Tag Archives: review

Hello Fresh

The tag line for Hello Fresh is ‘everything but the chef’. Their hope and aim being to take the hassle out of cooking, delivering you ingredients for recipes, that you merely have to assemble.

What could go wrong…

Well, on the first night, prepped with making a simple stir fry, I pour boiling water all down myself.

I demand a refund!

Of course, I write this in jest, though maybe they should consider an ‘idiots box’ and actually send a chef with each delivery, aimed at people as incompetent as me.

The stir fry itself, titled as double satay was a perfectly acceptable meal. It had a lovely peanut taste as advertised. Ingredients were of decent quality, though the Bok choi was unusable, in that there was hardly any of it.

The Thai basil sent with the box gave a lovely citrus undertone to the dish. Like using lime, but with more a fragrant flavour and something I shall look for more in my future cooking ventures.

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Not a looker, but it’s hard to dress up a stir fry!

 

 

Next up, aubergine and chickpea tagine. I had gone for the vegetarian box by the way, as the options on offer were more appealing to me than the classic box; I’m no veggie however!

A dish like this, hadn’t even entered my consciousness in terms of possible meals I could make; mainly because I don’t own a tagine! This is definitely something I like about Hello Fresh, in that, if you’re ever bored or losing inspiration with your recent dinners, you’re bound to get some new, creative ideas, in ordering a box. The fact you can create your very own cookbook by amassing your favourite recipes, is equally appealing.

The dish was easy to prepare and satisfying in terms of taste and most definitely in satiety! One of the first dinners I’ve had in a long time that has made me forgo my nightly tea and biscuit(s) ritual (that’s right, I know how to live it up!)

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I’d like to apologise for the shoddy cameraship* of this post. *I’m aware this isn’t a word.

Ingredients like the dried apricots and flaked almonds for the tagine and Thai Basil in the stir fry dramatically enhanced both dishes. It’s nice to see, ingredients that can’t be considered essentials included by Hello Fresh, showing that they are not scrimping on money in exchange for quality or flavour.

I did have a few gripes with some of the fresh ingredients received in the box. A half-rotten onion, slightly soft pepper and a quite pitiful portion of Pak Choi would make me consider re-ordering. However, I think the pros outweighed the cons.

Easily pleased I know, but coming home to find a Hello Fresh box on your doorstep, was quite exciting. Maybe a student shouldn’t derive such joy over what was essentially a box of vegetables, but hey that’s who I am now, that’s what I’ve become!

The final dish left to prepare was ‘A virtuous vegetarian curry’; though I pimped it up by adding some chicken. If I had one word to describe it, ‘virtuous’ wouldn’t be it. I’d probably plump for solid; though I can see it contains none of the alliterative attributes or effusive qualities that Hello Fresh were looking for, when searching for an adjective!

The yellow curry paste was mild, without lacking depth. Maybe I’m a carnivore who has gone past the point of no return, but I feel without the chicken I added, mushrooms, green beans and corn would have been inadequate to cull the yearning that is my appetite come dinner time. When I see a curry served up, I become tunnel visioned and in this curry induced, sleepwalkesque state, I don’t have a picture of the finished dish to show. Though presentation has never been a strong point of mine, so you’re not missing match there… as you’ve seen!

 

Using a free gift voucher I received with something I had ordered*, Hello Fresh was definitely worth giving a go and something I’d keep in mind to do again. However, at the usual price of £36, which feeds 2 people for 3 dinners, I feel is a little pricey. Personally, I could spend £5 or £10 more for a whole weeks worth of shopping.

Anyhow, I enjoyed all 3 meals, so I would recommend giving it a go if you can and thanks to Hello Fresh for the voucher (not that it was an entirely altruistic gesture I’m aware!)

*Salt, for the nosey of you reading)

Sometime over the festive period (hopefully) I shall be releasing my very own E-book, based on my travels and subsequently eating whilst on my travels this summer, so keep your eyes peeled!
Of course I will bombard you with reminders when the time nears.

Thanks for reading, Alex

Roganic restaurant review

Now for the avid readers of my blogs (love you mum), you will know that I placed Roganic at the top of my list for my ‘Top 5 exciting restaurants in London’. So when my sister told me that she was taking me there for my birthday, I could’ve hugged her (I didn’t).

 

The amouse bouche’s were brought to us before the menu – very clever. They were so good that my dad suggested we go for the 6 course tasting menu, instead of the 3 that we were going to get – result! A chickpea crisp bread with cream cheese and cucumber was very pleasant, but the pork and eel croquette was superb. Up there with one of the tastiest things I’ve ever eaten. Smoky, salty – superb!

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Pea with sugar snaps and beef tongue was our first course. I expected a tongue shaped meat with a few peas and sugar snaps – so a pea mousse with shavings of tongue (sounds appetising I know!) came as a surprise. What is was though, was a delicious, light, fresh dish. How they managed to create a pea mousse with such depth of flavour is beyond me.

