Are gourmet meal boxes Bangkok’s next big culinary trend?

Kitchen Chef-Kits

Kitchen Chef-Kits may be just what Bangkok foodies have been waiting for: an instant gourmet meal in the comfort and safety of your home.

There is no doubt that consumer dining habits are drastically changing, due in no small part to the effects of the novel COVID-19 outbreak, and more people than ever are looking for alternatives to traditional restaurants or take-aways. Kitchen Chef-Kits by Kitchen Commerce may the perfect solution. Based in Chiang Mai, the gourmet meal box delivery service was conceived by the same team of people behind David’s Kitchen, an award-winning fine dining restaurant that was recognized by the Michelin guide in 2019.

The food is gourmet, it is quick and easy to prepare and supports local farms. The kitchen is led by Executive Chef John Jasins, who personally develops each recipe with farm-fresh local produce that is organic as much as possible. “Our kits are produced daily and delivered overnight to Bangkok chilled, but never frozen. This ensures that they arrive in your kitchen as fresh as possible," he shared.

As a bonafide foodie and prolific amateur home chef, I must admit that there are a lot of things that appeal to me about this concept. I was excited to get the opportunity to try this for myself and give an honest opinion. Fundamentally, the way it works is by ordering boxes of food that have all the ingredients pre-measured and portioned so that you only have to cook one or two items before plating and enjoying a gourmet meal.

Placing an order online, you have the option to have meal boxes delivered within one hour, or “pre-order" and have them delivered in four days. The pre-order section had 14 meal kits to choose from including salads, appetizers, soups, main dishes, and desserts, as well as several vegetarian and vegan options. I was a bit disappointed that there was only western cuisine, with no Thai dishes, but I like the variety of what was available.

I selected the Creamy Pumpkin Soup, the Herbed Red Quinoa & Beetroot Salad, and the Paprika Roasted Chicken. The food arrived promptly and I immediately appreciated the eco-friendly packaging and easy to follow directions. The pumpkin soup was actually large enough to make it into two portions, and I ended up just heating it in the microwave instead of using a saucepan. It was well seasoned without being too heavy on the cream, and I thought the sweet pear, oil, and crunchy seasoned croutons added a nice contrast of textures and flavours while the fresh herbs brightened everything up. It was truly delightful.

Next was beetroot and quinoa salad which was absolutely scrumptious. I thought each element was thoughtful and perfectly balanced, as the pickled onions and fresh herbs added a nice bite, and the sweetness of the orange slice served to enhance the earthiness of the beets. The feta was a creamy addition while the pistachio nuts added a nice crunch. It was a satisfying dish that I would eagerly order again. Also, just as the last one, it was big enough to be shared by two.

The final dish was the paprika chicken and again my expectations where exceeded. The chicken is pre-seasoned and sous vided ahead of time so all that I had to do was give it a quick sear in a pan. It was a succulent and juicy chicken breast accompanied by a tasty Pumpkin & Purple Potato Salad with whole pumpkin seeds for crunch and sunflower shoots added for texture and freshness. The Whole Grain Mustard sauce was a unifying force that tied all the elements together on the plate.

Overall, Kitchen Chef-Kits fully delivers on their promise of healthy delicious food you can easily cook at home in a few minutes. The recipes are impressive, the ingredients were fresh and they made it easy to have everything you need for gourmet plating of the dishes. While more experienced home chefs may be disappointed that you don’t get to do much actual cooking as everything is pre-measured and portioned, those with very little cooking prowess and Bangkok urbanites confined to a condo with little more than a microwave and a two-burner kitchen cooktop, will find the concept ideal. Suffice it to say, gourmet meal boxes may be Bangkok’s next big food trend.



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Published 20th July 2020