Ideal for those wanting a special treat for dinner during the new lockdown.

Because there really is only so much tinned sardine on toast we can take. We miss restaurant food, not having to cook (and wash up) for ourselves several times a day, we miss good wine out of carefully considered glasses…but most of all, we miss that sense of occasion that a great restaurant meal brings.

If we’re to enjoy that feeling again, then it’s so important you support your local restaurants right now, who are doing all they can to keep going during these trying times. Fortunately, some of East London’s finest eateries are currently offering takeaway and delivery of some of their iconic dishes, perfect for welcoming that sense of occasion into the domestic setting. With that in mind, here are 5 of the best restaurant delivery, meal kits and collection in Hackney, London, for January 2021.

THE DUMPLINGS STORE BY THE LAUGHING HEART

We’re so glad we can still eat chef Tom Anglesea’s eclectic, playful cooking during lockdown. Currently, Hackney restaurant The Laughing Heart are offering delivery and pickup of ‘handmade dumplings and luxurious accompaniments’, including red prawn and Tamworth pork Xiao Long Bao, kombu vinegar, aged soy sauce and much more. Rest assured; it’s bloody delicious!

With pick up and delivery running Wednesday to Sunday from 5 pm until 9 pm, it’s best to keep an eye on their Instagram feed (@thelaughingheart_london) for announcements of when slots go live. The LH Cave is also available for all your fine wine needs, selling packs in bottles of three.

Order via the Big Night app, which is currently supporting some of London’s best restaurants and paying their delivery drivers properly, too.

MIEN TAY

We were saddened to hear that Song Que, our favourite of the Vietnamese restaurants in Hackney, had announced that from 7th January, they were shutting their doors to delivery until this thing blows over.

But we’re all in need of some comfort right now, and there’s nothing more nourishing than a bowl of noodle soup from Mien Tay, the superb Vietnamese stalwart on Kingsland Road just down the road from Song Que. Though you can’t go wrong with Pho, Hanoi Tai Lan style with raw slices of steak added to the broth at the last minute, we’re all over their Central style Bun Bo Hue here, which is funky with shrimp paste and assertively spicy. The perfect pick-me-up for the doom and gloom of January, no doubt about it.

Order during January via Deliveroo.

PIDGIN

This January, from Thursday to Sunday, you can order a three course meal from the gloriously inventive Pidgin for £25 pp. Each Sunday evening at 9pm, their ordering system goes live for the following week, and it really is a case of fastest fingers first here; harder than snagging a Glasto ticket or an Ocado slot, for sure.

Those who do get through are rewarded with thoughtful, fantastic cooking, and a constantly updated menu. This week sees a truffled Winter squash soup, a Bebere spiced lamb shoulder with smoked anchovy salsa verde, and a hay infused rice pudding. Wowzers. For a real treat, the restaurant are also offering wine pairings from their cellar. Oh, and the whole affair is called ‘Homing Pidgin’, which made us smile.

Be aware that, for now, this one is collection only, from the restaurant, which is just off Hackney Central station.

Check out their website to place an order.

OMBRA

South Hackney neighbourhood Venetian-Italian restaurant Ombra have expanded their Pastificio & Alimentari neighbourhood shop, and are now offering pick-up and delivery of essential items, including homemade pasta, pasta sauces, mortadella sarnies, huge sharing tiramisu and much more, via their website and a dedicated Whatsapp number. They’ve also opened up their cellar and are offering a huge selection of fine Italian liquor for delivery, too.

Pick up is available within an hour of ordering, between 1 pm and 6 pm, daily. Delivery within 2 miles happens between midday and 3 pm, and between 5 pm and 7 pm, daily. For those living further afield, a select few items are now available for nationwide delivery. Great news!

What’s more, on Sundays, Ombra are doing generous portions of lasagna, fit for three people, for £30 – the cut off for ordering this hugely popular dish is 6 pm on the Saturday prior. Secure your slot early, as these sell out fast.

Check out the page for their dedicated OMBRA Pastificio & Alimentari shop for more information and to order.

LEROY / ROYALE 

Leroy, the superb Shoreditch wine bar which wants to feed you really, really well, is currently offering rotisserie chicken, sides, salads and sauces from their new delivery and collect service ‘Royale’, serving as much of East London as they can manage. 

You can get your hands on the good stuff on Thursday and Friday evenings between 5 pm and 9 pm, Saturdays 1 pm to 9 pm, and Sundays 1 pm to 6 pm. Right now (as of Wednesday, January 13th) after huge demand, ordering options are on hold, but do keep an eye on their Instagram page for updates (@royale-london) and order via their website here once they’re up and running again.