Restaurant meals to go, either ready to eat or requiring some minimal cooking and assembly, kept many businesses afloat and diners happy, during the spring lockdown. With the country temporarily closed for indoor and outdoor dining, many are back in the market, and are being joined this time by lots of newcomers to the click and collect business model.
Here is a selection of the best of the boxes, from readymade meals to cook-at-home kits, available to order from restaurants across the capital city and county. Later in the week, we will expand the list across the country.
Liath To Go, Blackrock
Faster than you could say mis-en-place, Michelin-starred Liath in Blackrock Market parked meal kits and has moved to street food. After a trial last weekend, the new offering, which will see the team serve takeaway from a hatch at the restaurant entrance, begins this week.
It will be available from Wednesday to Saturday, noon to 5pm. The menu will be posted daily and a dedicated telephone line, 085-1278680 will open at 10am to take bookings for collection. A strict queuing system will be in place.
Last weekend's dishes were pork gyoza, pak choi, Korean chilli sauce, dried kimchi, shiitake, sesame oil, Alexander, sake (€12), and squid, charcoal, mayonnaise, salt water, spices, lemon, pata negra, cured lardo (€10).
Mister S, Camden Street
There are three takeaway options here, available on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. The BoSsam feast, a giant Andarl Farm pork shoulder with all the trimmings, feeds up to eight (€85). This week's menu also features porchetta (€48) and smoked Curragh lamb (€48), both three-course feasts for two people.
From the same stable of restaurants, the Featherblade bacon cheeseburger box was one of the big hits of the spring lockdown, and it will be available for collection from the Dawson Street restaurant on Friday and Saturday this week. It must be booked in advance, and costs €40 for four generous burgers.
Etto, Merrion Row
There are a few options to choose from here including a weekly changing set menu for one (€32) – kudos for offering a solo meal – or two (€62); a côte de boeuf meal for two (€76); a salumi and nibbles platter for two (€15), or the restaurant’s signature dessert, red wine prunes and vanilla mascarpone (€7).
This week's set menu features olives, almonds, Le Levain bread and bagna cauda; followed by aged Parmesan agnolotti, onion brodo and autumn vegetables; Kerry Hill lamb neck, spiced beluga lentils, kale and Madeira jus; date and apple pudding and toffee caramel sauce.
Orders are taken online and can be collected Thursday to Saturday, 3pm-7pm. They’ll even deliver your order to your car boot if you pull up on the corner of Ely Place and call them on 01-6788872.
Michael's, Mount Merrion
Collection slots fill fast for this one, so you’ll need to plan ahead if you’re going to nab one of the signature fish and shellfish platters for two (€64), especially at weekends. It’s not just fish on offer here though, much of the popular neighbourhood restaurant’s menu is available to go, and it is on sale Tuesday to Sunday, 1pm-9pm.
Asador|Prado at Home
The all bells and whistles roast in a box from Asador and Prado restaurants has proved to be a lockdown winner. There is a choice of a leg of lamb or a roast striploin of beef, with honey glazed carrots and parsnips, duck fat roasties, mangetout, stuffing, gravy and horseradish cream. It costs €75 and will feed five to six people. Click and collect Wednesday to Saturday, and delivery available on Fridays. The surf n turf box (€59), developed during the spring lockdown, is also available to order online, and the batch cocktails (€49) come highly recommended.
Bon Appetit, Malahide
A variety of meal kits, including a Beef & Lobster blow out (€80, serves four to six) and a Cleaver East-style brunch (€35, serves two) have been added to the options here, for online order, collection and delivery.
If you prefer your takeaway ready to eat, there is a comprehensive list of 30 menu items to choose from, including a children’s menu, and a Wednesday special offer of two starters, two main courses, two sides and a bottle of house wine for €60. In addition, all wines are available at 50 per cent off the restaurant list price.
The food here is really top class, and the takeaway offering is superb. It’s available by call and collect, and orders can also be placed via Whatsapp, with designated collection times. The tasting menu for two at €70 includes a kebab selection, Goan seafood curry, butter chicken, Urulai roast potatpes, pulao rice, garlic coriander nan, and gulab jamun for dessert.
One of the early adapters to takeaway and delivery, Riba has a comprehensive menu available, but the star buy is the midweek special, fritto misto and chips, on sale Wednesdays and Thursdays only. For €14.50 you get chunks of cod, squid and prawns, in a light batter that miraculously stays crisp in its cardboard box, along with chips and two sauces, garlic aoili and ginger and honey dip.
China Sichuan, Sandyford
This outstanding Chinese restaurant took a long view on re-opening, and was about to open its doors this week, for the first time since the March lockdown, when restrictions forced another delay. But its click and collect service, available Wednesday to Sunday, includes many of the customer favourites from the menu, as well as larder items including house-made chilli sauce and XO sauce, duck fat, and even strawberry and sichuan pepper jam.
There is a full restaurant experience, to take away, on offer at Woodruff. Snacks, starters, main courses, sides and desserts can be ordered from a weekly changing menu available Thursday, Friday and Saturday. It's not a simplified version of the menu either, for example a recent main course featured Mayo blackface lamb rump, smoked shoulder, salt baked Castleruddery turnips, red kale, sweetcorn, house cider sauce (€29).
Baste, Clanbrassil Street
In addition to its ready-to-eat barbecue feasts, Baste is now offering heat and eat options, and walk-in takeaway. Andy Noonan's low 'n' slow barbecue skills are legendary, and with his insistence on only using free-range, high welfare meats from the likes of Peter Hannan, Higgins Butchers and FX Buckley, you know you're in good hands when ordering from his Clanbrassil Street pop-up.
The sides and sauces are epic too. This one comes highly recommended. Try the Whole Hogg barbecue box (€45)that feeds two, generously, with sugar pit bacon ribs, smoked pork shoulder, pork sausages, chargrilled flatbreads, Alabama white sauce, barbecue sauce, chimichurri, cucumber pickles, saurkraut, red onion pickles, sweet ‘n’ spicy slaw, purple potato salad, tomato and butterbean salad, pickled courgettes, ricotta and honey, and preserved lemon couscous with fresh herbs, raisins and toasted almonds.
At Mamo in Howth the hatch is back open for collection of pre-booked meals. The menu changes, but the signature 'Cod Chip' snack is so popular it's a permanent fixture. The phone lines open at noon Thursday to Sunday for orders, 01-8397096.
Yamamori, George's Street and Ormond Quay
Yamamori should be celebrating 25 years in business in Dublin, a milestone the chain of three city centre restaurants reached recently. Instead, only takeaway, and delivery, within 7km of the city centre, is available now if you need a fix of sushi or noodles. Practically the entire menu is available to go, and they are also doing a make your own sushi kit for €35 for one person and €65 for two, with a how-to video to help you master the art.
Allta, Dublin 2
The Allta pasta box was one of the runaway hits of the spring lockdown, and they're back, and once again available nationwide. The box, which serves two, generously, plus a bottle of wine, costs €75. For that you'll get some very good sourdough bread and their signature shiitake miso butter, a charcuterie and pickles starter, two different pastas to share, and dessert. This one sells out fast, but keep an eye on their social media for cancellations.
Roly's, Dublin 4
Weekly changing specials, plus all the Roly's favourites, including the Dublin Bay prawns and fish pie, can be ordered for collection or delivery. In addition to restaurant-standard multi-course meals, ready to eat, there is a comprehensive selection of chilled dishes to be reheated at home, and a full selection of baked goods, including Bread41 sourdough and Roly's soda breads.