Food deliveries are my lockdown game plan, and few do it better than The Lockdown Cooks. This is a brand new venture in Cape Town that brings you delicious breads, hot ready-made meals, and the very best high tea – literally, to your doorstep. I tried a few of their goodies – and, oh boy, I was impressed!

I first came across The Lockdown Cooks when I spotted the gorgeous cakes on their Instagram account. Many things have happened in 2020, and, for me, one of those things has been a bizarre addiction to cake. I spend many nights dreaming about chocolate cake. I don’t even like chocolate cake! And every time I do venture out (which isn’t often), I spend forever drooling over all the cake options in whatever supermarket I find myself in. I’m always sorely disappointed by everything I end up buying.

The Lockdown Cooks Menu

I digress. Lockdown Cooks. Instagram. Cakes. Lior, the mastermind behind The Lockdown Cooks, and I ended up chatting, and a few menu browses later, she delivered some goodies to me. I wanted to try a bit of everything, her hot sellers, something that would give me a good idea what this was all about. So I went with a Sourdough Loaf (R38), Beef Cottage Pie (R96), Potato Gnocchi (R89), and a High Tea Box (R380 for two people).

Bakery: The Sourdough Bread

Sourdough is literally one of the only types of bread I eat, so I was super excited to try this. And, to my pleasant surprise, it was still warm when it arrived. That’s when you know you’re getting the best freshly-baked goodness! And good it is indeed.

Unfortunately for me, I eat bread way too slowly (it’s a real treat for me), so I only had a few slices fresh, then sliced and froze the rest. And that’s been great, coz whenever I feel like a treat, I take out a slice and pop it in the toaster! Lately, I’ve been reliving my childhood days of eating toast topped with peanut butter and syrup and have had all kinds of fun with this.

Lockdown Cooks Sourdough Bread

Freshly-baked load of sourdough bread

Dinner Meals: Cottage Pie & Potato Gnocchi

Then, I indulged in the cottage pie and gnocchi (over two days, just in case you were wondering). Both of these dishes were beautifully presented, which I absolutely love. The cottage pie was particularly beautiful and oh-so-tasty. What I really liked about this is that a good chunk of it is mince, so you know you’re definitely getting value. (Compared to those 90% mash, 10% mince cottage pies available sometimes).

And while the cottage pie was good, the real winner for me was the gnocchi. I’ve always been in love with gnocchi but it’s really, really hard to find a good one. Personally, I think many restaurants get it wrong and serve some gnocchi-like mush that’s just awful. I won’t ever judge someone for making bland gnocchi though. A few weeks ago I decided to make my own gnocchi and made a wonderful mess of the kitchen in the process. My sister wasn’t impressed. And while my actual gnocchi was ok, it wasn’t near as good as some of the gnocchi dishes I’ve had in my life.

(Try make your own vegan sweet potato gnocchi)

The Lockdown Cooks serves a wicked good gnocchi. It’s served with a creamy garlic butter herb sauce. And it definitely finds the right balance between melt-in-your-mouth potato and flavour.

Lockdown Cooks Ready-made meals of potato gnocchi and beef cottage pie

Potato gnocchi and beef cottage pie

Spoonful of beef mince cottage pie

Isn’t this the most beautiful cottage pie you’ve ever seen?

Spoonful of potato gnocchi

Deliciously creamy potato gnocchi

The High Tea That Dreams Are Made Of

Then, I moved on to my absolute favourite thing in the world – and what I think should make The Lockdown Cooks famous – their High Tea Box! The standard high tea box is for two people and includes 4x salmon and cream cheese finger sandwiches, 4x cucumber and cream cheese sandwiches, 4x scones, 2x macarons, 2x mini cheesecakes, 2x mini opera cakes, and 1x small jar of strawberry jam.

I’m a sucker for a good high tea and have had quite a few. The best high tea experience I’ve ever had was at Leonardslee House just outside of London, headed up by South African chef Jean Delport, who just last year received his first Michelin Star for Restaurant Interlude (also at Leonardslee).

