What exactly is it? Walthamstow-based Head Chef Glyn Bell set up Lazy Gourmand with a small government start-up loan, unable find work as a chef anymore due to Covid. With ten years’ kitchen experience, he was “always frustrated by delivered food not being the same quality as you’d get in a restaurant.” His easygoing gourmet meals are delivered pre-prepared to be finished in 10-15 mins, with detailed instructions, in recyclable packaging.
What’s the menu? It’s Sunday lunch – roasts and vegetarian equivalents – with a decent fish alternative, as well as starters and puds. It’s far easier to assemble the plates than some DIY kits we’ve tried, which means it’s a genuinely relaxing, glass-of-wine-in-hand affair. The artichoke tart starter (below) is only slightly delicate to build: a satisfyingly earthy combo of rich puree and light pastry, it’s finished with a tangle of courgettes, tomatoes, toasted hazelnuts, and drizzled with herb vinaigrette. Meanwhile the chicken liver pate, scooped up with sourdough, is densely moreish, topped with port jelly, and a little orange and plum chutney.
The mains? The salmon (below) is the only item we must pan-fry from scratch, and a watercress potato cake, seasoned nicely by capers, needs to be browned on the hob and reheated in the oven. Fire and cream comes from a horseradish and dill sauce, with julienne beetroot salad for crunch. The beef main, meanwhile (see featured pic, top), is a dead simple reheat-in-the-oven job – just be careful not to overdo the pink rump, pre-cooked perfectly. Lovely veg: garlic and rosemary roast potatoes, honey roast parsnips, buttered carrots with thyme, spring greens with lyonnaise onions, horseradish crème fraîche, and boat-size Yorkshire pudding. A nicely smooth gravy, with real body, finishes the plate off.
Desserts? Of the two, the lemon posset, with its sugared peel and zest, is arguably the most mouthwatering, accompanied by a crisp sugary shortbread; while the chocolate and walnut brownie oozes comfort with its salted caramel sauce and clotted cream. Take a stroll afterwards.
What’s the verdict? This comes in at between £25-30 a head for three courses, cheaper than many of its contemporaries – and totally memorable. Ours is a wonderful leisurely afternoon, sharing each of the six plates over wine. And maybe some more wine. And then that walk.
Anything else we should know? It’s Sundays only. Order by 12pm Saturday for collection or delivery between 11am-1pm Sunday. They deliver to all E (so yes, E11, E10, E17, E15 etc), as well as N and NW postcodes (including, for Kentishtowner readers, NW5, NW1, N7 etc).
More info, prices (three courses from £25, mains from £13) and menus at Lazy Gourmand here.
We ate as guests of Lazy Gourmand. Photos: Stephen Emms