Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Home Meal Reviews Round Up

It's been a fun journey of culinary delectation over the last few weeks. I have sampled a huge array of offerings from every company that I could find who operates in my area. This year, there is likely to be a lot of consolidation and failure in these offerings. The press has already cottoned onto the ridiculous nature of the 'Unicorns' of Tech and these companies are in a similar fold.

Here is a rundown of the various services that I have tried:

Company Meal Cost (based on 6 meals/week) Self Make / Ready Made Return Packaging Pros Cons
Gobble $11.95 Simple Self Make Yes Simple and Tasty Limited delivery options
HelloFresh $11.50 Self Make No Tasty Instructions are not great
Freshly $11.50 Ready Made No Convenient & Fast Food seemed very bland
Blue Apron $9.99 Self Make Yes! (super efficient) Cheap The recipies were very up and down
Peach Dish $12.50 Self Make At a cost Delicious Food travels a long way
TableRunner $12-$15 Ready Made Yes Tasty Expensive
Plated $12 Self Make No Tasty, comes with everything Expensive
Munchery $10-$15 Options for Both Not needed Really Tasty and a good range. A Bit Expensive
Green Chef $13.50 Self Make No Delicious Limited Delivery Options
Eat Mise $10-$15 Ready Made Not needed Good Choice A Bit Expensive
Luke's Local $12.50 Ready Made Yes Flexible Delivery Didn't taste good!
SunBasket $11.50 Self Make Yes Tasty Large lead time before delivery

So who won?

Well I am going to cheat a little here and break things out into a few different categories. Not everyone wants the same thing out of their delivery service so here are a few options, depending on what you are after:

The Quick Fix: Table Runner

If you are after something that comes in a box and can just be thrown in the oven/microwave and comes out tasting fresh and delicious... frankly you can get that sort of thing from your local supermarket and probably for a lot less however I would say that Table Runner offers good choice and quick prep times.

Learning to Cook: Green Chef

I have several friends who have opted for these services as a way of helping them learn to cook with minimal outlay and maximum simplicity. The winner for this one for really great recipe cards and a simple layout - Green Chef.

Best Value: Blue Apron

The cost of these as I have given in the chart above doesn't seem to be that big of a deal, but a $2 increase per meal equates to $48/month which is quite a lot of money. If you want to be a little budget conscious, Blue Apron is the cheapest of the options out there as well as being one of the bigger ones. Of course if you are really budget constrained... going to the supermarket is always going to be cheaper.

Variety & Flexibility: Munchery

If you want a mix of quick fix and prep yourself that tastes delicious and has a menu that is always changing and evolving - Munchery is the way to go.

Personal Choice: Gobble

I have to be honest, this has been a great ride but I am not renewing any of these. I enjoyed almost all of them, but if I was to go for one of these, for my personal needs as someone that wants fresh food with minimal prep time, a decent selection and some recipe cards to refer back to later on... Gobble gets the award, however until I become a multimillionaire... you'll find me down my local farmer's market/supermarket like everyone else.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Home Meal Reviews: Week 12 - SunBasket

It's been a while but after a lot of hassle and rescheduling I have finally gotten the last of the food deliveries. This week, I present... SunBasket:


Meal 1 - Tofu Soba Salad

Surprisingly tasty, the tofu was especially good.

Meal 2 - Grilled Steaks with Broccoli Rabe and Radish Butter

Great steak, although a little underdone when following their instructions (I think because the meat was thick).


This service is simply not convenient. It will take at least two weeks from when you decide you want it to be able to actually get your first delivery, which will arrive on a Wednesday (and I thought Tuesday was bad!). This basically means that whenever I am away for a week... I'd have to cancel this service for two weeks... I mean WTF. You also have to decide your food options super far into the future which drives me nuts. The selections are ok and most options looked pretty appealing although


These meals are the usual, full on chopping affair although it seemed as though they had been designed to at least make sure that only one or two of the ingredients needed this meaning prep time actually took what they anticipated (15-20 min). The recipe cards were strange. They seemed to have a good structure but often put the prep in the middle of cooking. I think this is doable but I ended up making two passes - one for prep and another for cooking just to stay on top of things.


For the most part I was happy with the quality of the ingredients although there was some decay on the mint which was a little disappointing and the meat arrived so frozen that I wasn't able to use it the first night which really annoyed me. The meals were probably a little larger than they needed to be and the noodles was definitely too much.


I was pretty impressed with the meals overall although they seem to always add an embellishment that I find unnecessary (Radish butter and the Salad Dressing for the Soba dish).


If you are ok with having your meals planned a long way in advance & getting the food half way through the week then this is a pretty decent option. The meals are simple and tasty, there is variety every week and the food really is on the table in 45min or less.

Next week: A Rundown of all the services, the winners and losers