Ok, so it’s a little hard to compete with anything done by Chef Jean – did I mention the Michelin Star? But The Lockdown Cooks has sneakily jumped to the number 2 position of my favourite high teas. And they achieved that even with lockdown restrictions and being delivered to your door!

Lockdown Cooks High Tea Box

The High Tea Box comes complete with high tea stand!

Strawberry jam in jar

Isn’t this the cutest jar of strawberry jam ever?

Scones, cut open, with strawberry jam

I didn’t have cream but the strawberry jam goes really well with the scones!

Adding That Extra Sparkle

Why did I like it so much? Firstly, the high tea box comes with a little high tea stand. This is completely unnecessary if you think about it but adds that extra sparkle that makes the whole experience worth it. And, yes, I’ve said this numerous times before, that extra sparkle matters. It’s a small touch but transforms the experience from ‘normal’ to ‘spectacular’.

Finger Sandwiches, Anyone?

I also love how much is included in the box – really, you wouldn’t need any more. And then, of course, the ultimate test is taste, and The Lockdown Cooks wins here too. You’d think salmon and cucumber sandwiches are boring? Think again! These were insanely delicious.

And, yes, I’m fully aware that it’s nothing more than white bread with cream cheese and salmon and cucumber. But I’ve also had finger sandwiches at the high tea of numerous award-winning hotels that were absolutely awful. The Lockdown Cooks just gets it right. Perhaps the secret ingredient really is love.

Lockdown Cooks Salmon Sandwich

You wouldn’t think this was delicious by looking at it, right? But it is – too delicious!

I Do Love Cheesecake

But, ok, we’re about to get to my absolute favourite part: the cakes!

I’ve always been slightly addicted to cheesecake. My mom makes a wicked good one and I’ve eaten cheesecake at almost every single place I’ve ever visited. I’ll eat fridge cheesecake, but the real test lies in the baked cheesecakes I’ve had.

Many are good. But this one is exceptional. And despite all my uuhing and ahhing thus far, I don’t say that lightly. This cheesecake is firm, yet spongy, with a wonderful flavour profile, great texture, and just enough sweetness. Happy boxes ticked.

Introducing Opera Cake

And, then, last but certainly not least, the A-lister of this whole experience, the opera cake! This may be slightly embarrassing but I’ve never had opera cake before and I wasn’t entirely sure what this was before trying this high tea box. And I am now thoroughly convinced that this is the best cake ever invented. Yes, I liked it even more than the cheesecake (I know!!!).

Layers of almond sponge, coffee cream, and chocolate ganache, with the actual sponge soaked in a coffee syrup! I mean, I may have just described heaven.

While The Lockdown Cooks does sell a whole cheesecake, they don’t (yet) sell the opera cake, except as part of the high tea. If I ever need a cake for any occasion, I’ll be sure to call up Lior and ask her to make one for me. It’s that good.

Yes, I did look up an opera cake recipe but this sounds insanely complicated. So I’ll leave the magic to someone else. 

Lockdown Cooks Cheesecake and Opera Cake

Left: Cheesecake | Right: Opera Cake

Lockdown Cooks Pink Macaron Held By Female Hand

Pretty in pink (macaron) …

Try The Lockdown Cooks Yourself

Before I write myself into an opera-cake-induced food coma, let me give you the details of ordering through The Lockdown Cooks. You’ll have gathered that I was a big fan, obviously, and I’d love to have you try and share your thoughts with me (remember, you can always tag me on social media – @ilovefoodiesct).

Ordering is super-duper easy through their new website. Select your products, filter by price, add to cart, checkout, done!

For more info, also visit them on Facebook and Instagram. See details below too.

  • Delivery areas: Cape Town and surrounds (please click here for a full list of delivery areas)
  • Delivery days: Monday, Wednesday, Friday
  • E-mail: admin@thelockdowncooks.co.za
  • Call: +27 83 769 0884

Written by Benike Palfi
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Article Date: July 2020

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All information correct at time of publication. We do not accept any liability caused by errors, including, but not limited to, changes in price, menu, opening times, address, or other contact details. 

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