Food & Restaurant Reviews

Fresh Start with Nadia Lim – Review

Fresh Start with Nadia Lim

Fresh Start with Nadia Lim. The newest kid on the block from My Food Bag. We’ve had it for one week – here’s my review of Fresh Start, which, for the record, we paid for (this is not an advert of any form of sponsored post). However, before I forget, if you’d like to give a My Food Bag, err, bag a go, go to the bottom of this post: I have a referral code for you to use – we’ll both get $10 off our next order! 😊

First,  I’m going to assume, for the benefit of keeping this post as brief as possible (noting I always have too much to say) that you are all over the My Food Bag concept. If you are, in fact, not ‘all over that’ – read this blog post from a while back where I reviewed My Food Bag (long story short: I super complimentary things!).

My Food Bag’s newest bag, Fresh Start with Nadia Lim, is essentially, same, same but slightly different to other My Food Bags.  Fresh Start is the option for those wanting to get ‘healthy’ and/or drop some pies.  All meals are 450 calories or less per serve. Meals come with lean protein, a shit tonne of veges, and the meals are lower in gluten and dairy to boot. Check out  My Food Bag’s website for all the deets on Fresh Start here. 

Whilst I’ve been wittering on in recent times about the astronomical cost of groceries in NZ, potentially leading you all to believe we are poorer than church mice, we signed up for Fresh Start for the pricely sum of $200 for 20 meals. Why? I’m quite porky at the moment. Uncomfortably so.  Why I am porky is, to be honest, bloody boring and predictable. I’m not going there. I am, frankly, I’m sick of reading blogs/Facebook posts about curvy birds like me who have seen the light and have dropped 20kgs and are now a size 10 and lifting their own body weight at the gym. I AM NOT GOING THERE.  This is Not That Blog.  I am not aspiring to get crazy fit, nor be a size 10 (though I am joining a new gym opening up down the road)… Yes: I’m happy with fitting back, comfortably into my smaller size 14 jeans. I like my curves, albeit some of them are more like rolls at the moment.  Anyhoo, we thought give Fresh Start a nudge. There we go, rationale, done. #simple.

My Food Bag, as I’ve bleated on about before, is a winner in my view: It’s one less thing to think about in a week. No meal planning, no McDaddy grocery shop, just a quick trip to the supermarket to get breakfast stuff. Yes, I know, it’s not a huge task, but it’s one less thing to think about. If you are reading this and have a husband who takes care of all the groceries and cooking and you don’t have to think about it: Good on you. I’m envious. I’m not in that situation and frankly, I get sick of all the organising and planning that goes with running a family. I am not a naturally organised creature, I have to put a lot of effort into it and I find it exhausting. If I lived the single life I’d be the kind of person who would ponder all day what I felt like for dinner. I would pop into the supermarket every night on the way home: Sod that planning malarkey, I’d revert to type! So, scene set, the Number One reason I love My Food Bag is that they cater to my gourmet taste, whilst eliminating all that thought about meal planning and organisation. It helps my ENTP* Personality Type out, tremendously (using the Myers Briggs Framework, but I digress).

What does Fresh Start cost?

With Fresh Start, there’s two options, as shown below.

Fresh Start with Nadia Lim

I signed up for the Lite 20 option, so we had meals for two adults for dinner, with leftovers each for lunch the next day. Hubby had no say in the matter: He does as he is told when it comes to meals. If he took charge, he could make such decisions. He doesn’t.   We are, for the record a family of three, our 10 year old vege dodger has been eating separately from us (he’s cooking his own meals with my help, get ‘em in the kitchen early I reckon).

$200 per week, which sounds on the high side. However, this is just under what I spend a week on groceries anyway, so, being pragmatic, by the time I get breakfast stuff in: Our total weekly grocery cost is more or less the same. 

So, scene set, how have we found Week 1 of Fresh Start? Thanks for asking: Here’s a blow by blow.

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Delhi Hut Rotorua – Review

Delhi Hut Rotorua

We had date night last night. The Boy stayed over at a mate’s place, which, when you have an ‘only’ means you are home, alone, in one easy sweep. Boom, easy! We thought we’d treat ourselves and go out for dinner (we haven’t done that for months) and go out to a movie. However, the weather was foul, I’d been complaining I was cold all day and the offering at the movies was ‘bah’. “What about takeout from Delhi Hut, that newish veggie Indian place we keep hearing about?” Offered hubby.

Wait, he’s offering to eat vegetarian? And Indian? Two of my favourite ways to eat (but not his?). Done. “Oooh, can we eat in front of the TV and watch a movie?” I countered? Done. Sold. We are old, but happy. Off we went to Rotorua’s Delhi Hut. We got a park straight outside. Off to a good start. I did have gumboots and track pants on just in case we had to walk a long way in the crapola weather:  I’m an old school puddle jumper. I over dressed.

Delhi Hut Rotorua

As quick background, Delhi Hut keeps sneaking up in my Facebook feed. This is always a good sign.  My buddy Cam, our slightly mad, enthusiastic, food-loving vegetarian friend, has been raving about their kai, as have a few other foodie friends. Frankly, I’m ashamed this was our first visit, we should have pulled our fingers out ages ago.

