Food Restaurant 'dine at home' boxes

Further to Richards post


Restaurateurs losing thousands of pounds because of unreliable courier services

08-Apr-2021 By James McAllister and Stefan Chomka

Restaurateurs offering nationwide meal kit deliveries are losing thousands of pounds because of courier services failing to deliver the perishable products by the intended target dates.

It’s really not good enough, I appreciate there’s volume and complexities but the courier services should take more responsibility for failing to meet their delivery standards
i did note that Tommy Banks having to refund £11k was due to a large amount of products being put on the wrong service, but it doesn’t say if that was a courier mistake or not
 
I'm on a Clay's Kitchen delivery at the moment. Not as good value on a £/kg basis as Aktar Islam/Opheem, but both dishes I've had so far have been very good. I'll post some photos when I've eaten them all.
 
The only way this is going to improve (as indeed with wine deliveries, which we've often moaned about too), is if legislation forces courier companies to take responsibility for their failings. I'm sure that if they had to refund both the cost of lost/broken/stolen goods and the senders' costs, they'd soon find a way to improve.
Which means higher costs, it's as simple as that; if we won't pay for a first class service we won't get one, though there doesn't seem to be that option at the moment. If anyone thinks delivery drivers are having a high old time of it they ought to spend a day in their shoes.
 
Aktar Islam has expanded his offerings. He's had a couple of non-Indian meat boxes for a while (which haven't really interested me), but he's now added a goat biryani box, and a tandoor BBQ box. The latter looks interesting, and I may get one at some point despite not having a charcoal grill or tandoor, but I've already ordered a biryani, due the weekend of 7th May. (So still a heck of a lead time.)
 
Aktar Islam has expanded his offerings. He's had a couple of non-Indian meat boxes for a while (which haven't really interested me), but he's now added a goat biryani box, and a tandoor BBQ box. The latter looks interesting, and I may get one at some point despite not having a charcoal grill or tandoor, but I've already ordered a biryani, due the weekend of 7th May. (So still a heck of a lead time.)
From their point of view and given the particulars of the cuisine this seems such an attractive business model that one wonders whether it will be worth their while reopening!
 
From their point of view and given the particulars of the cuisine this seems such an attractive business model that one wonders whether it will be worth their while reopening!
I think I saw that Aktar Islam/Opheem are moving the delivery business to new, dedicated premises.
I also saw a tweet from Gary Usher, that he was pausing Elite Bistros at Home, not because he was concentrating on reopening, but to move to new dedicated premises (which somewhat surprisingly he hasn't even crowd-funded).
 
I was impressed by Clays Kitchen (based in Reading I think). Not cheap, but some good stuff. It has the advantage over Aktar that you can order à la carte, and there are some smaller dishes and very good rotis. I meant to order a few packs of the mixed rotis, but unfortunately forgot to update the basket. Very annoying.

I weighed a couple of the main course curries: 420g each, so with bread or rice, a very hearty meal for one.


Pandumirapakaya kundelu kura (Rabbit with red chillies) with a couple of the rotis. Really good flavour.
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Mashed potato kebabs stuffed with peas, chilli and coconut with a tamarind ketchup. A little chewy on the outside, but the flavour of the filling was superb. (Squirt of Kewpie and ramson greenery added by me)
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Bhooni Kaleji - i.e. chicken livers with with Cumin, coriander, mint, dried mango powder, chilli powder, and turmeric. Surprisingly the chicken livers weren't too badly overcooked by reheating. This is one of the starters (£7.50), here bulked out with some tomato pilau of my own creation. If I hadn't overcooked the rice, I'd have really enjoyed this. ;)
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Meka Mamsan Kura with a beetroot roti.
Really rich, deep & satisfying goat curry. Enormous depth of flavour.
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Shadiyo wala dum me hara murgh and Baghari rice (Hyderabadi pilau). "Wedding style green chicken" apparently. Good, juicy chicken thighs, and while the sauce was good, it was a little dry, and not the best of the dishes I ordered. The rice is lovely: really fragrant spicing.
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Venison bhuna with the second half of the rice (and lots of wild garlic pimpery by me). This was superb, and definitely the best of all the dishes I'd ordered. The depth of flavour of the bhuna was almost breathtaking. This would definitely have been better with bread rather than rice (or at least this rice), as it rather overwhelmed the charmingly spiced pilao.
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Pleased to report that Makan Malaysia mentioned above worked well. Delivery well packaged and for those who worry about such things, very detailed and rather sweet breakdown on recycling/re-use etc...the bags holding the food in fact compostable.
Food itself hearty Malay eating house fare rather than fine dining but nicely done, plenty of food for 4 with some leftovers. We went for the £45 set meal. Excellent home made acar, three good curries plus dahl and fritters and coconut rice. Spicing perhaps dialled down a bit but we bought some of their home made sambal which added a kick where necessary. Would try again.
 

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Per Andrew's post, it may be heretical but we always have a couple of packets of supermarket roti, paratha in the freezer - certainly local Asian shops usually have then and I think Sainsbury's and I assume others. Not perfect but useful stand by - also useful matrix for other contents if you've forgotten to buy bread. Example attached
 

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Had an interesting chat with the lady at Rogan at Home today. Apparently, after teething troubles with DPD things have settled down, and they are going to continue the at home boxes as part of the ongoing business. They were about to vacate the L’Enculme kitchen as the restaurant starts up again, and move into dedicated premises. The boxes have enabled them to keep all their staff on over the last year, and presumably will require an expansion as they move in to parallel operations.
 

Tom Cannavan

Administrator
I can't do tongue. Definitely a childhood trauma of the local butcher (proper sawdust on the floor and smell of blood always in the air) having trays of unfettered, big fat ox tongues in the window. Nightmare stuff for this 5 or 6 year old! :)
 
I can't do tongue. Definitely a childhood trauma of the local butcher (proper sawdust on the floor and smell of blood always in the air) having trays of unfettered, big fat ox tongues in the window. Nightmare stuff for this 5 or 6 year old! :)
I find boiled tongue unpleasant for similar reasons but sliced, marinated and grilled in the Korean way it is really delicious.
 
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