When Maura sung the praises of how amazing Secret Ingredient was, I was intrigued… but sceptical. I once managed to explode a bowl of rice during a Food lesson. The height of my culinary achievement is scraping soup out of a tin. Surely I was past saving?!
Luckily, just as I was contemplating eating congee for the fifth night in a row, Secret Ingredient came calling. They have a special new meal of Organic OBE Rib-Eye Steak with SI Spicy Sauce running from 18-30 June – would I be willing to give it a go?
Other have said it, but I will just reiterate it for any non-believers out there – Secret Ingredient meals could not be any easier. Everything arrives pre-measured, pre-chopped, pre-mixed, pre-seasoned, pre-whatever else you can think of. All the ingredients arrive in little pots or packages labelled with letters, which then correspond with a fool-proof recipe card; for those of us that scream frustratingly ‘Just what is a pinch?!’, it’s all easy to understand and cooking jargon free.
The OBE Rib-Eye Steak meal requires very little cooking either. There’s an amazing roasted-pepper cherry tomato salad that basically requires you to just dump things in a bowl. The lemon green beans merely need boiling. The steak itself only has to be fried for around ten minutes. And, unlike going to a restaurant, I could do all this in my pyjamas – awesome!
From kitchen to plate in around 15 minutes, my boyfriend and I settled down to eat… and were immediate converts to the Secret Ingredient cause. The meal was excellent – restaurant-quality food but in the comfort of your own home. The Secret Ingredient boys only use the best freshest produce – locally sourced veggies and premium imported meats, including this OBE Organic Australian steak, where the cows are exclusively grass-fed and free from all kinds of chemical nasties. It really shows in the taste, which was a world away from the weirdly textured MSG-ed up but oddly bland beef that is rife in HK. This steak was succulent, juicy, tender and rich in fantastic hearty steak flavour, and wonderfully seasoned to boot.
The SI spicy tomato sauce was the perfect accompaniment and my boyfriend and I absolutely lapped it up. I really struggle to make sauces from scratch and this was way better than anything I have either managed of my own accord or poured out of a jar! The roasted-pepper salad was also delightful; the boyf isn’t too hot on his veggies but thanks to another wonderful dressing, this tasted divine and its light tangy flavours nicely balanced the richness of the steak. We weren’t all too bothered with the green beans and felt there was too much of them, but we don’t much like green beans at the best of times (so my auntie enjoyed a lovely green bean salad the next day!).
It can take a little bit of trial and error to work out how your cooking temperatures and personal tastes tally with suggestions by Secret Ingredient; I could have done with cooking the beans longer so they were softer, whilst our gas cooker is a bit of an all guns blazing affair, meaning the steak only needed around half the suggested cooking time.
Having since ordered a few more Secret Ingredient meals, this OBE Organic Rib-Eye is still my personal favourite – and, if you’re yet to give SI a go, it’s a really fantastic one to start with, as it requires so little cooking, preparation or equipment (even by Secret Ingredient standards). There’s genuinely no way I could ever fathom how to do that spicy sauce on my own whilst $300 for two steaks of such high quality, never mind all the extras, is really a great deal.
SASSY SPECIAL: We’ve even managed to snag a special Sassy Deal for you all! All our readers can get 20% off the OBE Organic Rib-Eye recipe from June 18-30 – simply quote the code “Secret Sassy” at checkout!
No need to queue or make reservations. No need to wait for dozens of people to get served before you and no need to traipse onto the MTR in the midst of a food coma. What with service charge and transport, it’s probably even cheaper than many restaurants and tastes just as good, if not better. Secret Ingredient will even recommend and deliver the wine, if you so desire. Girls… I’ve tried hard to find the catch, but there really isn’t one (well, unless you live in Kowloon or the New Territories, because they don’t deliver there; sorry!).
If even the girl who blew up a bowl of rice can be saved, you can too!
The Secret Ingredient OBE Organic Rib-Eye Recipe costs $300 and will be available from 18-30 June, 2012. Quote “Secret Sassy” at checkout to get a 20% discount – so only $240… bargain!