So I grabbed the opportunity to check out Chefkraft, having been tempted a couple of times already by their beautiful mailers. The premise is pretty simple – choose a gourmet dish off the menu and receive all the ingredients in a ready-to-cook state and spend the bare minimum time to put it together and claim your masterpiece!
Being the ‘app’y person I am, I quickly downloaded the iOS app, though you could choose to stick to the desktop site or use Android.
There are four categories on the menu: Salads-n-Smoothies, Quick Meals, Recipe Kits and Specials.
The app is pretty easy to use with the standard UI that one sees in most food ordering apps – category scroll on top, gorgeous images tapped for more details and a cart to put it all into. ChefKraft has one more lovely feature – the Weekly Planner – which we will come to a little later.
What I liked upfront was the clear split between vegetarian and non-vegetarian menu items.
One doesn’t have to see how the other half lives at all!
Now on to the categories… Salads-n-Smoothies, well that’s pretty obvious and these are ready-to-eat salads that look so delicious, accompanied by such an enticing write-up that I was so tempted to order multiple salads! Better sense prevailed and I opted for a Citrus Splash Refresher smoothie of oranges and carrots. Though I could see that it would perhaps be a single portion glass bottle, a indication of the volume would be a good-to-have.
Now for the true gourmet dishes… there were two ways to do this. Either order a Quick Meal, which means the food is ready-to-eat, no further cooking required and you would need to spend just a few minutes heating it up and maybe adding a garnish or sauce.
Or, give yourself an option to say – ‘I made this!’ and not be lying through your pearly whites – by going for the Recipe Kits. This gives you the full cooking experience with the recipe kit description telling you the time required to cook, servings and complexity level. And the most important bit – what you need to already have at home. Thankfully this stays simple – usually just down to salt, few spoons oil, a pot or pan to cook in, etc.
I wanted to see how close I could get to the real thing using a recipe kit, so I ordered one portion of the Thai Green Curry with Jasmine Rice as a QuickMeal and one portion as a Recipe Kit. Also secretly I have been wanting to make this favourite dish of mine for a while now but have always been daunted by the ingredients required. I wouldn’t even know where to go for some of the items – kaffir lime leaves, galangal (?!). But if this went right then my friends would soon be treated to a home-made lunch featuring Thai cuisine!
Now the kids had already figured out I was ordering something for dinner so chants of ‘pizza, pizza’ rose in the background. I clicked on the recipe kit for Habanero Pizza and decided to give it a go.
Delivery cut-offs are clearly mentioned on the app and I was just in time (5 pm) for the 7 – 9 pm slot. There are three slots available daily – 12pm, 3pm and 7pm delivery. Though it was a Saturday evening in Bangalore, the delivery person arrived well in time around 8pm and bless his soul – not one call for directions! Simple Cash on Delivery option.
Each item was delivered in a sturdy cardboard box, well labelled and the ingredients were packed with an ice gel pack to keep things fresh.
I quickly got down to putting together the pizza and thai green curry and rice from the recipe kit. One serving of ready-to-eat thai green curry/rice was anyway already available.
The pizza was a breeze. Pre-heat your oven. Run through the recipe card. Step by step build the pizza. Pop it into the oven. There was a moment of doubt when the recipe card said to sprinkle a portion of the cheese on the sauce and I had two packets in front of me – mozzarella and cheddar. But no harm done as I went with the mozzarella. The ingredients were clearly of super high quality and quantity was also generous.
And it came out looking like this in 15 min. Yum!!
Next, to test my Thai cooking skills so to speak. The rice was washed and put into the pan to cook. The curry itself was just too easy to make. Frankly every ingredient is neatly labelled and staring you in the face. So you just have to go step by step and you are sure to have a winner. At the end I was left with a small packet of kaffir lime leaves, which was part of the ingredient list but with no mention in the recipe so I just tossed it in and let it add to the flavour. The rice and curry were done in about 20 min and dinner was served. Frankly I was feeling quite awesome while putting this together. Aroma of lemon grass and galangal wafting through the house as I gently tossed it in the pan – I could really do this and with so little effort.
Delicious if I do say so myself! And my family even thought that the “home-made” thai curry was tastier!
Much later I noticed this little but important line in the email order confirmation. Am definitely going to hand it over when I order next – We encourage you to return your empty Boxes, Ice Gel packs and/or plastic to our representative.
And coming back to the Weekly Planner, once you get addicted to being such an awesome cook, Chefkraft lets you plan your menu for a week and pre-book the boxes too.
While food delivery options are available in plenty, this model definitely has some huge pluses – you can see the quality of the ingredients, have the pleasure of putting together the meal yourself, explore cuisines that you would not otherwise attempt at home and enjoy the variety that there is on offer!
For those who need a quick meal or want to put something together but not from scratch, for that office potluck or sudden house-guest, this is indeed a great option. And priced such that you can keep checking the menu and planning for a few meals of the week through Chefkraft.
Go be a Masterchef tonight!
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