Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Urban Stove - Homecooked Restaurant Grade Meals in under 30 minutes

Since the start of the year, I started home cooking as part of my fitness quest. I realised that I needed to control my calories intake and what better way to so than to bring your own homecooked lunch to work. It ain't no fine-dining masterpiece but it serves its purpose and is actually delicious. And on top of that, I also get the satisfaction of knowing that I am capable of making my own meals.

However I am no Marta Stewart or a Masterchef in making. That's where Urban Stove comes in.

I was one of the few who volunteered and was selected to be a part of the trial stage for this new food endeavor, intrigued by the concept of it all. On their Facebook, it was stated that Urban Stove aims to help you cook healthy restaurant-grade dinners in just 30 minutes by providing fresh pre-portioned ingredients right to your doorstep.

Wait, what?

Unlike the many healthy lunch delivery services popping up around the Klang Valley, Urban Stove offers a twist to the food delivery market by sending you the recipe, clear instructions and already cut up, marinated, mashed and measured pre-portioned ingredients instead. Now, their recipes aren't the every run of the mill homecooked dishes like satay or laksa. No, they have been created by a restaurant chef and tried and tested by the Urban Stove team to ensure do-ability and taste.

The three recipes for the trial stage were created by Chef Steve Heng of Ecole P and they were delivered to my office in a tightly packed and wrapped box at a pre-selected time slot. Upon opening up the box, I found the ingredients all neatly and meticulously packed in separate plastic bags for each respective recipes with clear labeling to indicate what they were.

Recipes were printed with very clear instructions and beautiful pictures to help. It was all very exciting and a little intimidating as these were restaurant-grade dish. The first recipe I read was....Pan-fried Seabass with miso sweet mash in passionfruit broth. Say, what now?

How on earth was it possible to make this in 30 minutes?, I wondered as I stared helplessly at the ingredients.

As it turned out...it was entirely possible. One just needed to follow the instructions down to the tee and make sure they had the right cooking appliances and utensils at the ready. After just 30 minutes in the kitchen, I had served up two portions of pan-fried seabass with miso sweet mash in passionfruit broth and it was super delicious.

Over the next few days, I tried out the other two recipes; Buttermilk chicken with couscous and squid ink pasta with grilled vegetables. Compared to the seabass dish, these recipes were much easier and already equipped with a sense of accomplishment from the success of the first dish, I didn't feel overwhelmed or even intimidated of cooking outside my comfort zone.

Needless to say, both turned out looking as they were supposed to. I found the squid ink pasta to be lacking in flavour and texture but I made up for it by adding slices of fried fish in it. The buttermilk chicken was really yummy and the leftover bread crumbs were used by me to airfry another portion of chicken to go with my salad. Waste not I believe.

Urban Stove is very generous with the ingredients portioning and the couscous and pasta recipes could easily feed three adults rather than two. Ingredients were also delivered fresh as promised although the cherry tomatoes were a tad soft upon cutting them. But other than that, the perishables were no where near perishing and its freshness and quality was evident when preparing the meals. My only complain was that too many plastic bags were used to separate the ingredients and while it was a nice touch, I can't help but think of the long term effects on the Mother Nature.

Again, I was amazed by how easy the instructions were to follow and that these dishes could in fact be made in 30 minutes. By me, who cannot make any other dishes other than salad. At the end of day, that sense of accomplishment was well worth trying everything out.

Whether you are looking to spruce up your homecooking experiences or just prepare a meal for your and your loved one without having to resort to dining out each time, then this may be the service for you. To find out more or to order, go like their Facebook page Urban Stove and their website at http://urbanstove.com/

I had the:
1. Panfried seabass with miso sweet mash in passionfruit broth.
2. Buttermilk chicken with couscous
3. Squid ink pasta with grilled vegetables.

At time of writing, no fixed price has been set for a box of three recipes. Do check back constantly or go to their Facebook and website for updates.

No comments: