Saturday 25 February 2012

Kavey Eats Has Moved!

This blog has moved! The domain name will now take you directly to the new site, now at WordPress.

Many thanks for your visits here during the last few years.

Please visit the new site and update your RSS subscription, if it has not updated automatically.

(This site has reverted to and will no longer be updated with new content. Old content will be removed in coming weeks).


Friday 24 February 2012

Racine: La Grande Bouffe

Recently, I created a recipe for Cackalacky BBQ sauce (on a roast rib of beef) as my entry into a recipe challenge laid down by Grey Poupon mustard. Though I first learned of Cackalacky in a book I'd been sent to review, I didn't fancy the author's recipe for the sauce, so I did some research and created my own, amalgamating aspects from several different recipes I came across on the web.

The result was delicious, if I say so myself, and I was very pleased with my post. To my delight, I won the competition, and I was happy to accept the prize of dinner for two at Henry Harris' Racine Restaurant, in Knightsbridge.

Definitely une grande bouffe moment, Pete and I ate and drank extremely well and were utterly stuffed with Henry's fabulous, classic Bourgeois French cooking. Thank you Henry, the Racine team and Grey Poupon, for a wonderful evening.


We were welcomed with glasses of pousse rapière, a cocktail of Cointreau and sparkling wine, with a garnish of orange peel. Refreshing, with a pleasant hint of sweetness from the Cointreau, I much preferred this to a glass of plain bubbly.


With our aperitif, we enjoyed the sélection de charcuterie de Noir de Bigorre, a plate of jambon, ventrèche and saucisson from the Pyrenean black pig. Served with crunchy walnuts and some fruit jelly, the fatty meats were a very fine start.


Next, we were both served a warm garlic and saffron mousse with mussels. The mousse was impossibly light, and cleverly brought out the flavour of saffron without the muddy aspect that can so often creep in. The mussels were plump, meaty and sweet. The garlicky sauce was delicious, and every last drop was mopped up with fabulous white bread and French beurre Échiré.

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The sommelier chose our wines, by the glass. Reds from the Rhone valley and St Emilion matched Pete's starter and main. A light, fruity, flowery Moscatel was a perfect match for my crab starter, light enough not to overwhelm. With my steak, I had a glass of Sauternes, not traditional but I really loved it. With desserts, we had delicious, ruby red Maury.


Pete's seared foie gras, caramelised apple and Calvados was beautiful, generous and very delicious. Served on a brioche eggy bread (or should that be pain perdu, in a French restaurant?) and with a dollop of rich, caramelised apple it was a perfect dish.


My crab salad, herb omelette and horseradish was also superb; light, sweet, fresh white crab meat with strands of herb-flecked omelette and a large dollop of crème fraiche with horseradish added up to a lighter starter without any loss of flavour.


What stood out about the roast wood pigeon, chanterelles and rosemary was the perfect cooking of the pigeon that kept it tender, succulent and packed with meaty taste. This dish was wonderfully comforting and satisfying.

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I very seldom order a fillet steak, as I prefer the more robust flavours of other cuts. But I know Henry is fastidious when it comes to sourcing his meat, and that his Béarnaise sauce is a thing of beauty and I was certainly not disappointed with my filet au sauce Béarnaise. The meat was, as you'd imagine from a fillet, incredibly soft but had so much more beefy flavour than is often the case and the Béarnaise was spot on. The steak was served with decent medium-sized chips – though I hankered after thinner frites allumettes (matchstick fries) – and a lovely salad dressed with finely diced shallots and a simple dressing. This was everything a green side salad should be, and immediately transported me to France, even more so than the rest of the meal.


In France, Pete often orders the Coup Colonel – a simple dessert of lemon sorbet with chilled vodka. Here it's listed simply as Colonel. The lemon sorbet was too tart for me (as is usually the case) but Pete deemed it just right, though he did feel there was far too much sorbet for the amount of vodka.


