Food Restaurant 'dine at home' boxes

I've previously mentioned The Angel Hetton on here, Michael Wignall's 1* establishment in North Yorkshire. They have started doing "The Angel To Go", a 5 course menu to to take away - cost is £70 per couple with everything provided for all 5 courses. There are also several extras you can purchase as add ons (e.g. beers, wines etc), we just added a loaf of their very good sourdough and I attempted to do my own flight of matched wines, mainly using things I had in small formats.

Everything came in a neat box, with different components vacuum packed, wrapped or boxed. Full instructions were also provided, with only the duck main course really requiring any effort of culinary skill:





The white bean veloute was simple but well made - rich and creamy, the wild garlic oil adding a lovely hit of flavour to it. This was Vicki's favourite course. We had a well aged half bottle of Bollinger NV with this, the bubbles working their magic to lighten the dish.


The cured trout was my favourite course - beautifully textured and subtly cured to retain freshness. Lemon yoghurt and fish roe added depth. Matched with a glass of Morgenster White Reserve 2015 (Sauvignon/Semillon).


Main course of duck divided us - Vicki felt it was too rich and salty (specifically the confit leg hash brown) but I loved it and thought the bok choi and Chinese spices in the sauce offset the richness very well. Best wine pairing of the night, a half of Qupe Syrah 2014 had the perfect body and fruitiness to complement the duck.


We had dessert next, a pre prepared chocolate delice with rhubarb gel. Despite not generally being big fans of chocolate desserts we both really enjoyed this, as it was neither too intense nor too sweet. The gel gave a lovely fresh acidity, though didn't particularly taste of rhubarb. Paired with a quarter bottle of Royal Tokaji Aszu 5 Putts 2013.


Finally 3 cheeses (although I added a 4th that needed using up) from The Courtyard Dairy with various standard accompaniments. Decent quality, especially the Young Buck blue. Paired with a quarter bottle of Graham 10 year old Tawny.


I was pleased with my wine pairings on the whole, especially the Syrah with the duck, and also the fact that our total alcohol consumption was reasonably sensible, despite having 5 different wines (probably just over 3 quarters of a bottle each in total over approx 4 hours).


All in all, it was a very enjoyable experience and good value too for some restaurant quality ingredients well prepared. You don't need to be a culinary whizz to finish the dishes, although a level of confidence would have been required for the duck.

I would definitely recommend this and will probably do it again a couple of weeks.
Thanks for that Richard. Looks well thought out, though reading the instructions, I think there were a few ambiguities. You get more cheese than in the restaurant! Nice wine matching by you too. Quite a selection of small formats, that you have: I think the only small formats I have are sweeties.

I see Adam Reid from the French at the Midland is doing a similar finish at home version of his GBM menu. 4 courses for two for £90 delivered. (Currently sold out for next weekend.)
You get more cheese than in the restaurant!

Bear in mind a) that was for 2 people and b) the Yellisons Goat (on the left) was added by me, as it was in the fridge and needed eating up.

In terms of volume of food though there was a lot - more than there appeared when I opened up the box, plus the soup, duck and chocolate were all pretty rich - we were absolutely busted by the end, and didn't actually finish the cheese (I've just had the leftovers for breakfast).
Just been discussing this with Vicki - we will definitely partake in this again, but reckon the solution to the fullness is to leave the soup out (save it for lunch the following day), as it was a fairly rich and substantial start to a 5 course meal.
As Richard said above, we also did this. It was great to see Richard again - the first time since the lockdown began - and we had an enjoyable hour or so of banter. Kathy and I went for a walk around Conistone and Kilnsey after collecting our package and Wharfedale looked absolutely glorious in the sunshine. But we got caught in a horrific rain and hailstorm for the last 10 minutes and even in that short time we got so wet that we had to take our trousers off and drive home in our underwear. "Honestly, Officer, we've not been dogging..."

We thought the package was very good and excellent value for money. The bread was terrific. I agree with Richard that the trout dish was the best, although the veloute was really good too. We agree with Vicki that the duck confit hashbrown was a bit too salty (and I noticed saltiness in the veloute too), and I think we would have preferred it if the duck hadn't been cooked sous vide rather than just left raw for us to cook ourselves. It lost some flavour and texture by this treatment.

