With the end in sight for an easing of restrictions, we can all look forward to dining at a restaurant for a spot of al fresco dining. The decision to lift lockdown measures is however dependent upon data. This is why dine-at-home boxes will continue to be a main source of revenue for restaurateurs pivoting to a takeaway-delivery option, at least until some sort of normalcy is achieved.
What exactly is the new normal anyway? According to the ONS at least 46% of people were working from home (this figure obviously doesn’t include retail, hospitality or front-line staff). As remote- or hybrid-working (thankfully) enters the mainstream, it is nice to see companies taking a digital-first approach and exploring avenues that were previously thought impossible pre-Covid.
Having part-cooked restaurant-quality food shipped across the country to diners’ homes where they can finish off the cooking process might have seemed unbelievable a year ago, yet now numerous restaurants have pivoted to do just this. They have not only adapted restaurant menus, but created from scratch menus with dishes that travel well and are relatively easy to cook at home.
I have always wanted to visit Rick Stein’s restaurant ‘one day.’ Who even knows whether I would have actually managed to visit this restaurant, because right now, nothing I feel, can be taken for granted. 😊
I ordered food from the Rick Stein At Home range and the parcel arrived promptly, well labelled, with solid instructions and a link to a YouTube video by Jack Stein.
I ordered from the Indonesian Curry Menu comprising of three courses including moules marinière, seafood medley curry and a passion fruit Eton Mess.
Now, a little caveat. My name is Ria and I am incredibly squeamish about livestock or anything that has a pulse. This includes mussels. I have never cooked mussels before. It’s that whole ‘tapping them to see if they’re alive and them closing’ thing that goes right through me. Dining partner had to help out with the cooking of this dish, which once the (dearly departed) mussels were plonked into the hot pan, was easy to finish off. You basically heat white wine, confit onions and the mussels in a large pan, clamp the lid shut and cook on high for around three minutes. I loved the first step on instructions list, which was ‘1. Open chilled wine, pour into glass and enjoy.’ (I am only too happy to acquiesce Team Rick Stein, I always listen to the experts.)
You get a boat load of mussels which is another reason why I loved this dine-at-home-box. It would have been nice to have included some bread, so that the confit sauce would be soaked up using a nice crusty Farmhouse white. We wound up sipping the sauce, because it was just too darn delicious to discard. It was creamy, oniony and flecked with parsley, and I was actually in two minds of siphoning it off to save the next day for another dish. It didn’t make it to the next day, because it was hella-moreish, meaning scarfing had to occur within 30 minutes’ of plating up.
Indonesian seafood curry had a warming kick that only Balinese spice paste can give. The shrimp paste, ground nutmeg and lemongrass in this Indonesian main made this curry fragrant, refreshing and comforting all at the same time. The side of green beans with shredded coconut garnish not only looked pretty as heck, it was a nice palate lifter too.
Preparation of the dessert took around five minutes. I slung vanilla sugar and double cream into the KitchenAid, scooping out the soft creamy peaks onto broken meringue and topping with the zingy passion fruit. Again, these dessert portions were very large, which is why we saved some for the following day.
Rick Stein At Home certainly felt like a luxurious treat, yet it didn’t blow the budget. I will be reordering again for my birthday in July (I have three meals planned during birthday week, because it takes a week to celebrate one’s birthday). 😊
There are a host of menu options now live and diners can order their next treat-box at home now. Delivery is to UK addresses excluding some offshore islands, Channel Islands and Northern Ireland.