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Connoisseur Chronicles

Alex

Food blogger based in Cambridge, UK. Passionate about trying out recipes from all over the world, tasting drinks of all sorts and dining out in England and beyond. Read More

Dishpatch: From Tapas to Thai Feasts

Meal kit providers have been springing up like mushrooms over the past few months and trying as many as possible has become a proper hobby of mine. Dishpatch offers a stunning variety of restaurant kits, representing the international food scene of London and beyond, while highlighting sustainable packaging and no-fuss preparation.

Dishpatch Jose Pizarro Tapas Ingredients
 

How it works

On the Dishpatch website, you can easily search the list of available restaurants, filtering by cuisine, delivery date, serving size and price. At the time of writing, there were more than 30 kits to choose from. They range from British classics to Asian or Mediterranean sharing meals, from world-famous institutions like St John to exciting new eateries like Bubala, from two-person-options to feast-like group dinners, with prices starting from as little as £18 for two. The boxes are delivered UK-wide on Fridays and can be prepared over the weekend. Ingredients come insulated and are labelled with numbers matching the steps on the easy-to-follow instruction sheet that is a nicely designed menu itself. With regards to the smooth and quick preparation, the sustainable packaging, and the recycling advice, Dishpatch boxes are the most thoughtfully designed meal kits I have ever received.

 

How it tastes

I found it rather difficult to choose one particular kit, as there are so many different restaurants on offer that are still on my list to try. I went for the Spanish Tapas from José Pizarro in the end. Fully satisfied but eager to try more, I ordered the Golae Chicken Thai Feast from som saa, another London-based restaurant, a few weeks later.

 

Spanish Tapas by José Pizarro

Tapas are a wonderful serving style to highlight great produce and focus on key ingredients. The starter selection from José Pizarro showcases true Spanish classics from different regions of Spain, that are described as a “mixture of influences” by José himself: Valencian Almonds to nibble on while preparing the rest, appetising Padrón Peppers with sea salt, a moreish traditional Tortilla, aromatic and umami-filled Mushroom croquettes, and Cinco Jotas hand-carved acorn-fed 100% Ibérico Ham with Picos. If I had to pick a favourite, it must be the Pan con Tomate, that shines, in all its simplicity, thanks to aromatic tomato puree and crispy, garlic-rubbed bread.

Dishpatch Jose Pizarro Tapas

Now to the main, Andalusian-style Pork Ribs with Roasted Red Peppers and Trinxat. I don’t lie when saying that these are the best pork ribs I’ve had in the UK so far. Unsurprisingly, as they are prepared as José’s Mum makes them, marinated in white wine, dried oregano, lemon, garlic, and olive oil. Additionally, they have been pre-cooked sous-vide to keep them extra-tender. Finished off in the oven, they have a wonderful barbecue aroma on top. Trinxat, a traditional Catalonian dish made from potatoes, cabbage, and garlic, as well as the roasted peppers are the perfect side to go with the ribs.

Dishpatch Jose Pizarro Tapas Pork Ribs Trinxat

To end the journey through Spain, a Basque Cheesecake with Lavender Honey is served as a dessert – simply delicious! The beautiful terracotta pot is part of the kit, which is nice if you ever want to have a go on this dish yourself – a proper challenge if you want to beat the original.

 

Golae Chicken by som saa

The Thai feast from som saa makes me experience a trip to Thailand once again, bringing back all the fresh and spicy flavours to the dining table – maybe holding back on the heat I experienced at the Bangkok streetfood stalls a little bit. Again, there are wonderfully addictive nuts to start with, Cashew nuts with chilli and lime leaf in this case.

Dishpatch som saa Thai Feast

The Green Papaya Salad is bursting with flavour of fish sauce, lime, chilli, and peanuts – the quintessence of aromas associated with Thai food.

Dishpatch som saa Thai Feast Green Papaya Salad

Giving this meal kit its name, the Golae Chicken thighs, a specialty from the south of Thailand, are the star of the show: they are served in a banana leaf, marinated in a coconut curry barbecue sauce, topped with crispy shallots, and accompanied by a fresh Cucumber ‘Ajaad’ Relish. Tender Soy-braised Beef Cheeks with Pickled Mustard Greens and a Fermented Chilli Sauce are the second meat dish. You can nicely spoon both of them up with a big portion of Jasmine Rice. Thanks to the precise instructions, I finally know how to cook it properly.

Dishpatch som saa Thai Feast Golae Chicken Braised Beef Cheeks

No wine today, but an exciting Sticky Rice-scented Oolong Tea, that really tastes like, you guess rightly, sticky rice. Never had something similar before! The Thai Coconut Sweets had hint of salt and had quite an unusual taste and texture to them but are a good finish nevertheless… or because of that?

Dishpatch som saa Thai Feast Oolong Tea Coconut Sweets

 

Conclusion

Dishpatch offer the best overall experience that I have received from a meal kit provider so far, especially if you do not fancy a lot of cooking yourself. All the prep work is done by the restaurants and the meals can be finished in a matter of minutes. Dishpatch is a new channel for restaurants to offer customers a great dining experience at home. Considering the high-quality food and smooth process from order to finish, the concept seems future proof to me!

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