10 of the best restaurant cookbooks

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  • We’ve picked the best cookbooks to recreate your favourite restaurant dishes at home and tide you over while they’re closed.

    With many of the UK’s best-loved restaurants and pubs shutting their doors till late Summer due to Coronavirus, who can blame you for hankering after your favourite dish?

    And while home delivery services are booming, sometimes even Uber Eats and Deliveroo can’t bring you that one special meal you’ve been dreaming of every night of lockdown.

    We’ve rounded up cookbooks from some of Britain’s best loved restaurants so that you can have a go at making a their signature meals in your own kitchen (and finally find out the secret ingredients that have kept you addicted and coming back for more).

    For curry lovers: Dishoom

    With locations in London, Manchester, Birmingham and Edinburgh, you might have already fallen under the spell of this incredible Bombay-inspired restaurant chain, Dishoom. Its best-selling dishes include the Bacon Naan Roll, Black Daal, Okra Fries, Jackfruit Biryani, Chicken Ruby and Lamb Raan, not to mention a lightly spiced cocktail list which are to die for. Last year they answered the prayers of their fans with their debut cookbook, finally revealing the secrets behind their amazing menu. This is the ultimate lockdown cookbook for curry when you’re in no hurry.

    Buy it now: DISHOOM : From Bombay with Love by Shamil Thakrar, Kavi Thakrar and Naved Nasir, £12.97

    That Katsu curry recipe: Wagamama

    Missing your fix of Wagamama’s Katsu curry? This book has the exact recipe for you to recreate it at home plus some other restaurant favourites including yaki soba, prawn firecracker and mushroom ramen.

    Buy it now: Wagamama Feed Your Soul: Fresh + simple recipes from the Wagamama kitchen, £20

    A healthier fast food fix: Leon

    More of a wholesome fast food spot than a restaurant but nevertheless Leon’s newest cookbook Happy Fast Food, released on 20 May, is full of quick tasty ideas for all occasions. There’s more than 100 recipes organised under five categories: Breads & Buns, Salads, On the hob, Grilled & Baked, Sides, Sauces & Rubs and Sweets & Shakes.

    Pre-order it now: Leon Happy Fast Food by Rebecca Seal, John Vincent and Jack Burke £16.99

    For veggies living with meat eaters: Ottolenghi

    Famed as the man who brought Tahini to the masses, it is rare to find anyone who does not love everything on the menu at Yotam Ottolenghi’s six London restaurants and delicatessens. This, the most accessible of his cookbooks, is the one to try for quarantine cooking. Boasting 130 dishes this book will make the most of the herbs and spices lurking at the back of your kitchen cupboards. There are delicious rich meat and fish dishes but also some fantastically inventive options for vegetarians such as herb fritters and whole roasted celeriac with coriander seeds. Leftovers seem to taste even better the next day; if there are any, that is!

    Buy it now:  Ottolenghi Simple, by Yotam Ottolenghi, £16.72


    For a date night: Circolo Populare

    While the UK is awash with pizza delivery services, everybody has that one favourite romantic Italian they can’t get out of their heads. For our money this is the cookbook to dress up for. Stick Dean Martin on Spotify and master fresh pasta, pizza dough, risottos and the ultimate Tiramisu.

    Circolo Populare in London’s upmarket Fitzrovia, has become known almost overnight as one of the most romantic settings in the country with its warm lighting and ceilings festooned with flower garlands and fairy lights. Master this cookbook and you might get lucky!

    Buy it now: Big Mamma Cucina Popolare: Contemporary Italian Recipes, £27.95

    For die hard Jamie Oliver fans: River Cafe

    For more than 30 years, River Cafe has been the most famous Michelin-starred Italian restaurant in the country and well-known as the place which kick-started Jamie Oliver’s TV career when he was talent spotted at the grill one night. Th
    ll the Jamie books and who want to learn more about Italy’s unusual heritage dishes such as slow-cooked veal shin and pasta with langoustine and pecorino.

    Buy it now: River Café 30 by Ruth Rogers, Sian Wyn Owen, Joseph Trivelli and Rose Gray, £16.38

    For gossip lovers: The Ivy

    The Ivy has always been the UK’s favourite celebrity haunt and this incredible cookbook shares the secrets of the menu AND its star guests. Each chapter is filled with personal stores from the likes of Ivy regulars David Walliams and Jennifer Saunders which makes it an incredibly fun read even if you’re not planning on cooking. But with dishes like Bang Bang Chicken, Slow Roasted Pork Belly with Pearl Onions and Salmon Fishcakes with Sorell Sauce, why wouldn’t you? Our Food Director Elisa Roche did work experience there and ended up cooking for The Beckhams.

    Buy it now:
    The Ivy : Now by Fernando Peire and Gary Lee, £26.49


    For the ultimate foodie: Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons

    This personal tour of Raymond Blanc’s legendary restaurant-hotel through each of the four seasons stars 120 lip-smacking recipes from his celebrated kitchens. Not the most recent of the top chef’s books, but still the one you want to have on your kitchen shelves. Set in the rolling Oxfordshire hills, Le Manoir is the bastion of haute cuisine and holds two Michelin stars for a reason. Learn how to master classic steak frites, Soupe au pistou and Soufflé de rhubarbe and – once lockdown is over- never fail at dinner parties again.

    Buy it now: Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons, The Story of A Modern Classic, by Raymond Blanc, £38.32

    For meat lovers: Hawksmoor

    From the team behind the UK’s best steakhouse, Hawksmoor at Home shows you how to buy and cook 100 restaurant standard recipes in your humble kitchen. From the perfect steak to your best ever roast supper, this is the book to stave off meat cravings. You’ll also learn all the sauces, from classics such as béarnaise to peppercorn. There is even a guide on how to make bar-quality cocktails at home and how to pick the best wines to go with each course. Plus it’s not all steak – don’t buy it without looking up the recipe for how to make a lobster roll.

    Buy it now: Hawksmoor at Home, by Huw Gott, Will Beckett, Richard Turner, Dan Lepard, £20.99


    Modern Indian inspiration: Kricket

    Keen to discover new and inventive ways to use Indian spices in your cooking? This is the cookbook for you. With over 80 mouth-watering recipes to choose from you are sure to find a new favourite. Will presents his modern take on the classic rice dish Haddock Kichri and offers exciting new combos such as the creamy crab scotch egg with moilee sauce.

    Buy it now: Kricket An Indian-Inspired Cookbook by Will Bowlby, £26

    Love food hate waste: Silo

    While not technically a cookbook, this is an excellent manual for anyone interested in reducing food waste and using scraps creatively. Douglas McMaster is a pioneer of the zero-food waste movement and opened the first zero-waste restaurant in Brighton, Silo, which as since re-located to East London. Think “less robot cooking and more wizard skills”.

    Buy it now: Silo: The Zero Waste Blueprint by douglas McMaster, £14.51 (Leaping Hare Press)

    With these amazing restaurant cookbooks you can have unlimited ‘dinners out’ without leaving the comfort of your own home!

    What is your favourite cookbook? Do you have a few? Head over to our Facebook page to have your say!