Hello Fresh is a food ordering and delivery service whereby you choose your options by midday on a Wednesday (classic box or vegetarian, 3 or 5 meals per week, 2 or 4 people) and a box of ingredients with recipes is delivered the following Monday.
Hello Fresh Ingredients
Gourmantic received a complimentary offer to try Hello Fresh (5 meals for 2 persons) at home. Below is a review of Week 44 menu (27 October 2014) with snapshots and ratings of every dish.
Hello Fresh Review
The ingredients were delivered in a cardboard box with a small Styrofoam box inside with ice pack for the fridge items. The quality of the fruit and vegetables delivered was good on arrival and everything looked fresh. With the exception of tinned lentils and chickpeas, there were no other processed food. Of the protein items, the fish and chicken had a short expiry date and had to be used within the first three days of the delivery.
Dish 1: Pan Fried Snapper with Zesty Asparagus and Chips
Pan Fried Snapper with Zesty Asparagus and Chips
Meal Appeal/Wow Factor: 4/5
Ease of preparation: 4/5 – fry the fish, boil the asparagus, bake the potatoes
Recipe alteration: Baked potatoes for 45 mins.
True to recipe and photo supplied: 3/5. Potatoes took 45 mins to cook not 15 mins as stated in the recipe.
Left over items: 2 small potatoes
Comments: Light summery fish dish, easy to prepare, lemon zest lifts flavour. Would easily make it again.
Dish 2: Dukkah Chicken with Roasted Ratatouille
Dukkah Chicken with Roasted Ratatouille
Meal Appeal/Wow Factor: 3/5
Ease of preparation: 4/5 – bake vegetables, open tin of lentils, pan fry chicken
True to recipe and photo supplied: 5/5
Recipe alteration: None.
Left over items: half tin of lentils
Comments: No herbs in “ratatouille”; not enough dukkah to coat 2 half breasts of chicken; dukka lacks punch; a bland dish for “safe” palates
Dish 3: Pumpkin, Pine Nut and Ricotta Penne
Pumpkin, Pine Nut and Ricotta Penne
Meal Appeal/Wow Factor: 2.5/5
Ease of preparation: 4/5 – bake pumpkin then pine nuts, boil pasta, mash and mix together
True to recipe and photo supplied: Instructions don’t state to chop spinach as seen in photo supplied.
Recipe alteration: Mashed all the pumpkin instead of leaving half in chunks.
Left over items: pasta, half of baby spinach
Comments: fairly average pasta dish that is too sweet on the palate; pumpkin and pasta is not a combination I would normally eat.
Dish 4: Kicking Tae Bo Beef
Kicking Tae Bo Beef
Meal Appeal/Wow Factor: 2.5/5
Ease of preparation: 4/5 – chop ingredients, stir fry, boil rice
True to recipe/image: 5/5
Recipe alteration: Made it as per instructions, tasted it and found it bland, added oyster sauce and fresh chilli
Left over items: half the amount of rice
Comments: The beef was from Haverick Meats and was of excellent quality. It came pre-sliced, ready to cook, tender and flavoursome. But overall, the dish was a let down as it was bland and unlike its name, it needed a strong kick.
Dish 5: Roasted Spring Lamb with Za’atar Cauliflower *
Roasted Spring Lamb with Za’atar Broccoli
The recipe calls for cauliflower and chickpeas, neither of which agree with me so I substituted broccoli.
Meal Appeal/Wow Factor: 3/5
Ease of preparation: 1/5 – it took one hour and 45 minutes for preparation and cooking, not 30 mins as stated.
True to recipe/image: 3/5 – Aside from the substitution
Recipe alteration: I used 2 garlic cloves instead of 1 and substituted the vegetables which I cooked briefly in the microwave
Left over items: Cauliflower, chick peas
Comments: Delicious piece of lamb from Haverick Meats, tender and flavoursome with very little fat. The za’atar was a little understated but I didn’t mind.
What’s Good about Hello Fresh
- Minimal cooking expertise required. If you can chop vegetables and throw protein in a pan or oven, you’ll be right.
- Surprise mystery box is delivered each week – if you like to be surprised about dinner.
- All ingredients are fresh and with the exception of the fish and chicken with short expiry dates, they lasted the whole week.
- Good quality meat supplied (lamb and beef from Haverick Meats)
- Recipes have easy to follow instructions.
- Most recipes take under 30 mins.
- Dishes are easy to plate up.
- Some left over items can be used again eg pasta, baby spinach, potatoes, rice
- Very little food waste
- Pantry items (not supplied) are common items found in most kitchens eg salt and pepper, oil, soy sauce, butter, flour.
- Saves time on supermarket and grocery shopping.
- Hello Fresh meals that give the impression of being a weight loss program. But without the Heart Foundation Tick.
- Suitable for couples and families who want a quick dinner with no fuss.
What’s Not So Good about Hello Fresh:
- There is no choice of meals or ingredients as you get a mystery box each week.
- No leftovers for the next day, if this is how you normally cook.
- You must cook the recipes in the recommended order to maintain freshness of some of the ingredients and expiry dates.
- Recipes are not too creative and play it safe on flavour. You need to modify recipes to your own taste.
- Most dishes have a heavy carbohydrate component eg chickpeas, lentils. Substitute vegetables would be preferable.
The cost of the Classic Box of 5 meals for 2 persons is $99 (including delivery). This works out at about $10 a meal per person with the convenience of not having to go shopping. Overall, it’s been an interesting experience and I was pleased to try something that’s a little “out of the box”.
If you would like to try Hello Fresh for yourself, go to the Hello Fresh website and enter the code GOURMANTIC50 to claim a 50% discount of your first order. This offer is valid until 26/11/2014 and is only valid on a household’s first box of Hello Fresh. There is a limit of one discount per account and it cannot be used in conjunction for any other offer.
Disclaimer – The discount code has been provided as a bonus to our readers. Gourmantic will not be compensated should you take up the offer.
Also in food reviews… dish’d by Jacques Reymond.
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