For Christmas, we were lucky to be gifted a £111 voucher for Dishpatch, which brings UK restaurant food to the home via easy-to-cook and prepare meal kits.
We used our voucher for 2 meals, first, from Angela Hartnett’s Café Murano, and secondly from Thuy Diem Pham’s Little Viet Kitchen. The voucher wasn’t quite enough to cover both so we topped it up ourselves for the Vietnamese order.
Café Murano Italian Beef Ragout
We had our Café Murano meal on Valentines Day. Four courses, starting with focaccia, olive oil, salumi and arancini, and then a whole burrata each with blood orange and radicchio tardive – definitely not the kind of ingredients we’ve been used to over the last year of dining at home!
The main course was a slow cooked beef, potato gnocchi and truffle bake, with a side of hispi cabbage, while dessert was a lemon posset with rhubarb and a shortbread biscuit.
Unfortunately the food arrived a day late due to issues with the courier – not really an issue for us as it’s not like we had anywhere else to go – and Dishpatch kept us updated with emails and apologies.
It was very well packaged and the instructions were very clear.
One of our burrata had split and our possets weren’t very set, but this didn’t affect the flavour too much.
Everything was delicious – we particularly enjoyed the arancini, and the main course.
The portions were really generous – and maybe it’s just because we haven’t been used to going out for dinner recently – but we ate it over two sittings, enjoying the beef and posset for dinner one night, and the two starters for lunch the next day.
At £70 for two people, we felt this was excellent value for a special occasion meal at home.
Little Viet Kitchen Vietnamese Feast
Next up was the menu from Islington’s Little Viet Kitchen, a restaurant we’ve visited several times back when we lived and worked in North London.
Their ‘Vietnamese Feast’ included:
- Lemongrass prawn skewers
- Satay tofu skewers
- Lemongrass chicken or salmon curry (we went for chicken)
- Jasmine rice
- Herb-roasted, curried new potatoes
- Cabbage, carrot and swede picked salad
Once again, we looked at the quantity of food and didn’t feel able to eat it all in one sitting. We had the curry, rice and salad for dinner on Friday night and followed it up with the prawn skewers, tofu skewers and potatoes for lunch the next day.
The instructions were very clear and the food was simple to prepare – we had to oven cook the chicken for 40 minutes before heating the curry sauce and rice and tucking in, and the skewers just needed a few minutes in a pan. Various garnishes – red chilli, shallots and lime – were provided so you could add these flavours to taste.
We had eaten at the Little Viet Kitchen before and so had high expectations, and this Feast box didn’t let us down. The highlight was the curry – juicy, crispy chicken thighs with perfectly cooked rice and the most fragrant, creamy curry sauce with quite a kick to it!
We also loved the tofu satay sewers – the peanut flavour wasn’t too strong and they were perfect with sweet chilli sauce. The potatoes were delicious but we did wonder why they were included as they didn’t really seem to go with any of the other food. Maybe they were included as a cheap ‘filler’ but we thought a dessert in their place would have provided a better balance.
We enjoyed our Dishpatch meals so much that we bought one as a Mother’s Day gift and as a birthday present. From the ordering process to the delivery and packaging and finally the food itself, it’s a well-designed and slick concept.
It feels great to support restaurants that have been closed for much for the past year, and to get a bit of that dining-out experience while staying at home. I hope restaurants continue to offer this kind of thing once they re-open – now we have a new baby at home, staying in may replace going out for a while longer!