Food Restaurant 'dine at home' boxes

First Nico at home box tonight. For £60 delivered including a bottle of and chunk of cheese is still decent enough value.
spent enough on the box, marketing and print material. Food decent enough if some of the elements seemed a little odd,
the only bit that disappointed was the Tipsy Laird trifle. Great flavours but way too much cream. One layer of sponge and 60% cream it felt like.
If the right menu I’d order again.
 
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Tom Cannavan

Administrator
If the right menu I’d order again

That's how I feel about that one: not good enough to make me keen to go back, but at the price and if the menu looked interesting, there's not much to lose by giving it another go. We have 3 boxes coming over the next couple of weeks, including one local one that is collect only, but after a few weeks off it will be nice to be back in the ring.
 
I have to admit that to me, the St John box looks too easy to replicate to bother with.
Actually, this was precisely the debate we had while eating it. As a takeaway substitute, relieving one of the burden of shopping, prepping and slow cooking in advance, however, I was in the camp that thought this worth doing.

Plus I now know better how to recreate the parsley salad that I greatly enjoyed in situ but only hazily remembered how it was put together.
 
The Haar tasting menu was quite successful here tonight. Each dish with an Asian influence / flavour, though all subtle enough to not worry the fizz...

D337AF5E-D33A-4B53-A851-BBDC8FA0CA6A.jpegTandoori cauliflower, salsa verde, buttermilk and seeds


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Scallops, spring onion and chilli salad, miso


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Coley, thai green curry crust, seasonal veg and a Thai coconut broth

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Lobster, mirrin and seaweed butter


DEC3CB40-464D-40C0-8E29-6329D0E266B9.jpeg
Tamarind glazed pork belly, puffed cracking, kimchi and king oyster mushroom


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Mango and chocolate ganache
 
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The Haar tasting menu was quite successful here tonight. Each dish with an Asian influence / flavour, though all subtle enough to not worry the fizz...

View attachment 17643Tandoori cauliflower, salsa verde, buttermilk and seeds


View attachment 17644
Scallops, spring onion and chilli salad, miso


View attachment 17645
Coley, thai green curry crust, seasonal veg and a Thai coconut broth

View attachment 17646
Lobster, mirrin and seaweed butter


View attachment 17647
Tamarind glazed pork belly, puffed cracking, kimchi and king oyster mushroom


View attachment 17648
Mango and chocolate ganache

Looks very nice apart from the one piddling scallop. My girlfriend would have been disappointed with that ;)
 
Really enjoyed the Pidgin box last night - 3 proper courses plus a canapé and petit four.

Canapé was a slice of game sausage roll with cherry mustard. The sausage roll was absolutely divine, meaty and gamey, and to me was better without the mustard (nice though that was). If greggs sold these I'd buy them by the dozen.
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Starter was smoked jerusalem artichoke soup with caviar creme fraiche and artichoke crisps. Lovely artichoke flavour and well balanced in terms of texture and flavour (the sourness of the creme fraiche worked well)
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Main was an absolutely huge lamb shank in a szechuan jus with Chinese turnip cakes, broccoli in chilli & garlic dressing and Chinese wind sausage crumb. The lamb itself was fantastic quality with a deep, almost mutton like flavour. I did wonder from the size and depth of flavour if it was actually hogget. The accompaniments went really well and overall the dish wasn't too heavy or rich.
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Dessert was the one course that was only OK - a deconstructed key lime pie. Nice flavours (orange, lime, cream), quite fresh with the orange segments
and not too sweet, but just a bit airy and ultimately not as good as a slice of key lime pie (for the record @Steve Slatcher makes a very good one)
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Finally a single piece of white chocolate fudge coated in beetroot glaze was delicious with an espresso.

Wine wise I went with small bottles matched to each course:
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First bottle of Bolly was badly corked so I replaced it like for like from the cellar. Coddington was really superb - rich and toasty, a very good match to the smoked artichokes. Claret was absolutely lovely - textbook fragrant Margaux, light and feminine. I've had a few good 07s recently, they are hitting theur stride now I think. Icewine was, surprisingly, both our WOTN - a Lidl spesh, but just lovely balance between richness, sweetness and acidity. Classy stuff and much better than the Vidal or Cabernet versions from the same producer.

In summary I'd definitely recommend Pidgin to anyone and would order again myself without hesitation.
 
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Looks very nice apart from the one piddling scallop. My girlfriend would have been disappointed with that ;)

i've never adjusted to the modern single scallop style. A generous serving 'a la Provencale' remains my ideal. These are Elizabeth David's instructions ' Slice the cleaned white part of the scallops into two rounds, season them with salt, pepper and lemon juice; immediately before cooking them, sprinkle them very lightly with flour, fry them pale golden on each side in a mixture of butter and olive oil. Put in the red parts, add a generous sprinkling of finely chopped garlic and parsley and shake the pan so that the mixture spreads evenly amongst the scallops. Five minutes’ cooking altogether will be enough.’
 