We didn't have enough small bottles of suitable wines to do a pairing flight like Richard's. There's a Manchester group Zoom offline today, the theme being South African wines, so we chose a couple of bottles that would accompany last night's meal and also suffice for today's event: Lismore Barrel Fermented Sauvignon Blanc 2016 for the firsst two courses and Lismore Pinot Noir 2016 for the duck. We also opened a 50cl of Maydie Tannat 2011, the sweet fortified wine by the Madiran producer Ch d'Aydie, as stocked by TWS, to go with the desert. Both Lismore wines were excellent (as have been all Lismore wines I've had) and I think the Maydie was the best accompaniment to chocolate that I've come across.

We'll happily repeat the experience. It's quite a long drive to the Angel (an hour and a half each way) but there's so much great walking in the area that it's worth making a day out of it.
Tonight we are dining from The Angel so far has been absolutely brilliant, even better than our previous experience.

Pressing of pork with Caesar dressing, gem lettuce and chorizo oil

Chicken breast, confit leg hash brown, braised leek, sage and onion crumble

Marinated peach, raspberry coulis, mascarpone, cardamom meringue

Selection of Courtyard Dairy cheeses
We had this last night, too, and we agree that it was better than last time's menu. Unlike Richard and Vicki, who saved their pea and Alsace bacon veloute with mint oil for lunch today, we ate ours with the meal but, after eating (half of) the cheese, we'd had enough, so we've got the dessert to look forward to tonight (we usually eat cheese before pud). We drank Weininger Wiener Gemischter Satz Nussberg 2012 with the veloute and the terrine, before switching to Vincent Girardin Pommard Les Vignots 2005 with the chicken. We'll probably open a half of Selbach-Oster Zeltinger Sonnenuhr Riesling Auslese* 1997 to accompany the peach dish. There's over half of a bottle of the Nussberg left for this afternoon's Manchester Zoom offline, when the theme is Austrian wines. That Girardin Pommard was unfeasibly delicious - fully resolved but still with loads of primary fruit and no real secondary development, and low acidity; there's a third of a bottle left and I'm looking forward to seeing whether it's changed overnight.

Like Richard and David Bywater (per the other thread), we've booked our next posh takeawaay from The Owl in Leeds, although in a fortnight's time. I hadn't heard of The Owl before Richard and David's posts so it'll be interesting to try their offering. It certainly looks good.
I've ordered a GBM menu from Adam Reid at the French for the weekend.

Got a slightly panicked message from Adam Reid saying that I shouldn't have been able to as it was sold out, but after offering to hold it over till next week, he said he'll sort me out.

Really rather looking forward to not having to think about what to cook and how to cook it.
I've ordered a GBM menu from Adam Reid at the French for the weekend.

Got a slightly panicked message from Adam Reid saying that I shouldn't have been able to as it was sold out, but after offering to hold it over till next week, he said he'll sort me out.

Really rather looking forward to not having to think about what to cook and how to cook it.

I was half tempted by that, even though I didn't particularly rate the restaurant on our 1 visit (except the dessert - basically the GBM one - which was outstanding).

I'm also tempted by The Pipe & Glass in Beverley, just trying to work out if I can be arsed making the trip on the M62 from Leeds on a Friday afternoon.
First time dining at home from The Owl in Leeds last night - there are 3 different 4 course menus to choose from all priced at £55 for 2 people, and living in a Leeds postcode it was a very reasonable and convenient £7 for delivery.

Similar to The Angel but minus the cheese - a soup to heat through, salad and dessert just to assemble and a main course requiring little skill and effort.

First was a chowder of sea bass, sweet potato and sweetcorn, finished with a herb oil, with a small loaf of potato brioche to accompany. Rich and intense. Very rich and intense. Too much so, in fact, the gherkins in the soup were clearly supposed to cut the creaminess but they actually just made it more intense, meaning the big chunks of bass were overwhelmed. The flavours were good though and the brioche was outstanding. Matched with a glass of Saintsbury Carneros Chardonnay 2013, saved from the previous night, which went very well.


Marinated tomatoes with pickled onion petals, basil cress, goat's cheese and tomato meringues was absolutely brilliant - light, fresh, intensely flavoured sweet tomatoes offset by the ripe, crumbly cheese. An elegant and classy dish, restaurant worthy no doubt. Matched to Andre Dezat Sancerre 2019.


Main was a herb crusted rump of lamb with lamb fat potatoes, fennel puree, summer vegetables and mint salsa verde. The salsa verde was salty rather than tangy and the fennel puree I found inedibly sweet and salty, but everything else was lovely - tender lamb with great flavour, crispy spuds, tasty veg. Matched to Chateau Beaumont 2016.


