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REVIEW Dear Chef dine at home experience

By Molly Scott – 4th December 2020
Dear Chef dine at home box
What I loved about Dear Chef:

Literally a gastronomic delight, fine dining night in a box! Date night made super easy but still added some much needed pizzazz to the weekend.

 

Worth paying a babysitter?

Oh the days of a babysitter… Since that’s not an option in lockdown 2/Tier 3 (lockdown by any other name!), this is a perfect. Get the kids to bed and then tuck in!

 

Expect:

A restaurant quality experience in the comfort and safety of your own home. You collect your (cold) pre-ordered Dear Chef box from The Cricket Inn in Totley from 4pm on the Friday afternoon. It contains literally *everything* you need for a decadent three course foodie experience at home. Including thoughtful touches like a delicious bread course and handmade truffles.

We ate ours on the Saturday and everything was still beautifully fresh. I was pleased to see minimal plastic packaging. Everything was either reusable or recyclable. Everything was clearly labelled with numbers, so the bread course was numbers 1, 2 and 3 etc with a sheet telling me exactly what to do when. It honestly couldn’t have been easier!

 

Value for money: (8 out of 10)

It’s admittedly not a budget option at £30 a head (with a minimum of two), but definitely worth it for a special treat under the current circumstances when we can’t eat out. It’s essentially a restaurant quality meal five course meal (if you count the bread and truffle) that you are plating up yourself.

I am no stranger to a takeaway, but with that we’ve definitely relaxed a little too much. The Dear Chef experience felt entirely different. For the first time in months I actually dressed up at home. I did my make up and quelle surprise, it felt good! I laid the table properly. And it was great! I looked forward to it in a way I haven’t looked forward to anything in weeks.

The Menu

We started with a small loaf of focaccia, warmed through in the oven, served with whipped goats cheese and black olive tapenade. This really was a highlight of the meal of me. Such a good combination of flavours and textures.

The starter was a delicious salmon, lemon and dill fishcake served with a perfectly softly poached egg and pea and mint purée. I really enjoyed this – I have fish cakes a lot at home but the combination of the runny yolk and fragrant purée elevated this dish to something rather sublime.

For me, the bourguignon really sums up the quality of the Dear Chef experience. I was genuinely expecting a tray of (delicious) casserole to reheat in the oven. Instead we were treated to perfect portions of one neat, large (as in the size of a very small steak) cube of slow cooked beef cheek in a rich sauce with plenty of bacon and mushrooms. Served with spring onion and chive mashed potatoes and roasted heritage chantenay carrots. It was supposed to be topped with crispy shallots but despite the crystal clear instructions I managed to forget these. We’ll blame the wine! Just for clarity – all the food pics are from the Dear Chef website because although our candle light was romantic – it didn’t make for the best photos! However, if you’d like to see my efforts, check out my Instagram post.

Dessert was one of my all time favourites. I’ve eaten enough sticky toffee puddings to recognise a good one and this was an exceptional dish. Served with sticky toffee pudding with muscovado toffee sauce and clotted cream. By then we were pleasantly stuffed – but there’s always room for a chocolate, especially when it’s a Thornbridge Cocoa Wonderland truffle.

Overall, it’s an inspired concept that was perfectly executed. I would definitely do this again and in terms of an experience I think it’s worth the money as a treat. (£30 per head, or £25pp with a Brew Kitchen card). In the absence of eating out, this provided some much needed pizzazz to our weekend. Perfect during lockdown or if you can’t get a babysitter. It’d also be brilliant for anyone who lacks confidence in the kitchen as it was honestly so easy to do, but I felt quite accomplished bringing out each course.

Check out their socials for the weekly menu. There’s also a Christmas Day Dear Chef option, to pre-order and collect on Christmas Eve. And honestly, what gift could be better than restaurant quality food at home without the faff and hours slaving over a hot stove – and minimal washing up?!

 

For more information visit their website

Enjoy!

 

Molly x

REVIEW:

This is a Girl About review. I was invited by the management to dine free of charge in exchange for an honest and frank review. All my opinions are my own and in no way have they been swayed by their kind invite. Girl About reviews are always 100% honest. We only publish reviews that, for the most part, are positive.

Molly Scott Derbyshire
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