My dessert of chocolate terrine with pistachio crème anglaise was rich and decadent! The slab of chocolate terrine was solid, with just the right amount of give, and made with good quality chocolate. The pistachio custard was a little lost against the chocolate, but eaten on its own, the flavour was clear. But for me, the best things on the plate were the candied pistachios – top quality pistachio nuts cooked in a sugar syrup and used as a garnish. I could have eaten an entire bowl of them, though it's probably as well that I didn't!


As I don't like strong coffee (and find many coffees others like too bitter for me) it's always great to be served a coffee that I unreservedly enjoy. Full flavoured but without the astringency, this cup was just what we needed at the end of the meal and to fortify us as we headed back out into the cold – very, very cold – night.

Our journey wasn't helped by our local tube line being closed for weekend engineering works (yet again). The 15 minute wait for a bus on the way home, in temperatures several degrees below zero, definitely didn't make me happy nor did the sheer time it took, both ways. But the meal we enjoyed was so good, in the end, the journey just didn't matter.

The only thing that would make Racine even better would be to transplant it, lock, stock and barrel, up to our neck of the woods in North London!


Tuesday 21 February 2012

Bacon Pancakes!

Internet food porn has a lot to answer for. Sometimes I see a single image, and that's it, I have to have a go at making it myself.

That's exactly what happened when I saw bacon pancakes: rashers of streaky bacon embedded in thick, fluffy pancakes.


Bacon Pancake LifeWithMel
from Cooking with Mel

Of course, bacon and pancakes is nothing new – I've loved the combination of fluffy pancakes, bacon, maple syrup (and American sausages too, if available) since I was a small child, making regular visits to relatives living in Florida. But previously, I always meant a stack of pancakes and an order of bacon on the side.

Cooking them together is, for me, all new!

A little internet research reveals that this idea was popularised in a series of adverts for American brand Aunt Jemima's pancake batter mix back in the 1960s.


I've made thick pancakes before, but last time, I must have put too much baking powder in as they tasted a little odd, so I asked friends for their trusted recipes. I meant to follow Amee's drop scone recipe but ended up leaving out some ingredients. If you already have a trusted pancake batter recipe, go ahead and use that, of course!


Bacon Pancakes

6-8 rashers streaky bacon
125 grams plain flour
Small pinch of salt
0.5 teaspoon baking powder
1 egg, lightly beaten
75-125 ml milk (sorry, I sploshed directly from the carton, forgot to measure!)
Vegetable oil for frying

Good quality maple syrup to serve

Note: I chose smoked bacon, as I love the smokiness against sweet maple syrup, but choose whatever you prefer.


  • Grill or fry your bacon until it's well cooked, with a little browning on the surfaces. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl, sift together the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder and sugar). Pour in the beaten egg and a little of the milk and beat together. Add more milk as necessary, to achieve a smooth, thick batter.
  • Heat a heavy-based frying pan over a medium heat until hot. Add a little oil.


  • Place a bacon strip into the pan and immediately ladle or pour some batter over the top. You can either cover the bacon completely or leave the two ends sticking out, as I chose to do. If your pan is large enough, you may be able to make two pancakes at a time.
  • After 2 to 3 minutes, when you shake the pan, the pancake should slide freely and a few bubbles will show on the top surface. Slide a large fish slice beneath the pancake and carefully flip it over.
  • Cook for another minute or two, remove to a plate and repeat to make the rest.
  • Serve with generous amounts of maple syrup.


What pancakes will you be making for Shrove Tuesday this year?


Sunday 19 February 2012

Beef Cheeks Bourguignon: A Hearty Stew

Boef Bourgignon aka Boeuf à la Bourguignonne is a classic French dish originating, as its name indicates, from the Burgundy region, as do a number of other dishes incorporating red wine, such as coq au vin and oeufs en Meurette. I've been meaning to try the latter ever since our last trip; I'll try and blog that one soon.

