One Fine Meal – making takeaway sexy (note: no longer trading)

Please note: One Fine Meal has now stopped trading (update Nov 2015)

I love my food and my blogging, but the reality is, I still have a day job and it’s getting busier and busier. I haven’t been cooking as much as I used to, and there are days when even I am too exhausted to face the stovetop.

Enter One Fine Meal.

Takeaway has the preconception of being greasy, quick and cheap. One Fine Meal turns that on its head by making it healthy, quick and still relatively inexpensive. In their words, they would like to become the JustEat for chefs, catering for all tastes and raising the bar for quality food. You can read more about their concept and how they evolved from their initial concept, Eatro, here. It’s quite a story… I hope they each get their own bed soon!

As they’re still starting out, my first meal was on the house. Their customer service was absolutely stellar, probably the best I’ve ever experienced, as my every query was replied to nearly instantly via Twitter or email. I opted for a tuna carpaccio starter (chef: Daniel Watson) and a lemon herb griddled salmon with samphire and basmati rice to follow (chef: Andrew Rantell). That’s right: I got home at 7pm and shortly afterwards, someone rang my doorbell and I had a two course meal. Ah, life.

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The idea of making takeaway more sexy is an interesting one. Many people crave takeaway for the very reason I despise it, namely the generic flavours and guilty feeling afterwards. And I’ll admit, there have been times when all I wanted was an oily fried rice I could smother in sriracha. But One Fine Meal is an alternative option for those of us who don’t want to forgo taste and are willing to pay just that little bit more. But really, the cost is negligible.

My starter was divine: the tuna was slightly seared and after I drizzled the mirin soy sauce over it, I felt like I was in a Michelin establishment. The salmon had instructions for re-heating, and after taking it out of the oven, the inside was still slightly pink: just the way I like it. I had never had samphire before and it blended perfectly with the rice and lemony salmon. It lacked a bit of salt, but then again, I like my food well salted! Also, when do you ever discover new ingredients in takeout? Their menu changes regularly and it’s so nice to see what’s on offer every week, rather than defaulting to your standard pizza.

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The nicest thing about One Fine Meal was the thoughtfulness behind it. It came with a handwritten postcard from Daniel, one of the founders, and the chefs signed my boxes. The branding is thoughtful without being overthought and my order arrived just a few minutes after it was due. My commute today was delayed by over 30 minutes, and coming home to this was wonderful. If you’d like to support just one startup, I would urge you to try out a meal from these entrepreneurs.

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The postcard they sent… It went straight on our kitchen wall.

Meals typically cost around £4-6 for starters and £8-12 for mains, with a £2 delivery cost.

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