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Falafel green cabbage slaw salad with capsicum and coriander topped with delicious sauce
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Marley Spoon Review

Technology and food are combining seamlessly to get to our bellies that much faster. These technologies are delivering food to our door, reducing our need to go to the supermarkets and having our favourite foods ready to collect when we want. For those that are time poor and want to cook Marley Spoon gives back our time and teaches us to cook delicious food in our own kitchens.

Shopping, preparing food and cooking has always been for the real Chefs but Marley Spoon is changing how we buy and consume food on a daily basis.

Rather than buying the ingredients and preparing a shopping list. Marley Spoon gives options to choose meals from a seemingly never ending menu and recipes. They then deliver the ingredients to our door and provide carefully planned easy to follow recipe cards to ensure we have a great cooking (and tasting!) experience.

There is unrivalled choice in the meals and the added ability to pause and modify service when you get more time (more meals) or more busy (less meals delivered a week).

This isn’t a new concept, just new in Australia and Marley Spoon is entering a foray of existing suppliers like Hello Fresh, Pepper Leaf, Dinner Sorted amongst others. There are many reasons why to try. Internationally, businesses operating in the same space as Marley Spoon have completely changed the face of farming, with farmers and their growing cycles becoming influenced by the consumer demand for home cooking menus, rather than by the demands of supermarkets. New York based company Blue Apron is the most well known.

It isn’t just time poor individuals who benefit from this service. The health conscious, different dietary requirements, and those who are environmentally conscious also benefit since Marley Spoon focuses greatly on the reduction of food waste. Efforts to use recyclable packaging and sending only the required amounts of products per recipe is a big move towards reducing the 5 million tonnes of food wasted by Australian households each year.

Marley Spoon is available all across Australia and meals start from $9.95. You can order a variety of combinations between two to four meals and two to four people.

You pick the recipes you want to make from the weekly menu, and then bam, everything is delivered straight to your door, fresh and pre-portioned.

My Marley Spoon meal box arrived as planned between 1-9AM and went straight to my door. I did leave pretty detailed instructions and I’m glad the delivery person followed it to the T.

I received two meals, oregano chicken with pumpkin and sage mash. It came in a paper bag filled with all the exact ingredients I needed to cook.

It didn’t sound very fancy but sorry to spoil the story the chicken was tender as hell.

I didn't unpack this box until 11AM, and everything inside was still chilled.

Marley Spoon sent almost EVERYTHING. All I needed to have at home was a big-ass pot, salt, olive oil, flour, and pepper. Easy. And weirdly, it WAS easy.

I'm not a very experienced cook but I found it easy to follow the pictures and simple one sentence steps. THIS IS MY LEVEL.

The hardest thing was probably trying to figure out if I had the right ingredient or not since I don’t know the difference between spring onion and coriander! Each recipe bag comes with the exact right amount of food, so you save a tonne of time measuring and prepping — and you don't throw a bunch of it away.

I didn't even set anything on fire.

Because I had to photograph this recipe, my cooking time was much longer than it should have been. But I've made this same recipe since — I can give no higher compliment than that — and it took me 20 minutes flat. I rate this first Marley Spoon recipe five out of five: quick, easy, delicious, all with minimal cleaning up.

Not only was this tasty, it boosted my confidence. I can cook.

This second recipe had a lot more parts to it, and I am a fallible human and I took longer than expected though it turned out.... Well you’ll see.

This recipe required a bit more prep and things needed to be chopped, heated, drained and some other things. My kitchen quickly became disorganised.

For an experienced cook, this is probably not a problem — but for me, it took a little while. I still felt under control but some more elements than I anticipated. I was getting into deep water but I enjoyed the process.

Overall, Marley Spoon adventure was a bit of a life-changer. Being totally honest, going from Zero to Maximum Cooking was an adjustment.

I had to start planning my evenings around the food I was making; the dog was walked earlier, I had to come straight home from work — no socializing! — to start my prep.

But that's not a bad thing! It is BAD to stay at work until late at night, eat cereal for dinner, then fall asleep with a headache. I tell people all the time how important it is to feed yourself right; it's a crucial part of your health and self-care. And yet I don't do that for myself. Not only did Marley Spoon teach me some awesome new things to cook, it showed me that I was ACTUALLY CAPABLE in the kitchen.

This box has definitely given me a much better grasp of cooking, and all the things that come along with it. And in the end, that's just as damn good.

For those new I split up my review into these sections.

FOOD

Taste/Quality/Freshness

I enjoyed cooking the food. It was a great introduction to the world of meal kit meals and felt like it contained a good level of freshness.

Quantity

I have been told that I’ve got a fantastic metabolism. Each meal filled me up nicely but I was cooking a meal for two. That kind of made my meal to be $20 rather than the $10 prescribed. I finished the 4 meals for two in four dinners. If I had to gauge how hungry I would be with eating only a one person portion I would need to eat one bowl of rice to feel full (my comparable measure of quantity).

Ease of Use/Delivery

It was super easy. I ordered. It got delivered in a cardboard box. They even rang the doorbell. Fedex quality delivery. Came in individual ice insulated packages for each meal once you opened up the box. Ingredients all came through. It wasn’t at all tricky finding the ingredients since each meal was self-contained. The only ingredients I personally needed was salt, pepper and olive oil. What was nice was I would get an email in advance if I needed anything special that it wouldn’t be included in the delivery so I could get it beforehand.

COSTS

Time Costs

Yes, you need to cook it yourself. Yes, you get to learn and try new food that you wouldn’t get to. The differentiating factor for Marley Spoon was the overall good quality of the food, recipes and process. The best part was it’s customer service angle and in that it didn’t disappoint: SMS notifications of when the food is arriving, email reminders as to what to purchase or have in the kitchen, good customer interface on the Marley Spoon website. The meals were daytime television cooking show difficult (compared to Gordon Ramsay) and that made it super enjoyable.

It cooked within twenty five minutes :)

Delivery Pain

None. Like I mentioned their customer service was top notch. Order by Saturday (all orders are free delivery). Write down any instructions. Came Saturday morning. Delivery guy even rang the doorbell (no carding or left at the door). I would even say (dare I say it) the quality would rival DHL and they are the best of the best.

VERDICT

Marley Spoon is consistent. It sources good food. The cooking is straightforward and recipes are good. The quantity would suffice for a normal person without my large appetite. It was easy to order. Things just worked and I can tell customer service is their focus.

The author was provided two meals for two people complementary of Marley Spoon. All opinions are their own.