So back to the beef: this hearty stew is characterised by a slow braise of beef in red wine, which renders the meat tender and succulent, and the addition of bacon, pearl onions and button mushrooms. Most recipes use shoulder or stewing steak and combine beef stock with red wine for the braising liquid.

I decided to use beef cheeks, as I love the way these break down with slow cooking. I used shallots instead of pearl onions. And I substituted some dark ale for the beef stock, just because. These slight variations on the traditional version turned out extremely well!

This is a very easy dish, though you'll need some time at the start, to prep all the ingredients and separately brown the beef pieces, mushrooms and shallots.

The amounts are flexible, to make it easier to do your shopping. These minor variations really won't make a difference to the final result! Even if you're cooking for one or two, I recommend making this recipe in the quantities below and freezing the extra portions for another time.


Kavey's Beef Cheeks Bourguignon

Serves 6

1-1.2 kilos beef cheeks, trimmed and cut into 2-3 inch pieces

2-3 tablespoons seasoned flour
Vegetable oil for cooking
200 grams bacon in cubes or short strips
200-300 grams button mushrooms, cut in half if large
300-400 grams shallots
2 medium-large onions, diced
1 bottle full-bodied red wine
250 ml dark ale
1 sprig fresh thyme or teaspoon dried
2-3 bay leaves
1 sprig fresh thyme or teaspoon dried


  • Dredge each piece of beef in seasoned flour.
  • In a large lidded casserole dish – big enough for all the meat, onions, mushrooms, wine and liquid – heat a little cooking oil and fry the floured beef pieces until the surfaces are crusty and brown with caramelisation. Do this in batches so the meat doesn't steam. Set aside the browned beef.
  • Add more cooking oil if necessary to brown the mushrooms in the same pan, then set aside.
  • Now do the same for the shallots, and set them aside with the mushrooms.
  • Again, add more oil to the empty pan, if necessary, and fry the bacon and onions until the onions soften and the bacon takes on a little colour.
  • To the bacon and onions, add back the beef pieces plus the bay leaves, thyme, red wine and dark ale.
  • Leave to simmer for 3 hours, with the lid on.
  • Add the mushrooms and shallots back to the dish and cook for another 30-45 minutes, uncovered, on a gentle simmer. The time depends on the size of your shallots, as you want to ensure they are cooked through and soft. Leaving the lid off will also allow the sauce to reduce a little further.


Serve with buttery mash potatoes, or plain steamed potatoes if you want to be more traditional.


Thursday 16 February 2012

Pommes de Terre Braytoises - Cheese & Ham Stuffed Potatoes

As a cheese and bacon addict, I often have leftover cheese in my fridge, not to mention the stash in my freezer. There's often half a tub of sour cream or crème fraiche hanging around too, a few rashers of bacon leftover from a weekend brunch and half a bottle of mustard languishing in the cupboard.

And even though our harvest of home-grown potatoes was the lowest for several years, there are nearly always potatoes lurking in a dark corner of the kitchen.

So this pommes de terre Braytoises recipe adapted from Diana Henry's Roast Figs, Sugar Snow book was a perfect choice to counter the cold weather outside, be frugal with leftover ingredients and try something from a new cookery book too!

We adapted the recipe to 2 people, changing some of the ingredients and instructions to suit us better.


Diana Henry's Roast Figs, Sugar Snow

Diana Henry is a cook and food writer with six books under her belt including Crazy Water, Pickled Lemons, Cook Simple and Food from Plenty. She also writes for the Telegraph and it's magazine, Stella, presents food television programmes such as Market Kitchen and broadcasts on Radio 4.

I'd read good feedback on her book of Middle Eastern, Mediterranean and North African dishes (Crazy Water, Pickled Lemons) and likewise, for her latest title, Food from Plenty, which aims to share recipes made from "the plentiful, the seasonal and the leftover".

But I'd not really seen a great deal of discussion about her previous book, Roast Figs, Sugar Snow, originally published by Mitchell Beazley (an Octopus publishing imprint) in 2009, but with a new edition released in November 2011.


