Without generalising too much, nor aiming to insult too many people, the average Hongkonger I know is lazy. With so many restaurants within walking distance of pretty much anywhere, why would you not go out for dinner most nights? Or, if you do fancy a cosy night on the sofa, almost every restaurant will deliver, so 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/order in, right? Born out of three friends’ desire to encourage better eating habits in Hong Kong, Something Fresh 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 will deliver you the ingredients washed, weighed and chopped, ready to make simple, delicious and healthy recipes in minutes. Something Fresh’s recipes are all vegetarian, vegan and many are gluten-free. If you’re a carnivore like me then 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 not one, not two, but four Something Fresh recipes on multiple evenings; when the fourth meal was over I was devastated and very nearly went online to book another Something Fresh delivery.
The first meal I made was probably my favourite of the four: Mexican Flautas with Roasted Tomato Chipotle Salsa. Imagine 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 chilli basil tofu with straw mushrooms, curried quinoa with roasted cauliflower and peas, and chickpea pancakes with avocado cilantro salsa. 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 not to be able to follow.
I am by no means a master chef, yet I have been cooking since a young age and love experimenting in the kitchen, or following complicated recipe books to create something truly delicious. Admittedly, for me, having everything pre-chopped and ready to go does take a little bit of the excitement out of cooking. At the same time, I am ashamed to admit that sadly, in Hong Kong, the process of cooking often feels more like a chore than a pleasure, so at times like these, to have someone do the hard work for me every so often and yet still be able to create something that makes my taste buds dance in contentment is certainly a bit of a blessing; Something Fresh offers a refreshing reminder that cooking needn’t be seen as a chore.
I believe it is due to the team at Something Fresh being of Indian descent, that each dish I tried featured chilli somewhere in the 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 recipe to suit their tolerance level.
At the moment Something Fresh only offers main courses, yet I have heard that there are plans in store 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. 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!