Jun 10, 2016
Burgundy Box, a DIY meal kit delivery service, aims to cut down the time you spend in the kitchen by sending measured ingredients of a dish along with a recipe card to cook it. The brand was conceptualised, in part, based on international services like Blue Apron and Plated. However, what makes Burgundy Box stand out is that the ingredients sent in the DIY kit are semi-cooked and the vegetables are chopped to precision.
“We felt that in India, for the concept to find a place, convenience had to have a very high mark up. This includes the time involved in cooking the dish, ease of preparation and dealing with high quality of mise en place. So, in homes we normally don’t get that level of finishing for instance evenly chopped vegetables, exact taste of gravies due to even marginal variations in flavours. The stepped-up meal kit ensures that the dish tastes great consistently,” says Shabnam Mehra, co-founder and Marketing Head of Burgundy Box.
The service is co-founded by Chef Ajay Chopra (of MasterChef India fame), who puts his expertise into picking the recipes, sourcing fresh ingredients, measuring and giving a step-by-step guide to ensure the final product is drool-worthy.
On weekdays, when prepping for dinner from scratch seems like a Herculean task, we tried Burgundy Box’s DIY meal kits. On two separate days, we ordered two of their latest additions to the menu – Burmese Khao Suey and Smoked Paprika Hummus with Shish Taouk.
The meal kits can be ordered on their website. The menu is fairly vast with snacks like chaat shots; main course that varies from spinach and mushroom stuffed chicken to sandwiches and chicken curry with paratha; and dessert. The dishes have descriptions and all the ingredients are listed down with pictures of how the final product looks like.
The ordering process was simple and hassle free; they have multiple delivery slots so you can pick your date and time. We added our choice of meal to the cart and chose the online payment method, which went through smoothly. They have an option of cash-on-delivery too.
We had placed both our orders on a weekday since we wanted some quick-fix dinner after a hectic day at work. Our first delivery was in Andheri (East) on a Tuesday in the 4-7 pm slot. We got a call from our delivery person before he left with our meal kit and didn’t have any trouble finding the address; the box was delivered between 4.30-5 pm. The second time we ordered the meal box in Bandra (West) and picked the delivery slot of 4-7 pm, but got a call from the Burgundy Box office around 2 pm to check if the box can be delivered an hour earlier. The delivery was on time, but the delivery person had a little trouble locating the address. However, full marks to the communication and co-ordination.
The food comes in a cardboard box and all the ingredients are labelled and packed separately in plastic boxes and zip lock bags. The labels of diced chicken and Khao Suey paste in the Khao Suey box got interchanged, which stirred a bit of confusion.
Ease of Cooking
The meal kit comes with a recipe card, which has a list of ingredients along with step-by-step instructions to cook the dish.
The Khao Suey had a semi-cooked paste for the curry and the noodles were pre-boiled so the dish just required frying the masala and adding coconut milk to make the curry. The Shish Taouk had marinated pieces of chicken, which had to be skewered and pan fried. The hummus was already cooked and just needed a final touch of garnish. It’s a breeze to cook the dishes even if you’re not a pro in the kitchen. The cooking and serving took us about 20 mins, which includes taking pictures for this review.
The portions of both the dishes sufficed two moderately hungry people. However, the Khao Suey would’ve been better if we had some more noodles. The diced chicken for the curry too was measly and were almost lost in the dish. The Shish Taouk had four pita breads, a medium-sized bowl of hummus, a small portion of olives and sun-dried tomatoes and around 20 small pieces of marinated chicken.
The Khao Suey was a tad too spicy, which supressed any other flavour the curry had. Hummus in the second meal box was creamy, but lacked the robust flavour of chickpea or tahini. However, the bigger problem was that the Shish Taouk tasted of raw marinade even after cooking it as per the instructions on the recipe card.
Burgundy Box sends it food semi-cooked, so the noodles in our Khao Suey box were boiled and vegetables were sautéed. The chicken pieces in Shish Taouk were marinated, which means that you have to cook it on the same day you order. We consumed the Shish Taouk on the same day, but decided to refrigerate Khao Suey for a day. Unfortunately by then the sautéed vegetables had started smelling and the spring onions had gone rancid.
Burgundy Box seems like a decent option for those days when you want to cook something exotic, but don’t have time to shop for the ingredients or for the preparation. However, the ingredients delivered are not as fresh as they are promised to be. The Khao Suey paste was pre-made and chicken for Shish Taouk pre-marinated, which didn’t give us much control over the taste.
Rs. 400 for Khao Suey, Rs. 450 for Smoked Paprika Hummus with Shish Taouk.
This review was conducted anonymously and the author paid for her own meal.
Photos: Shirin Mehrotra
The author is a freelance food and travel writer and shares her stories on Foodchants. She is on a perpetual quest to learn about the history of regional food.