Having grown up in Northern Ireland, she adores snow, "its crystalline freshness, the silent mesmeric way it falls, the way it blankets you in a white, self-contained world". For this book, she travelled to several other cold climate locations, compiling a collection of recipes that represent winter food.

As for the name of the book, a passage in her introduction partially explains:

"On dark afternoons, my fifth-year teacher read us the stories of Laura Ingalls Wilder. In the simple snowy world of the American mid-west found in Little House in the Big Woods, an orange and a handful of nuts in the toe of a sock on Christmas day seemed as alluring as the seeds from a crimson pomegranate; fat pumpkins gathered in the autumn and stored in the attic were fairy tale vegetables. But it was the story of maple syrup that intrigued me most: how you could tap the sap of maple trees when there was a 'sugar snow' (snowy conditions in which the temperature goes below freezing at night but above freezing during the day), boil the sap down to a sticky amber syrup and pour it on to snow. There it set to a cobwebby toffee. Here was a magical food that you could get from inside a tree and make into sweets. I got my first bottle of maple syrup soon after being read this passage and have loved it ever since."

In a similar vein, throughout the book are passages from poems and books as varied as Robert Frost's Evening in a sugar orchard, Blackberry Picking by Seamus Heaney, Figs by D H Lawrence, Wild Fruits by Henry David Thoreau and Hans Christian Andersen's The Fir Tree.

Photography, by Jason Lowe, is beautiful and evocative. There are images of big hearty dishes, ingredients and scenes from the places whose food Henry brings together. That said, many of the recipes – I'd say well over half – don't have an accompany photograph, so this may not suit those who prefer to see what all finished dishes look like.

Oddly enough, whilst I really loved reading this book, flicking from recipe to recipe, reading the introductions and stories about the places, ingredients and dishes, I found that there were only a handful of recipes I want to actually cook. Partly, this is because there's a Northern European preponderance of walnuts and pecans, poppy seeds and cinnamon, dill, prunes, cranberries and juniper berries, chestnuts, dried mushrooms and smoked fish. Some of those ingredients I like, in some contexts, but less so in cooking. Others, I'm simply not a fan of. I like this book but can't see me using it very often.

That said, there are still many recipes that appeal as great comfort for a cold day – Antico Risotto Sabaudo (a Fontina-rich risotto), Poulet Suissesse (chicken with crème fraiche, mustard and cheese), Sobronade (an every day version of cassoulet without the duck), Beef Pie with wild mushrooms and claret (billed as better than cleavage for its seductive powers), Dublin Coddle (a layered bake of sausages, bacon, onions, potatoes and chicken stock), Poires Savoyards (cream, butter and sugar baked pears), Hot Lightning (featuring apples, pears and bacon), Apple Bread, Roast Figs and Plums in Vodka with cardamom cream and Scandinavian Pepparkakor (Christmas biscuits).

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Pommes de Terre Braytoises
Cheese and Ham Stuffed Baked Potatoes

Adapted from Diana Henry's Roast Figs, Sugar Snow

Ingredients (for 2)
2 baking potatoes
25 grams butter
Salt and pepper
125 grams Camembert
4 thick rashers of bacon or about 60 grams ham, cut into small pieces
4 tablespoons sour cream or crème fraiche
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 egg
50-75 grams Comte, grated

Note: We used left over bacon, fried in a pan, so we added the bacon fat to the mix too.

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  • Prick and bake the potatoes (180 C fan oven) for approximately an hour, or until tender all the way through.

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  • Cut each potato in half, scoop out most of the flesh, careful not to pierce the skin.
  • Mash the potato flesh with butter and season with salt and pepper.

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  • Roughly chop the Camembert and the bacon or ham. Mix with the mashed potato flesh, along with half the sour cream or crème fraiche, the mustard and the egg. Henry suggests discarding the rind of the Camembert before using, but we chose to use it.

