In a bid to satiate hungry professionals, two new online start-ups, Instakhaana and 3sqrmeals, have started delivering wholesome meals to a few business hubs in the city. Are they worth your time on a busy workday? Krutika Behrawala tested their fare to create this report card
How it works: Logging on to this one-month-old portal was smooth — we filled in our name, contact details and the address, chose the dishes and placed the order. However, once we placed the order, we expected a confirmation email or call, but received neither.
Ragout with Greens and flavoured Brown Rice was the highlight of the meal. Pics/Datta Kumbhar
Our order: The variety of cuisines on offer — from North Indian to Italian, Malaysian, and even Thai — is impressive. The gourmet menu features salads, mains and desserts and throws up exciting options on a daily basis. But, when we placed the order at 1.30 pm (the delivery time is 12 pm to 3 pm), most of the items were sold out. So, we settled for a Chicken Spaghetti Bolognese with Garlic Bread and Chef’s Special Salad (Rs 170) and Chocolate Cookie Mousse (Rs 80).
Chicken Spaghetti Bolognese with Garlic Bread and Chef’s Special Salad
Delivery: The portal promises delivery within 20 minutes and the food arrived bang on time. We liked that they went out of the way to deliver at our workplace in Parel, slightly far from their usual delivery routes — Lower Parel, BKC and Mahalaxmi. Thankfully, there was no spillage due to the sturdy container boxes. The cute cloth delivery bag, and the salt and pepper sachets added a nice touch.
Chocolate Cookie Mousse
What we liked: The Chicken Spaghetti Bolognese with Garlic Bread and Chef’s Special Salad was satiating. The spaghetti was cooked to perfection and blended well with the chicken Bolognese. The gravy, a bit greasy, was flavoursome. Chef’s Special Salad was just coleslaw with veggies and the garlic bread could have done with more crunch. Not-too-sweet, thankfully, the eggless Chocolate Cookie Mousse, with Oreo crumbs, was the perfect end to the meal.
What we didn’t like: Most items on the menu were sold out within an hour of the delivery period. We hope that they increase the quantity of the fare, so we can try some of their other interesting cuisines.
Log on to: www.instakhaana.com
Delivery areas: Lower Parel, BKC, Mahalaxmi
How it works: Unlike what the name suggests, 3sqrmeals currently only delivers lunch in the Lower Parel, Worli and BKC area. With a different menu daily, we could browse through their week’s worth of dishes, as the portal offers weekly subscription plans for patrons too. We liked! A disclaimer: order before 9 am for delivery on the same day.
Stir Fry Chicken Spinach Noodles
Our order: Touted as wholesome meals
for busy folks, the portal offers healthy options in gourmet meals; soups, sandwiches and salads, in vegetarian and non-vegetarian options. We chose five dishes — Chickpeas and Beet Salad (Rs 180), Whole Wheat Salad Sandwich with Broccoli Soup (Rs 180), Ragout with Greens and flavoured Brown Rice (Rs 180), Brown Lentil Risotto (Rs 180) and Stir Fry Chicken Spinach Noodles (Rs 200).
The whole wheat sandwich with broccoli soup
Delivery: If you’re ordering from a place beyond the mentioned areas, check with the service providers if they deliver, just as we did. We were told that delivery is possible, but by 2 pm, post all the deliveries in the nearby areas. Fair enough. Our grouse: heavy spillage made opening the containers cumbersome. Another letdown: no cutlery.
What we liked: Filling portions, interesting flavours and a handful of sprouts tossed in lime, a banana (one for each dish!) as well as flaxseeds were served complementary. The vegetarian Ragout — a slow-cooked thick coconut stew spiced with herbs and veggies — blended with the pimiento-flavoured brown rice and was the highlight. The non-greasy noodles, with the right amounts of spinach, shredded chicken and sprouts, tasted good, and didn’t need the sweet-and-sour sauce, provided separately. The broccoli and peas soup was pure comfort food. Despite the lettuce overkill in the salad, we liked its olive, lime and herb dressing.
What we didn’t like: The whole-wheat panini sandwich with apple-yoghurt slaw was dry. The Brown Lentil Risotto with quinoa and cabbage porial, somehow didn’t manage to blend in. Plus, the dish was oily and high on salt. We’d prefer if each dish had a calorie count, considering 3sqrmeals is all about healthy food.
Log On To: www.3sqrmeals.com
Delivery areas: Lower Parel, BKC, Worli.
Instakhaana and 3sqrmeals didn’t know it was us.
The guide reviews anonymously and pays for its meals
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