Exec Summary:  The food is fantastic, the service top notch, and, you know what a lover of a good deal I am: We got all of this food for $32 and it’ll feed us again for dinner tonight! So that’s $8 per head for four people (if your maths is a bit pants). Wowser. Last time we got takeaways, it was a Chinese takeout feast (amazeballs, but it was $75 for four peeps: That’s almost dine in bloody prices – so long as everyone drinks water). (more…)

Hawke’s Bay Farmers Market – A Foodie Paradise

Hawkes Bay Farmers Market Our recent summer holiday saw us doing a huge roadie around parts of the North Island (i.e. Rotorua-Masterton-Wellington-Napier-Mahia-Cape Runaway-Rotorua-Napier-Rotorua. I lost track of how many kilometres we travelled. At last count it was over 2000km in 10 days. It’s been great from the perspective of the stunning scenery, tip top weather and catching up with friends, some of whom we haven’t seen in a long time. It’s ended up being a summer holiday I’ll remember for crayfish, gourmet salads, fantastic coffee, craft beer, lots of giggles and good books. I read for a large chunk of the roadie.  I am extremely grateful to be able to read in the car: No travel sickness has ever been experienced by this wanderluster!

Anyway, last weekend, on our last few days of holiday we ended up in my hometown of Napier and we boosted it to the Hawke’s Bay Farmers Market. Wow.  So wow in fact, I took a heap of photos on my trusty Samsung S7 to share with you. Out of all of the things we saw and did on holiday, this was one of the best experiences. And I’ve been to this market plenty of times.  (more…)

My Food Bag – Putting the mojo back in week night cooking

my food bag You’d have to be living under a rock if you haven’t heard of My Food Bag!  This is the brainchild of some savvy peeps who spotted a niche for delivering bags of delicious ingredients to your door, along with step by step nutritionally balanced and delicious recipes.  You can read all about it here. I’d better save some space: This is going be a long blog post!

My motivation for trying out My Food Bag was simple: a) They’ve finally started delivering to Rotorua and b) I’ve totally lost my mojo for weeknight cooking.  I just can’t get in the groove and we’ve fallen into the habit lately of having mince one night, chicken the next, salads for two nights, rice the next…  You get the drift. There’s nothing wrong with this, but what’s been troubling me is that I just can’t get inspired about week night cooking (weekend cooking, no problem!).  I own a crap-load of recipe books, hell, I am (ordinarily) a walking recipe book, but I just can’t think of what to cook. So I hoped My Food Bag would get me out of a spectacular cooking rut.

What bag did we order?

There’s five different bag options to suit fussy young kids, or hungry teenagers. I went for ‘My Gourmet Bag’ which feeds two adults four meals for a week.  The price was $142 (inc delivery). I decide against the My Family Food Bag option, which would also have fed our nine year old: He’s a fussy eater and I was just too nervous he’d turn his nose up. Besides, I liked the sound of eating gourmet with my hubby for four nights! Yet, to feed the boy, this meant I had to get organised and prepare some food in advance, I’m trying to cut down on cooking two separate meals! So I knocked up a Lazy Lasagna and this went down a treat most nights!

How did we find My Food Bag? Here’s a narration of our experience!

Day Zero (Sunday)

Our delivery was scheduled for Sunday afternoon between 3.00pm and 5.00pm. At 3.17pm a Courier Post van pulled up with a driver kitted out in a My Food Bag polo shirt. He cheerfully brought a box and bag of My Food Bag goodies to my door and greeted me with “Hello, you must be a new customer?  Enjoy! See you next week!”  The driver wasn’t even out of our driveway when my phone beeped with a text from My Food Bag saying “enjoy the goodness, if you have any questions, give us a ring”. It was like a Domino’s pizza delivery, only more thrilling.  As someone who has trained in customer service and sales for a living, I was thinking that My Food Bag is nailing their customer service and PR so far.

my food bag
Our goodness arrived!

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Eating like a king – In Palmerston North (NZ)

Barista – This was a Monday night!

A few weeks ago a colleague and I went on a work trip to Palmerston North.  I have to fess up: Apart from the opportunity to catch-up with lovely colleagues and partake in some mall-based shopping, a visit to Palmy doesn’t usually make my heart soar with excitement.  John Cleese was much less diplomatic when he visited in 2005. He said ‘If you ever do want to kill yourself, but lack the courage, I think a visit to Palmerston North will do the trick.’ Ouch. Incidentally, Palmy North town got their own revenge by naming a rubbish dump after him.

Well, after our visit my foodie colleague and I reckon John got it wrong.  He can’t have gone out for dinner. Nope, he must have eaten in his hotel room and ordered tough steak and soggy chips from room service.  By contrast, we were blown away by the eateries we experienced in Palmerston North. Actually we are trying to engineer another few days in the good ‘old Manawatu to sample more splendid tucker. (more…)