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  • Divide the mixture between the 4 potato skins. Mix the rest of the sour cream or crème fraiche with the grated Comte and spread over the top of each potato.


  • Bake for 10-15 minutes until the tops of the potatoes are golden and bubbling (180 C fan oven).

We really enjoyed these potatoes, they made for a very comforting and delicious week day dinner and were very easy to make.

We so often have cheese, bacon and sour cream or crème fraiche left over, we have already made these a couple of times and will certainly be making them again soon.

I'm submitting this post to Family Friendly Fridays, a monthly blog event hosted by Fabulicious Food.


Diana Henry's Roast Figs, Sugar Snow is currently available from Amazon UK for £10.55 (RRP £15.99).


Tuesday 14 February 2012

Eating Korean: Bibimbap, Soho

Bibimbap is a popular Korean dish. Its name translates to 'mixed rice' and it usually consists of warm white rice topped with vegetables, meat or seafood, chilli paste and sometimes a raw or fried egg too. The ingredients are stirred together before eating.

Dolsot bibimbap is bibimbap served in a hot stone pot. The stone is so hot that it cooks the raw egg, and any other raw ingredients, and can also create a crunchy layer of baked rice around the edges.

I'd never had either, but when my friend and I were looking for a central, budget-conscious, winter-warmer place to meet up for dinner, her suggestion of Bibimbap Soho made me screech with delight – the perfect fit and somewhere I'd been meaning to visit for ages!

Our visit was almost scuppered – when I arrived 20 minutes early, the restaurant was closed. The lights were on and I could see staff inside, so I hovered, shivering with cold and hopeful they'd notice me. Eventually, they came out to let me know that a "kitchen failure" meant they were closed. Someone was working on fixing it right now, but they weren't sure how long it might take and it could be hours! My friend Carla arrived and we retired to a nearby pub to give us time to search the web and ask twitter friends for alternatives in the immediate vicinity. A drink and chat later, and decided on a strategy, we left the pub only to find Bibimbap, on our route, now open again! Hoorah!

Still shivering with cold, I started with a bowl of warming miso soup (£1) to drink.


To begin our meal, we shared a kimchi pancake (£4.45). Kimchi is another Korean staple – a fiery pickle of cabbage and other vegetables. Here, it was mixed into a light pancake batter and served with a garlic and sesame soy dipping sauce. It was simple but addictive and disappeared quickly.

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Bibimbaps range from a basic dolsot bibimbap (£6.45) featuring cucumber, daikon, bean sprouts, spinach, carrots, mooli and fried egg, and a kimchi bibimbap for the same price, to spicy pork and chilli chicken versions (both £6.95), to Nutritious bibimbap (£7.95) which includes ginseng, ginko, dates, chesnut and vegetables served on brown rice to marinated mixed seafood bibimbap (£8.95).

Carla and I both chose the most expensive option on the menu – the raw and marinated fillet beef (£9.45) and vegetables, also adding a raw egg for an extra £1. You can ask for brown rice to be substituted for white in any of the bibimbap dishes, by the way, as Carla did for hers.

The dishes arrived sizzling with heat and we quickly squirted in some sweet miso sauce and gochujang (chilli paste) from squeezy bottles on the table before starting to mix the contents with our chopsticks and long-handled spoons.

When the staff warn you about how hot the stone bowls are, they aren't kidding – the bowls continued to sizzle loudly for several minutes and the food was still well and truly piping hot well over 10 minutes later. I challenge you not to burn your mouth a little as you impatiently shovel in all those tasty flavours!

Our bill came to £26.35 plus service. Fantastic value for a delicious and filling meal in central London.

Bibimbap on Urbanspoon


Sunday 12 February 2012

HelloFresh Reviewed

A few weeks ago the founders of HelloFresh got in touch asking if Kavey Eats would like to review a free shipment of one of their recipe and food bags.

