I was approached by the lady who has set up the Little Kitchen CF3 , a Cardiff based home cooked meal delivery service, with a view to a “comp’d three course meal in return for an honest review“. I politely declined as that is not really the basis on which I operate the blog. To me it is tricky to be impartial or to give a idea of value when something costs me nothing. I would feel guilty slating something I didn’t like it, if I hadn’t had to pay for it.
Also I find the “#invite #gift, disclosure requirements for blogs (not that I think I influence anyone through the blog, it still applies to the deadbeat likes of me) makes freebies for the most part more hassle than they are worth. As a result, it is generally less of a faff to just decline on the (albeit rare) occasions I get offered a freebie.
However never say never and in the words of the great Groucho Marx:
“Those are my principles, and if you don’t like them… well, I have others“,
so if anyone wants me to do a food and drink tour of the Basque Country or Kerala (ideally with business class flights) for two or three weeks at their expense in return for a blog post then I will happily #invite etc. away!!!
Anyhow I digress and I did say I would take a look at the website and on doing so found the offering rather interesting, with some nice sounding dishes.
What really piqued my interest (being an inherent tightwad) were the prices, £12 for 2 course and £15.00 for 3 (delivered to your door). I thought someone else cooking for me on a Saturday (I usually take on cooking duties at the weekend and in any event Mrs. SF was away) would be rather nice and those prices certainly appealed. An order was, therefore, duly put in for the 3 course offering at £15.
There is a different menu each week, with the menu for the week in question as follows:
Decent selection I thought, with something to suit most people’s tastes.
This week’s menu looks even better to my mind.
Delivery is to the door in a rather natty brown paper bag.
and payment is usually taken in advance by way of a bank transfer (as a luddite I paid cash).
When unpacked it all looked a very fair size portion wise,with very simple instructions (all at the same temperature) to heat up (I did find it took longer than the stated time – possibly due to my inability to work our oven).
I chose the stuffed pepper to start followed by the chicken and bacon pie (not a pie, but…), with green beans.Some may say (J did) a somewhat conservative choice at first sight as against the garlic king prawn bruchetta, crispy hoisin duck breast skewers and the stilton stuffed chicken breast also that the menu that week, but I reasoned that the seemingly simple stuff is where a kitchen’s true skill is on display.
The stuffed pepper was a case in point. We can all in theory do this at home, but can we get that balance of flavour?
What I got from the Little Kitchen CF3 was an absolute delight. The saltiness of the goats cheese was balanced by the sweetness of the cherry tomatoes and the pepper and the slight earthy bitterness of the black olives, with the pesto bringing herby freshness as a brucie bonus.
Lovely combination of flavours that had the right balance of ying and yang.
My only regret on finishing this was the absence of another one to stuff my face with.
Moving on to the pie (wasn’t one, as to me it is merely a casserole with a pastry lid, but no matter if it tastes nice), this was a fine looking beast (big enough for two I would say or one piggie like me)
It had a good puff pastry lid (nice flake to it) and the creamy, very generous, filling was nicely seasoned with a good flavour to it.
Lots of chunks of tender chicken and lardons of bacon in their (can’t abide a meat pie which is all sauce and minimal meat).Leeks, herbs and a rich creamy sauce made for an excellent filling for this pie (not a pie). Very satistying, hearty, flavour packed fare.
The green beans were nice enough (not much you can say other than they were nice and fresh, with the requisite squeakiness when bitten into), but I think a blob of a herb butter on the top would be a nice additional touch.
On to the dessert, this came with a pleasing gingerbread crumb and chunks of tart rhubarb.
This topped a decent panna cotta/set custard (just a tiny touch grainy if I was being ultra and I mean ultra picky).
This was very nice, but would perhaps have benefited from a bigger hit of vanilla.
On the booze front a white wine, with a decent amount of weight to it would be my choice for this sort of food.
A decent chardonnay, such this gorgeous Welsh number from Ancre Hill, which I reviewed a while back and which you can get from Viader Vintners,
would work a treat I think.
I actually paired the starter and main with a Hungarian dry Tojaki (a third of the price of the chardonay, but the latter is worth every penny).
Nice drop this, with stone fruit, citrus and a touch of warming spice (ginger) – I am a big fan of the furmint grape in all its guises). Local wine merchants (always repositories of interesting wines and knowledge about them) Munbles Fine Wine and the Bottleshop also stock dry tokaji wine (well they did last time I looked).
I was very impressed with the Little Kitchen CF3 offering, which I thought (at £15 for 3 courses) was excellent value for money.
Add to the nice price, the decent portion sizes and nice flavours and you have a winning offering to my mind.
Would I order again? Absolutely.
Whilst restaurants are back open, although the direction of travel no longer seems anything like as positive as it did when I started writing this post, it is always worth bearing in mind these “delivery to the door, ready to cook” eat in options and this one provides a very compelling half way house between cooking from scratch and eating out.
Way better than the Supermarket meal deal offerings and with the added advantage of not having to go out to pick it up.
Whilst Grady Atkins (with his Chez Vous offering) is still the king of the eat at home offering in Cardiff to my mind, this is an excellent offering at a really compelling price point.
Tel: +44 7894 066084
Order on line at following website:
Order by 4pm on Thursday each week for Friday/ Saturday delivery.