That’s such a loaded promise by the Metro Manila dinner delivery service called City Chef, given how the demands of city living tend to remove us from certain little (though necessary) pleasures such as proper home-cooked dinners.
So how do we define a proper dinner at home? Warm, tasty, comforting
—it’s the end of the day after all, and a delicious, piping-hot spread just might be the best closure. It’s preferably made from scratch, and tastes nothing like fast food and quick-fix instant fare.
But who actually has the time to labor in the kitchen when there’s much laboring to be done elsewhere—at work, on the road, while tending to the home, and spending what little free time is left with the loved ones?
Metro residents and professionals can instead have dinners by City Chef. Its website/brochure profile says it employs “home cook chefs” who whip up meals that change on a regular basis.
It’s a three-step process to avail of dinner delivery. First, submit your order online or by text message before Friday, for next week’s meals (minimum order of two dinners/days). Second, expect the riders to bring over the food to your office or home before 7 p.m. Third, eat heartily.
City Chef recently gave Super a taste of its food. (Disclosure: Super did not order online or by text, and it did not choose the meals either, and thus cannot comment on City Chef’s response rate or manner of order confirmation). Here’s a breakdown of our experience of the dinner delivery service.
Delivery time: For the two days of delivery service, meals arrived between 5-6 p.m., complying with the company’s promise of pre-dinnertime delivery.
Packaging: No rips, tears, and food spills on the brown paper bags. Rice and dishes are packed in separate labelled reusable medium-size rectangular containers.
Food: The first dinner meal consisted of steamed rice; Kimchi Pancake, kimchi on batter that’s fried à la pancake and, actually, a good introduction to kimchi as the heat is balanced with a mild sweetness; and Korean Beef, chunks of mostly lean beef swimming on a sweetish sauce with sesame seeds. The food doesn’t seem like standard home cooking—it’s better—which probably explains the company’s preference for the label “home cook chefs.” Actual chefs and kitchen experts prepare restaurant-grade meals.
The second dinner had steamed rice; Garlic Liempo, slabs of pork so garlicky and lip-smacking good you won’t spare even the meat’s fatty parts; and Ensalada, or mashed eggplant, chopped tomatoes, onions and red eggs whose flavors are rounded out by a light vinaigrette.
All dishes are temptingly aromatic, a (delicious) distraction from the job if it’s delivered to the workplace. The Super staff favorite, hands-down, would be the Kimchi Pancake; we ate it warm, then also at room temperature and both times it was addictively good.
Leftovers can be refrigerated and reheated for another day.
Portions versus price points: The two serving sizes are solo and family (good for 2-3). For solo, the day rate is P280; it’s P250/meal for a five-day package order. Family serving’s day rate is P490; it’s P450/meal for a five-day package order.
Super got family-size servings—suitable for a famished two, or good enough to share among three mildly hungry adults.
Considering food quality and variety, as well as the relief from kitchen duties, this here is dinner delivery service worth its price.