicing, a chug of chopping and the flair of flaking fish, imparting lots of professional tips along the way. Before long, we had beautiful Thai fishcakes sizzling in the pan with lime caramelising alongside them, and a zesty, tangy Asian slaw making its way into a dish to serve alongside. Then it was on to Singapore noodles and some brilliant tips on how to plate it all up artistically. The dishes were officially for two, but there was plenty for three of us and Stuart even included delicious banana and tahini cheesecakes (made by him) for dessert. Check out the Valentine’s Day class for a cute couple’s activity.
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By Joe Millis