Dessert was 66% chocolate cake with salted caramel mousse and vanilla syrup. Very good it was too - not too sweet, not too rich - and lovely with a Blandy 10 year old Malmsey.


The wines. Saintsbury Chardonnay was as good as always - sweet baked apple and creamy vanilla. Dezat Sancerre was surprisingly soft for Sauvignon Blanc with orchard fruit as well as the tangy gooseberry. Beaumont was very tannic on opening so decanted to give it some air, and this did the job - after an hour the fresh black fruit shone through. Fairly simple but enjoyable. The Malmsey was a really good match to the dark chocolate cake, with good balance between richness and acidity.


So all in all, I felt there were 2 really great courses and 2 that were almost there, again a lot of food and we would probably have been better off saving the chowder and brioche for lunch the next day. For me, I prefer The Angel on the whole, but Vicki disagreed and loved all 4 dishes. Would definitely order from them again.
Excellent to support struggling restaurants though looking at your sterling efforts I am slightly unconvinced that it is much less trouble than cooking from scratch!
We're doing The Owl's takeaway tomorrow and based on Richard's description we're greatly looking forward to it. I've been thinking about suitable wine to accompany the meal. Our first course will be a rabbit begnet and the main course will be poussin. In true Forum fashion, I've decided that Alsace Pinot Gris - a properly dry one - is the way to go. I'm thinking of Zind Humbrecht Clos St Urbain Rangen de Thann 2006 (Indice 1). I've just looked at the information abouth this wine on Z-H's brilliant website and this is what Olivier H says:-

The alternance of dry/humid periods and presence of fog during harvest make it easy for massive botrytis development [in this vineyard]. In 2006, the botrytis was intense, but like in many other Pinot Gris vineyards, we feared that its influence could be too powerful. We went to harvest the Pinot Gris just before it would be real VT, aiming for a dry wine. The fermentation was fast and powerful, leaving little chance for much residual sweetness in the wine...Not a VT? It is impossible to think differently with this dark gold colour, almost orange and this powerful intense waxy, shoe polish, flinty nose. Most people would swear that this is a very sweet wine, SGN like, but not. The palate is as austere and tight as it can be. It’s like chewing volcanic rocks. Right from their youth, all the Rangen wines had this dark colour. This is not oxidation, it is just the way the terroir decided to express the vintage. The finish feels very dry and powerful, also showing a racy acidity. Extreme vineyard, extreme wine…

Sounds a bit scary. I'll report back after the event.
Colin at £30 each I thought it was very good value.
We loved it all, especially the main course. Our only criticism was the starter was too large and the turnips could have been cooked a minute more. All the portion sizes were larger than expected.

I've just ordered another one for 17th July -

Our Sourdough with Whipped Butter
Chilled Broth of Our Farm Vegetables, Holker Estate Curd, Kohlrabi
Confit Chicken from Goosnargh, Roscoff Onion, Elderflower
Woodruff Parfait with Poached Cherries and Caramelised White Chocolate
I think the gastronomic highlight of a number of restaurant deliveries remains Adam Reid's GBM menu.
Gary Usher's Elite Bistro's was lovely, not least for being an à la carte offering, rather than a set menu box.
I was disappointed by Tommy Banks. I might just have got a bad week, although the polenta (that was supposed to be served with an utterly execrable moussaka) is the finest polenta I can remember having.

But I've sought out, and reactivated this thread, to draw your attention to Aktar Islam's curry box from his Opheem restaurant in Birmingham. For £75 you get an inordinate amount of very fine Indian food. If your idea of Indian food is that it should hurt on the way in and the way out, you'll hate this. But for me it was all beautifully spiced, utterly distinct, and very delicious dishes. I've been eating it all week, and still have three dishes I've put in the freezer, as I fancied a change tonight (mangalitsa ribeye, since you ask).IMG_20200807_081054.jpg IMG_20200807_081537.jpg
IMG_20200807_081700.jpg IMG_20200807_081706.jpg
The samosa was a bit ordinary maybe (though I overcooked it, being someone who almost never deep fries at home), and the paratha unfortunately dried out in my fridge, so didn't really reheat well. But I have been dining like a sultan all week. If I didn't still have some to go, I'd have already ordered another box. Think I'll order another for delivery in a fortnight (which given that I took an instant dislike to Aktar Islam when he appeard on GBM, a dislike which has never subsided).
£75 sounds expensive, but £15 of that was delivery, and I had a quick look online, and I think I'd struggle to get this amount of food from any local Indian takeway for £60, and it certainly wouldn't be this quality.