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Latest HAAR at home box arrived today
Really not great.
One smallish badly dressed crab, maybe 8 bits of shell between us
mediocre mango slaw
1 small lobster cut in 2, slightly tough when warmed through as per instructions
9 potato wedges to oven cook
tenderstem broccoli to boil then pan fry
a few seasonings and dressings
£70
poor vfm
I felt the same about the crab when I got it as an extra in the Hipping Hall/Haar box. I also thought the lobster in that box a bit tough, but presumed I'd overcooked it. Clearly the instructions aren't right, or are for bigger lobsters than they provide. I wasn't terribly impressed by the oddly sweet and cakey bread either.
 
We have another Opheem box on order but other than that I think I’m done with these at home boxes. I’ve not eaten anything yet I couldn’t easily cook myself. I do have a Hix turbot and scallops on the way too which looked decent value for £80.

these beauties delivered cost me less than the HAAR box.
will that suffice @Thom Blach ?
I know which option I’d rather spend my money on

I also cook in a butter and oil mix, seasoned just before cooking. The “small” ones I cook whole I haven’t decided whether to halve the bigger ones before cooking. I remove the roes to remove any residual membrane.

they never take 5 minutes, I’d say more like 2 minutes in total in a hot pan. The roes get addd separately and take 30s
 

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Ethical Shellfish Company will deliver them to you unshucked and animatedly determined to stay that way, Ian. Langoustine will be even more energetic (and distinctly more mobile) in attempting to avoid a culinary fate.

I think that on compassionate grounds they occasionally offer deliveries to Birmingham environs.
 
Tonight we have Jason Atherton round for dinner - it was meant to be Marcus Wareing but a Covid case in his kitchen put paid to that.

Atherton Menu.jpg

Rather too much plastic involved in the packaging compared to some others but very impressed with the Lake District Farmers customer service - it was only Tuesday when they found out that no Marcus Wareing boxes would be available for this weekend. They phoned to offer a re-schedule or a replacement - apparently I was one of 200 calls they were having to make.
 
Had another Aktar last weekend - all very good apart from the chicken dish, sauce lovely but the chicken was rubbery and slimy. Just as bad when tasted cold the next day - threw it away. The lentil and chick pea sides were probably the highlights, delicious.

However with a 7 week lead in now time to look elsewhere.

Have ordered the Vietnamese Feast for next week and the vegan Tokyo Dive Bar Feast for the week after - anyone had these (its a long thread) - I think they might be newish on the Dispatch roster.
 
Had the Chateau X box tonight which is a chateaubriand with sides, dessert and a bottle of wine for £60. Same people as do the Nico boxes. It was a bit meh. I reckon I cook a better steak and my wife does a better tiramisu than was offered. No issue with the value but I just felt a bit lazy as could have done better myself from my local butcher. I reckon with these boxes you need to go hard core or just do it yourself. Last week’s Lima box much better as I just couldn’t do that at home.

we have the ottolenghi masterstock chicken next week for my sister’s birthday but after that I’m done. Back to my own cooking for a while
 
I've still not finished the Opheem box that came last Thursday, and the Sheermal bread is still in the freezer.

Got a dimsum delivery coming from Luban (in Liverpool, I think) in the week. I looked at the Ribble Valley's/Altrincham's Yu and You (or maybe it's You and Yu?), who also do dimsum deliveries. But I couldn't justify the cost.
 
I've still not finished the Opheem box that came last Thursday, and the Sheermal bread is still in the freezer.

Got a dimsum delivery coming from Luban (in Liverpool, I think) in the week. I looked at the Ribble Valley's/Altrincham's Yu and You (or maybe it's You and Yu?), who also do dimsum deliveries. But I couldn't justify the cost.
i think Yu restaurant in Alderley Edge is a cut above the normal offerings and is almost worth the price. Dim sum in the restaurant is good, haven’t managed to try the delivery option yet.
 
We had our Cafe Murano box last night - turns out we aren't big Burrata fans. The braised beef shin with potato gnocchi and thyme truffle crumb (and hispi cabbage) was great, the focaccia, olive oil, arancini and salumi were decent, and while the lemon posset and poached rhubarb dessert was delicious, the posset was more double cream than a set posset.
 
We had the Home by Nico box last night. Would echo the thoughts on here - nice pub grub rather than fine dining. For £60 delivered, including a bottle of wine (admittedly horrible stuff - managed a small glass, rest will go down the sink), it’s decent value.

Next 3 weekends are Burger & Beyond, Sabor en Casa and HAAR. Should be fun!
 
We had our Cafe Murano box last night - turns out we aren't big Burrata fans
Burrata seems to be very en vogue at the moment. Personally I think there is a strong element of emperor’s new clothes about it. It tends to be average quality mozzarella with some cream in it. So what.

We had the Luca (of St John Street) box at home on Friday evening. Really excellent Jerusalem artichoke soup to begin with some good focaccia. Bucatini with broccoli, chilli and salted ricotta was nice but quite similar to one of our regulars that we make frequently. Duck with white beans and mortadella was excellent - enormous confit duck legs that revived well in a water bath then oven. So much leftover that I’m going to make a small amount of duck ragu. Pudding was a lemon and pistachio cheesecake which was nice but by that time we were very full.

Trying the Arabica box with beef next week - from posts above it looks really good.
 
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