Tempus tests this gourmet delivery brand to find out if we can truly achieve fine dining at home
One Fine Dine is delivering gourmet meals inspired by our favourite restaurants to make at home
Although the impact of COVID-19 has seen the nation under lockdown to protect those most vulnerable, many of us are still craving those once-taken for granted fine dining experiences. But with our usual favourites temporarily unavailable, where is there to turn? Enter One Fine Dine, an at-home delivery service that promises to help us recreate our favourite Michelin-worthy meals with a splash of fun thrown in. Naturally, we had to test it out.
Having spent more than a decade bringing high quality, luxury dining experiences to the private jet market, One Fine Dine’s founders saw the opportunity to switch their focus to bringing these gourmet experiences to our homes. They source the finest quality ingredients, which are then prepared by their team of professional chefs, and deliver the components of the meal straight to our doors. All we have to do is follow the instructions on how to plate our luxurious meal, either from the cards provided or their simple instructional videos.
After browsing their online menu, I opted for the luxurious set menu – which offers two or three courses. With many enticing options to choose from, and without a waiter hurrying me along, I spent a long time pondering my choices. However, this was no bad thing, as it allowed time to examine exactly what I would be getting – as well as the difficulty level of creating the meals – as I perused their videos. This certainly made my choices a lot easier, as I soon decided my aim was to pick some visually spectacular dishes to wow my partner.
After selecting my meal, the team was on hand to offer recommendations from their fantastic selection of wines. The selection is designed to tempt even the most discerning wine buff and staff are on hand to answer any questions but, for those who are more used to leaving your choice to the sommelier, you can also leave it to the experts to select your bottle. >>
While the benefits of home delivery are obvious in times such as these, there’s always the worry of late delivery or damaged produce. No such fear here, as the meal came neatly packaged with adequate padding and cold packs to keep even the most tender of stems safe and full of flavour. Each of the components was contained in small boxes and clearly separated into my three courses. And to fully ease my conscience about the sustainability of the packaging, I was pleased to find One Fine Dine’s welcome note, which assured me that the majority of their containers were in fact compostable, and even the scarce plastic elements were fully recyclable.
When the time came to putting the meal together, I had my laptop by my side and followed their instructional videos. With a few extra tips than the provided meal cards, I would definitely recommend the videos; particularly when it came to helping me refine the look of my dishes and arming me with some extra knowledge about how the ingredients were prepared in the kitchen before delivery – all valuable tools in my arsenal of creating a Michelin-star experience at home.
I found this part of the process so much fun and, happily, far less time consuming than I had imagined. In next to no time I had two rather spectacular-looking dishes ready to serve. To start, my Scottish Balik Smoked Salmon with caviar and crème fraiche looked like a delicate piece of art. While we savoured this starter, our main was happily cooking in the kitchen. And savour it we did. The components of the salmon dish, while each shining on their own, complimented each other beautifully with a delicate balance being struck between all of the tastes and textures present on the plate. The subtle smokiness of the salmon was perfectly matched by the smoothness of the crème fraiche and the watercress panna cotta, while the sharpness of the compressed apple and small dots of bergamot gel scattered about the plate cut through preventing the dish from becoming too rich. >>
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Our next course was a divine Langley Chase Rack of Lamb with with ratte potatoes and mint jus, delicately cooked and falling off the bone, this was a well-portioned and delicious compliment to the meal. To finish, a Citrus tart and fresh raspberries rounded off the filling experience.
The food itself was everything I had hoped for and more, it really did taste as if it had just come out of the kitchen of a Michelin-starred restaurant; a real testament to the team of chefs that One Fine Dine has brought together – and the excellent instructions that allowed a photo-worthy finish by the Chef de Fini: me.
All in all, this is a fantastic experience that I would recommend to anyone who is looking to impress their guests, or provide themselves a gourmet treat. The service is impeccable, friendly and accommodating throughout, ensuring the entire experience aptly mirrors the best aspects of fine dining at a gourmet restaurant.