I’ve seen quite a few reviews of Hello Fresh recently where bloggers have been sent a box to try out. I saw these reviews on a few blogs I love (like Frithas!) , and thought that it was a good idea, but a little too expensive at £39 for three meals for two people to try out if it wasn’t any good. When I saw the Amazon Deals offer for £15, I thought it was worth a try.
For those who don’t know, Hello Fresh is a meal delivery service where they send you the ingredients for a meal to make. It’s an awesome idea. You get to try new recipes that you might not have done before, and you don’t end up with massive amounts of an ingredient you only needed a teaspoon of. I ordered the box to arrive the night before Alex came home after three weeks – I knew that we probably wouldn’t have the chance to go out to the shops to restock the cupboards, and I didn’t fancy trying to carry all the shopping home on the bus.
In my box, there were three recipes – one that I’ve made so many times before (sausage and mash), one that was a bit different, but was still nice and simple (pork chops) and one that although I’d eat it in a restaurant, I wouldn’t think to make at home (chicken yakitori)
I received the box on Thursday evening, and unpacked it. First up – the creme fraiche for the pork chops side was badly packaged, so had leaked all over everything. Annoying, but that could be the fault of the courier. Unpacked more…only to find that the potatoes for the sausage and mash were missing. Not cool. I ended up going shopping before work on the Friday to make sure that I could get home quickly, which was annoying as I hadn’t planned for that.
So, the meals. First up: sausage and mash. I make this at least once a week, but I don’t normally make my own gravy, and the mashed potatoes were done a different way to mine. (All I ever add to my mash is a big dollop of Philadelphia. It’s OK, I use the extra light, it’s not as fatty as it sounds. (It’s a little fatty))
It certainly has more ingredients than I was used to, but I wasn’t put off. I followed the recipe exactly, with a minor alteration – there seemed to be too much milk, so I only used half.
Green gravy and sloppy mash? Seriously unappealing. Not a recipe I’d use again – 4/10.
Next were the pork chops. As so many of you know, I love pork, but it’s not something I cook at home very often.
It’s a terrible iPhone photo, but this was probably our favourite meal. The crushed potatoes with lemon would be a good side dish for a BBQ, the pork chops were juicy (and I learnt a new way of cooking them) and the sage butter made me glad I have planted some sage in my herb garden! 8/10
Finally, the chicken yakitori. This was the meal I was a little afraid of because I’ve never made anything like this before from scratch.
The marinated chicken was pretty good – I may make this again for a BBQ. The noodles and the chilli dressing weren’t bad either, but the crispy onions were just a mess. I probably would have added a bit more veg to this as well. 6/10.
If I were to judge this on the box alone (ignoring damaged and missing items), it wasn’t bad, but probably not worth the money every week. It’s something I might do as a one off, perhaps.
What really dragged down my opinion of this service was the customer service. Firstly – perhaps it was me being stupid (it probably was), but I didn’t see until I had clicked to complete my order where the voucher code was supposed to go. Thankfully, there was a live chat help box available, so I spoke to someone on there and they fixed it for me.
When I received the box with the broken and missing things, I tweeted my disappointment, and made a note to myself to email them in the morning. They tweeted back before I had chance to email on Friday morning asking for my name (which is on my Twitter profile, but OK) and promised that someone would call me that afternoon to sort it out. 7pm, I had an support ticket email asking me to describe the problem. At this point, I’m starting to get a little frustrated, but I provide the same information as previously tweeted and wait. And wait. And wait a bit more.
I had a response on Monday which was basically “Oh well. We can give you a discount next time”. Bear in mind that this is fresh food. Is it really suitable that it took 4 days for any sort of resolution? I don’t think so. I called Monday lunchtime to cancel the subscription, and after 5 minutes of “Well, we’re usually pretty quick to respond to problems” (yeah, that’s helpful to tell me) and “Our product is amazing, are you sure”, I was finally able to cancel.
I wish I could recommend this because I really love the concept of Hello Fresh, but I just can’t. Save your money and eat out instead.