Without generalising too much or aiming to insult too many people (!), many of us Hongkongers can be pretty lazy. With so many restaurants within walking distance, why would you not want to go out for dinner most nights? And if you do fancy a cosy night on the sofa, since almost every restaurant delivers, why not order in? Unless you’re cooking for two or more people, supermarket shopping is painfully expensive (oh, how I miss Sainsbury’s!), so surely it’s easier and cheaper to eat out or order in, right? Something Fresh, born out of three friends’ desire to encourage better eating habits in Hong Kong, has emerged with the hope of changing this mentality!
Something Fresh’s founder, Shawn, believes that “a fresh and healthy meal is something that people deserve every day, not just once in a while when time permits.” Therefore, similar to the tried, tested and of course much-loved Secret Ingredient, Something Fresh delivers ingredients that have been pre-washed, weighed and chopped, ready to make simple, delicious and healthy recipes in minutes. The twist is that Something Fresh’s recipes are all vegetarian and vegan, with many gluten-free too. If you’re a carnivore like me, don’t be put off by this; I don’t know how they do it, but the team behind Something Fresh manages to make vegetarian food exciting as well as super tasty!
I had the pleasure of trying out four Something Fresh recipes on multiple evenings. The first meal I made was probably my favourite of the four – Mexican flautas with roasted tomato chipotle salsa, featuring crumbly feta, ripe avocado, crunchy sunflower seeds and crisp red pepper wrapped in a gently pan-fried tortilla. The whole process from when I received the delivery to when I devoured my ‘flautas’ took no more than 10 minutes and was effortlessly simple. Served alongside a satisfyingly fiery chipotle salsa, this was the perfect Sunday night dinner.
Other dishes I tried included their chilli basil tofu with straw mushrooms, curried quinoa with roasted cauliflower and peas (shown at the very top of this article), and chickpea pancakes with avocado cilantro salsa (shown above). Each dish was designed to impress even the most vegetable-fearing individual, and each took a maximum of 20 minutes to cook and serve.
Even if you’re a complete novice in the kitchen, the recipe card will guide you through each step. Ingredients are individually packaged and marked with a letter that corresponds to each step in the recipe, making it impossible to mess up! Owing to the Indian background of the Something Fresh team, each dish I tried featured some kind of chilli in its recipe. For me, the dishes carried the perfect level of heat, yet those who can’t handle their spice may need to slightly adapt the recipes to suit their tolerance level.
I am by no means a master chef, yet I love both experimenting in the kitchen and following complicated recipe books to create something truly delicious. For me, having everything pre-chopped and ready-to-go does take a little bit of the excitement out of cooking but at the same time, I’ll admit that sadly, the process of cooking in Hong Kong often feels more like a chore than a pleasure. At times like these, to have someone do the hard work for me but still create something that makes my taste buds dance in contentment is certainly a bit of a blessing, and Something Fresh offers a refreshing reminder that cooking needn’t be seen as a chore.
Something Fresh currently only offers main courses, yet I have heard that there are plans to create starters as well as desserts. Recipes change on the website every two weeks, with a choice of six delicious meals to choose from, and prices range from $150-$185 for two people.
So there’s no need to wander the supermarket aisles for hours wondering what to have for dinner; just go online, select your dish and delivery time, and you’ll have a tasty, healthy dish to impress your dinner guest in no time!
Something Fresh meals cost $150-185 for two people, plus a $20 delivery charge for HK Island and a $25 delivery charge for Kowloon. Get more details on delivery times and areas here.
Check out more from Ale on her fab blog, The Dim Sum Diaries!