Aiming at an audience of "busy food-lovers" they claim to "take care of your meal planning and even do the shopping for you", allowing you to "discover amazing food and provide a healthy diet to the people you love most". Their team "consists of culinary experts, top chefs, dieticians and nutritionists" who create and test their recipes, which "are delicious and easy to prepare within 30 minutes". Each meal should contain "around seven ingredients apart from basic things like salt" and recipes include dishes such as "chicken tikka masala, goulash, Mexican tacos, grilled fish with vegetables, chicken and mushroom pasta, quiche, Indian curry, and grilled chicken with grilled vegetables".



Our HelloFresh bag arrived one Monday evening in January, at around 8 pm. Currently, only Monday evening deliveries are available. Unless you eat later than we do, you won't be able to plan on using one of the meals that night, as the delivery slot can't be more specific than sometime between 5 and 9 pm.

All the ingredients were in a single large bag. On examining the contents, we immediately noticed that the chicken – the main ingredient for one of the three meals – was missing. An email the next morning resulted in delivery the following night.

We separated fridge and non-fridge items and commented that it would have been handy had the ingredients already been separated for us, both by storage medium and by recipe.



The three recipes we were sent in our bag were Mamma's Secret Beef Bolognese with Spaghetti, My Thai Green Curry with Chicken, Sweet Potato and Basmati Rice and Millionaire's Shepherd's Pie.

We were a bit surprised that two out of three were mince based, but they were all things we already cook and eat, so not a big issue.

All three recipes were designed to make servings for two people.

The recipes were provided on individual cards, A5 on a black background. One one side is a photo of the finished dish, photos of the ingredients and an ingredients list. On the other side are step by step instructions with accompanying photographs.

The biggest problem with the cards, for us, was the tiny green text on the black card – it's pretty difficult to read.

I found the last instruction on the Thai curry card, to "tear up all your takeaway menus and place in the dustbin", facile and a bit smug. We've been making Thai curries at home for many years, but that doesn't negate the pleasure of having ready-cooked food delivered now and again!


Making the recipes

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Mamma's Secret Beef Bolognese with Spaghetti tasted pleasant enough, though it was very much a British spagbol rather than an authentic Italian ragu, so perhaps a nod to "mum" would have been better than "mamma".

Peeling and chopping things took a bit of time, as we don't have particularly fast knife skills; it would have been nicer to be provided with ready-weighed, ready-prepared ingredients.

We realised when we tasted the finished dish that we'd clearly diced the carrot too large, and the chunks didn't incorporate nicely into the sauce. We didn't like the texture or taste they gave.

We assume there was a mistake in resizing the recipe from the four-person version – 250 grams of pasta for two people is surely far too much; we cooked about 125 grams between the two of us and that was plenty.

There was nothing really wrong with this dish but it was rather ordinary.

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Called My Thai Green Curry with Chicken, Sweet Potato and Basmati Rice, this recipe contained a number of errors.

We use a very similar curry paste regularly, and had a feeling the sachet of paste provided might be too much, but went ahead with the recipe as written, to give it a fair test. I wonder if this was another mistake in resizing from a four-person version, as the curry was way too strong. Not just for me – I'm a bit of a wuss – but for Pete too and he can take far more heat than I.

What we did like was the inclusion of sweet potato, something we've not encountered in a Thai curry before, but really enjoyed, especially as it countered (a tiny bit of) that excessive heat.

The recipe card gave instructions on how to cook 200 grams of (dried) Basmati rice from scratch, but what was actually included was a packet of ready-cooked Tilda basmati, 250 grams in cooked weight. Here, we let common sense divert us from the recipe card and followed the reheating instructions on the packet. But the packet was too small a portion for two adults, the exact opposite of the pasta in the previous recipe. I estimate that 100 grams uncooked rice makes about 250 grams of cooked rice, so you'd need two of the ready-cooked packets to substitute for 200 grams dried rice.

We thought it a bit weird to have us peeling and chopping ingredients, yet not cooking our own rice.

