Hello My Imaginary Friends,
I had grand plans on making this a series where I tried a bunch of meal kits and gave you my honest review of each. I even had a grading system and everything planned out.
Then I tried one and decided I didn’t have the time, energy, or will to do more than one.
I was not paid to do this review and will not include any links. I am an experienced home cook who’s been cooking for over twenty years and have a very well stocked kitchen.
Chef’s Plate Meal Kit Review
I got a massive discount on trying this and decided to give it 2 boxes. So far I’ve only done 1 box which was 2 separate meals.
The box was outside in the heat for more time than I’d like but none of the ingredients suffered.
The portions for both the Thai Fried Rice and the BBQ Salmon were impressive. It’s equivalent to what you’d get in a restaurant. We made the mistake of ordering the 4 person portion and the kids did not eat enough to make it worth it.
Level of Complexity
This isn’t for your absolute beginner. The instructions are simple, but the tools and timing needed are harder to master. Not to mention that nothing is defined.
If you get this and you don’t have a well stocked kitchen, you’ll be running out to get tools or pans.
I’d also say that they use way too many pans. The Thai Fried Rice had 4 pans in the instructions. I used my rice cooker for the rice and 1 pan for the rest. Same thing for the BBQ salmon. It needed 3 pans and the BBQ.
One piece of equipment that they do not mention in the instructions that I found invaluable was a good pair of scissors. EVERYTHING is packaged in these tiny little bags that are practically impenetrable. Wasteful and annoying.
Finally my biggest complaint was that it wasn’t formatted like a recipe. I would have been fine with it if there had been more detail, but this is not something you give or use if you don’t already know how to cook.
My entire family has some interesting allergies and I was downright angry that all the ingredients were not published in the kit. I took the chance on me and my wife since they rarely add chocolate to a spice mix, but I couldn’t have served this to my in-laws. I also skipped the Mediterranean spices in case it would affect my wife.
I repeat; none of the spice mixes or sauces had ingredient lists.
I was not impressed with the quality of the produce, but the meat was nice. The overall product wasn’t bad and I’d say it was a decent quality meal.
The packaging was a pain from start to finish though.
This should be the most important category. When it comes to cooking for kids, it isn’t always, unfortunately.
Either way, the Fried rice and the Salmon were good in the sense that I didn’t hate them. My daughter gave the Fried rice a thumbs up but didn’t finish her plate and refused leftovers the next day.
My son loved the roasted red peppers and zucchini, but that was literally all he’d eat. My wife seemed moderately pleased which is not her default for my cooking.
I would have been better off going to pick up Thai Express or just cooking myself.
I was hoping this would work out to be a fun activity. I had an image of sitting around the laptop deciding on the meals and everyone getting excited. Big NOPE there. Choosing the meals was exactly like meal planning. No one agreed or no one cared.
I was also hoping to get an Ikea Effect from the meal. I did not. I was mostly annoyed and swearing at the instructions for making more dishes to clean then needed.
I did like the colour and that the meals looked like their pictures.
This wasn’t a terrible experience, but it wasn’t a lot of fun. I don’t find it saved much time and at full price with shipping it will cost more than a quick restaurant.
I wanted this to not need to stress about meal planning and prep. Unfortunately, it didn’t help and added an extra frustration in the prep. This is great for those who can’t prep or shop for themselves, but not my thing.
Final Score: 55/100
The experience told me that what I need is to find better delivery options that are local. This wasn’t for me and no one was all that happy about it.
What I’ll remember most (other than those annoying bags) is my almost two year old saying, “Couscous” over and over again.
Stay Safe and be kind,