7 Secret Recipes From Much-Loved Restaurants

7 Secret Recipes From Much-Loved Restaurants

From #PretRecipeBook to Wagamama’s ‘Wok From Home’ series, many of the UK’s best-loved restaurant chains are revealing their secret recipes so you can recreate signature dishes at home. From Pizza Express’ dough balls to Pret’s Love Bars, here are seven recipes to try this weekend.


Macaroni Cheese


  • 300g of dried macaroni
  • 60g of butter
  • 4 tbsp of plain flour
  • ​2 tsp of dijon mustard
  • 600ml of whole milk
  • 250g of mature cheddar cheese, grated
  • 200g of blanched cauliflower florets
  • 1 handful of chopped parsley
  • 50g of parmesan
  • 3 tbsp of fresh white breadcrumbs
  • 2 tbsp of olive oil
  • Pinch of sea salt and black pepper


  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C.

  2. Cook the macaroni in boiling salted water until al dente, then drain and refresh under cold running water.

  3. Heat the butter in a pan on medium to low heat and stir in the flour and mustard to make a roux. Gradually add the milk, beating continuously with a whisk, until the mixture is smooth. Slowly bring to the boil over a low heat and whisk frequently until the mixture thickens.

  4. Stir the cheddar cheese into the white sauce and mix well until the cheese has melted. Add the cooked macaroni, cauliflower and parsley to the sauce and mix well. Season with sea salt and black pepper and spread the mixture into a large, wide gratin dish.

  5. Combine the parmesan cheese with the breadcrumbs and olive oil, sprinkle over the top of the macaroni mixture and bake for around 30 minutes until the topping is golden and crisp and the middle is piping hot. Serve immediately.

Dark Chocolate Vegan Cookies


  • 43g of caster sugar

  • 112g of soft light brown sugar

  • 4g of salt

  • 40g of almond pieces (for best results, use flaked almonds lightly smashed up, but whole almonds, chopped into small pieces will also work)

  • 112g of dark chocolate pieces

  • 205g of flour

  • 20g of cocoa powder

  • ½ a tsp of bicarbonate of soda

  • 65g of coconut oil

  • 72g of almond butter

  • 100g of golden syrup

  • 40g of water


  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C.

  2. Pour the caster sugar, soft light brown sugar, flour, almond pieces, salt and chocolate pieces into a large bowl (for best results sieve the cocoa, flour and bicarbonate of soda).

  3. Mix the almond butter, oil and golden syrup together and add to the bowl.

  4. Mix together with a wooden spoon and then bring the dough together using your hands.

  5. Line a baking tray with greaseproof paper. Spit your dough into 8 golf ball-sized balls and flatten slightly with the palm of your hand.

  6. Bake for 8-10 minutes (this will vary depending on thickness – if the edges of cookie feel firm but centre is still soft, it should be ready to take out).

  7. Leave to cool for 15 minutes.

Pret Love Bar


  • 50g of golden syrup
  • 1 tbsp of clear honey
  • 200g of unsalted butter
  • 350g of rolled oats
  • 60g of soft brown sugar

For the topping:

  • 150g of unsalted butter
  • 150g of dark brown sugar
  • 1 can of condensed milk
  • A pinch of salt
  • 35g of pumpkin seeds
  • 45g of dark chocolate chips
  • 35g of shelled pistachio nuts
  • 35g of chopped almonds

1. Preheat the oven to 150°C.
2. Grease and line a 23cm square baking tray.
3. To make the base, warm the syrup, honey and butter in a large pan over a low heat until blended.
4. Add the oats and soft brown sugar and mix well until fully combined.
5. Place the mixture in the baking tray and press down until the oats are tight and compressed.
6. Bake for 20 minutes or until the surface is lightly browned and golden but not dark.
7. Allow to cool in the baking tray.
8. Meanwhile, make the caramel topping by heating the dark brown sugar and butter in a non-stick pan and gently stirring until melted.
9. Add the condensed milk and bring to the boil, stirring continuously.
10. Add the salt and cook for 1 minute or until the caramel has thickened.
11. Pour the caramel over the oat base and spread lightly with a palette knife.
12. While still warm, sprinkle over the seeds, nuts and chocolate.
13. Allow to cool completely and cut into slices.

Visit Pret.com


Vegan Yasai Yaki Soba


  • 3 cloves of garlic

  • 1 knob ginger

  • 75g of firm tofu

  • ¼ red pepper

  • ¼ orange pepper

  • A handful of shredded kale

  • ½ a red onion

  • 4 asparagus spears

  • 1 leek

  • 2 mushrooms

  • 1 chilli

  • 1 spring onion

  • A handful of coriander

  • 1 packet of vegan soba noodles

  • 1 tbsp of amai sauce

  • 1 tsp of sriracha

For the amai sauce:

  • 6 tbsp of caster sugar
  • 2 tbsp of rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp of malt vinegar
  • 3 tbsp of tomato ketchup
  • 4 tbsp of tamarind concentrate
  • 2 tbsp of dark soy sauce
  • A pinch of salt


  1. To make the amai sauce, add the sugar and both vinegars to a saucepan. Stir until the sugar dissolves. Add the tomato sauce and tamarind and whisk together. Next add the soy sauces and a pinch of salt and cook the sauce out on a low heat.

  2. Cook the noodles according to the packet instructions, then refresh them in cold water.

  3. Heat a wok, add olive oil, then cook off the ginger and garlic. Next add the vegetables and stir-fry until soft. Meanwhile, brown off your tofu with chilli oil in a separate pan. Add the noodles to the vegetables to reheat. Once hot, add the sriracha and amai sauce to the pan and mix together. 

  4. Transfer the vegetables and noodles to a plate and add the tofu on top. Garnish with chopped spring onions and chillis, then serve.

Katsu Curry


  • 120g of rice

  • 1 quantity of katsu curry sauce

  • 2 skinless chicken breasts

  • 50g of plain flour

  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten

  • 100g of panko breadcrumbs

  • 75ml of vegetable oil, for deep-frying

  • 40g of mixed salad leaves

For the katsu sauce:

  • 2-3 tbsp of vegetable oil

  • 1 onion, finely chopped

  • 1 garlic clove, crushed

  • 2.5cm piece of ginger, peeled and grated

  • 1 tsp of turmeric

  • 2 heaped tbsp of mild curry powder

  • 1 tbsp of plain flour

  • 300ml of chicken or veg stock

  • 100ml of coconut milk

  • 1 tsp of light soy sauce

  • 1 tsp of sugar, to taste


  1. To make the sauce, soften the onions, garlic and ginger. Once soft, add the curry powder and turmeric. Cook the mix down to release the flavours on a medium heat, then add the flour to make a roux. Cook for a few minutes, then slowly add the stock, letting the sauce thicken before adding more. Add as much or as little coconut milk as you like, depending on how creamy you like it. Add the sugar and soy sauce.

  2. Cook the rice according to packet instructions. 

  3. Rub the chicken with flour, then dip into the egg mixture, then the panko breadcrumbs. Heat a wok with the vegetable oil, then add the chicken a fry until golden brown.

  4. While the chicken is cooking, strain the katsu sauce through a sieve to get a smooth consistency.

  5. Add the cooked rice to a bowl, slice the chicken, then place atop the rice. Dress the plate with the mixed leaves, then pour the katsu sauce over the dish. Serve immediately.

​Visit Wagamama.com


Margherita Pizza


  • 150ml of warm water

  • 1 tsp of sugar

  • 15g fresh yeast (or 2 tsp of dry yeast)

  • 225g of plain flour (plus extra for working) 

  • 1.5 tsp of salt

  • Extra virgin olive oil (and a little for drizzling) 

  • 80g of passata

  • 70g of mozzarella (or any cheese you have)

  • A pinch of oregano

  • 1 basil leaf 

  • Black pepper


  1. Preheat the oven to 230°C.

  2. Add the sugar and crumble the fresh yeast into warm water.

  3. Allow the mixture to stand for 10-15 minutes in a warm place until froth develops on the surface.

  4. Sift the flour and salt into a large mixing bowl, make a well in the middle and pour in the yeast mixture and olive oil.

  5. Lightly flour your hands, and slowly mix the ingredients together until they bind.

  6. Generously dust your surface with flour.

  7. Throw down the dough and begin kneading for 10 minutes until smooth, silky and soft.

  8. Place in a lightly oiled, non-stick baking tray.

  9. Spread the passata on top making sure you go to the edge.

  10. Evenly place the mozzarella on top, season with the oregano and black pepper, then drizzle with a little olive oil.

  11. Cook in the oven for 10-12 minutes until the cheese slightly colours.

  12. When ready, place the basil leaf on top and serve.

Dough Balls


  • 150ml of warm water
  • 1 tsp of sugar
  • 15g fresh yeast (or 2 tsp of dry yeast)
  • 225g of plain flour (plus extra for working)
  • 1 ½ tsp of salt
  • Extra virgin olive oil

For the garlic butter:

  • 10ml of extra virgin olive oil 

  • 4 tsp of butter

  • ½ a tsp of chopped garlic

1. To make the garlic butter, blend the olive oil and chopped garlic into a paste. Pour over the butter and blend with a spoon.
2. Preheat the oven to 230°C.​
3. Add the sugar and crumble the fresh yeast into the warm water. Allow the mixture to stand for 10-15 minutes in a warm place until froth develops on the surface.
4. Sift the flour and salt into a large mixing bowl. Make a well in the middle and pour the yeast mixture in.
5. Lightly flour your hands and slowly mix the ingredients together until they bind.
6. Generously dust your surface with flour, throw down the dough and begin kneading for 10 minutes until smooth, silky and soft. Leave dough to rest until soft to the touch but not too springy.
7. Roll dough into a 1.2m long tube. Chop into 16 chunks and place in an oven proof pan. Leave the dough balls to rest in the pan for 30 minutes.
8. Make sure the oven has reached temperature and bake for 6 minutes until golden.
9. Serve with the garlic butter.

Visit PizzaExpress.com

Fashion. Beauty. Culture. Life. Home
Delivered to your inbox, daily