Ignoring the excessive heat and lack of sufficient rice, we liked the dish well enough, but felt it was very basic. We often keep tubs of Mae Ploy Thai curry paste in the fridge and cans of coconut in the larder, allowing us to buy a portion of meat and vegetables and make something similar, with very little thought or effort.

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Our guess is that the Millionaire's Shepherd's Pie also had an error in resizing from a four-person version – the volume of potato (a whopping 1 kilos of raw potatoes provided in the ingredients) was simply far too much for the amount of mince. Again, we went ahead with the recipe as written, to give it a fair test.

It's an odd recipe, using both higher end ingredients such as dried porcini mushrooms and budget ones such as a tin of baked beans. And more diced carrot.

Other than the ratio of potato to meat filling, the recipe worked well enough but we certainly didn't feel it merited it's title of "Millionaire's", which implies something more luxurious than normal, not less!



Three evening meals for a couple cost £39, rising to £59 for a family of four. For five evening meals, you're looking at £49 and £89, respectively.

At £13 for each of our meals for two, we found this quite expensive.

I spent 15 minutes adding the ingredients for all three recipes to a Tesco direct shop and they came to £23, with some items (such as the green curry paste and one of the packs of mince) providing enough for additional portions / meals.

For the extra £16 I'd expect far more added value, particularly in the form of ready-prepped ingredients.

I'd also expect meals that are a little more special than our spagbol, Thai curry and shepherd's pie.


Time Saving

The time-saving premise is based on recent survey findings that a the weekly grocery shop for a family of 4 takes about 90 minutes, of which just over an hour is in the supermarket, the rest being travel time.

But as the HelloFresh bags contain only evening meals (with no drinks or desserts included) you certainly won't be saving much of those 90 minutes as you'll still need to buy breakfast, lunch, household products, toiletries and all the other items in that average weekly trolley. At most, you might shave 15 minutes a week if you're lucky.

If time is what you're short of, I'd suggest switching to regular supermarket online shopping, which has the benefits of letting you order everything you need for the week, makes it easy to re-order regular purchases, allows you to pick your own delivery day and slot and will save the journey time and carrying heavy bags just as well as HelloFresh.


Other Points

The quality of the ingredients, particularly the meat, seemed good.

Olive oil is called for in two of the recipes, but not included in the ingredients. Likewise, the shepherd's pie suggests an (optional) half cup of milk to add to the mashed potato topping; this is also not included. Whilst olive oil, milk and salt and pepper are certainly standard store cupboard ingredients, it's worth pointing out that the bags do not contain everything used in the recipes.

Currently, HelloFresh doesn't allow customers any visibility of the recipes they'll receive, let alone any control over dishes or ingredients they may dislike.

Both Pete and I felt that, when paying a premium for this kind of service, we would expect more control over what we received, more interesting recipes, using higher end ingredients and more of the prep-work done for us.

The recipes haven't been adequately tested in terms of volumes or timings.

Some ingredients (such as cheese and curry paste) are listed without amounts, which is fine when you've been sent the ingredients by HelloFresh but makes it less easy to re-use the cards again, which would be another way of adding value.



The meals we cooked from our HelloFresh bag were, in the main part, perfectly decent weekday dinners.

However, for the £39 price tag, we didn't feel they were great value. The cost premium, coupled with lack of any real time saved, made this an expensive way to find recipes and buy ingredients for three very simple dishes.

In all honesty, we were at a bit of a loss about the intended target audience...

Of the friends we know – both with children and without – finances would preclude spending this much for everyday dinners. If it's about saving time rather than money, there would be an expectation of ingredients ready peeled and chopped.  Those with more disposable income and/ or more of an interest in food and cooking would likely look for something more challenging to make or more exciting to eat.

What do you think?

Is HelloFresh a service you'd consider using?

If not, what changes would you suggest to make it more appealing to you?


Kavey Eats received a sample bag courtesy of HelloFresh.