In the past two months, we've tried three different services that home-deliver ingredient boxes for home cooking. This week we're running short reviews on our experiences with each one.
We received a complementary trial of the Rice Kitchen Vegetarian Delights Feast thanks to business co-founder Anh (we made friends as food bloggers years ago!). This delivery would normally cost $120 and is intended to cater to six people for one meal. Anh et al. describe their service as a 'DIY dinner party in a box' - it's an elaborate menu that calls for substantial preparation and encourages you to gather together the family or invite some friends over to share.
What we made: soy sauce eggs, tempura eggplant mantou buns, Asian mushroom salad, vegetarian popiah.
- The website and printed materials are beautiful, and definitely got me excited to cook!
- They supply all the necessary ingredients except for cooking oil, salt, pepper, some sugar & vinegar
- Everything tasted terrific! The many sauces and sprinklings were particularly good, and made the meal feel special.
- While an experienced cook will fare fine, the cooking instructions might not have enough detail for a novice
- Lots of plastic packaging to dispose of afterwards
- Due to the pre-made sauces and dressings, I could not reproduce these recipes precisely on my own without further research.
Conclusions: This box is for people who don't enjoy meal planning or shopping but are willing to put effort into cooking and entertaining. It would be a fun introduction to Vietnamese cooking for a newbie who's unsure where to source ingredients.
Next up: a service that's more focused on simple weeknight cooking.