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Purple sprouting broccoli with a buttermilk cream and barley was next. The barbecued broccoli was beyond any greenery I’ve had before and the texture contrast with it and the cream and the barley resulted in simple, harmonious pleasure. I think this dish sums up the food at Roganic rather well.  Before the meal, I perused the menu and thought ‘How on Earth can this be nice!?’ But the inventiveness (must be a word) and execution to turn such humble ingredients into something so tasty is really what Roganic is all about.

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Scallop puree with carrot puree was third. This was probably my least favourite dish so far; not because I didn’t like it – I most certainly did, but more because it was perhaps less inventive and unique to the previous dishes. The scallops were incredibly sweet, as was the carrot puree; in fact it was just a touch too sweet for me, perhaps a tart element would have worked here (but who am I to say, I lasted 2 months at catering college!).

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Monkfish encased in bacon with mussels was next was up next. The bacon powder acted as the seasoning, adding a great level of salt to the dish. The use of monkfish (quite a meaty fish), with the mussels, meant that it was not overwhelmingly fishy and was a clever combination.

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Chicken with ‘wispy’ leeks was the final savoury dish. A strong aniseed scent arose from the dish and was equally strong in taste. The chicken was ‘sous vide’ (water bath to you and me) and was perfectly soft and tender throughout. I felt the leeks were a touch too thin, so didn’t add the crunch expected.

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We were given a ‘free’ dessert of macerated strawberries, strawberry meringue and rowan ice cream (I believe rowan is a berry, not a dessert from a local cafe of the same name, near where I’m from). This was nice enough, although the ice cream was not as smooth and creamy as it should have been (maybe it was from Rowans after all – no that’s a bit harsh). The meringue was beautifully flavoured with strawberry and the strawberries were of good quality.

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The actual dessert was entitled ‘sweet cheese pear, pine and malt’ – I would like to suggest a new name of ‘sweet cheesus’! Again, while being very pleasant and refreshing, this dish didn’t blow me away. The pears were beautifully tender and the malt crisp was not only there for texture, but had a pleasant, unusual flavour of its own.

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The desserts while not bad, were the most disappointing section of the meal – this may be due to the fact that I had recently been spoiled by the tremendous desserts at the Ledbury.

Unfortunately, Roganic is only a pop up restaurant and is set to shut on the 20th June. It was up there with the best of dining experiences I’ve ever had. The service was beyond friendly (not in that way!) and always attentive; the food was inventive, creative and above all tasty.

Food: 8.5

Service: 10

Value for money: 8

Thanks for reading.

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I have a nice recipe to share in the next couple of days, so keep an eye out.

I will also be reviewing HKK for the end of June, so that’s something for you all to look forward to!

My Galvin at Windows review

For me there are two indicators of quality on arrival at a restaurant, 1) The toilets and 2) if Raymond Blanc is amongst the customers. Amazingly both were ticked; no greater first impression could have been made.

Bread was average. The granary variety had little flavour. Better was a trendy share and tear bread that was similar in flavour to a focaccia.

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Being a nice Jewish boy, I gave up the choice of going for the Pigs head terrine, with foie gras and black pudding – I fear God would have struck me down there and then if I did. Instead I went for the much holier Haddock ravioli, with a poached egg, brioche crumbs and capers.

The capers and brioche were rather lost in the creamy fish emulsion, although what was left was more than satisfactory. Beautifully soft smoked haddock delivered a striking fish flavour and worked well with the paper thin pasta. The whole thing amalgamated into a very pleasant, perhaps ever so slightly, too subtle taste.

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For main, plaice with broccoli puree, samphire and black rice. The fish was perfectly cooked, which is always nice. The puree, worked well, but was ever so slightly bitter and left an undesired aftertaste. The rice was a bit of a revelation and for someone (me) who think that potatoes are overrated, a welcome change. The samphire added the crunch and saltiness the dish needed. The original dish included chorizo, but I fear even in sausage form God would look unfavourably at me for eating pork! An omission that didn’t affect my overall enjoyment of the dish.

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For dessert, I had a baked apple (One of my new year’s resolutions was to eat more fruit) with apple sorbet, crème anglaise and beurre noisette crumbs. The apple was superbly cooked, with a generous topping of caramel (still counts!). The sorbet, was perhaps too small, because once I had run out, with a third of the apple left, the dish became a bit too heavy and sickly. The beurre noisette crumbs were cookie dough esque and very tasty indeed.

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We were presented with a jar of marshmallows with the bill. But these weren’t the sort that you could roast over an open flame, singing kumbaya, more the sort to sip with a cup of tea and really appreciate. Somehow they had managed to refine a marshmallow, the end result of which was very nice indeed; especially the zingy lime flavoured one I had.

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Chocolates as well! Very nice too

Overall, a very pleasant meal, one of the best I’ve had.

Food:8/10

Service: 8.5/10

Value : 8/10 – £29 for three courses, plus a fair few extras

View: 10/10 – I would reccomend this place purely on its view. If you can get a window seat, it is well worth the journey.A great place for a romantic meal I would suggest and yes I am free ladies.

I shall not be posting another review until May, as I have run out of money!

Thank you for reading. Eat, drink and be merry.

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