Lifestyle: From takeaway to makeaway
From prepping picnic baskets in sterilised environs to DIY meal boxes, we’re in for a safer, but delectable eating experience right now.
With no choice left but to cook at home, we all started the pandemic year by cooking elaborate meals. We whisked not just Dalgona coffee but also baked sourdough bread. Come 2021, we’re exhausted.
We don’t wish to have a lukewarm takeaway and at times, are still, not confident enough to be brunching. Fret not, for it seems like the food gods aka chefs, restaurateurs, food suppliers, etc. are here to rescue us from not just all the stress of cooking a meal, but also in some cases, doing the groceries for us, and also ensuring there are no dirty dishes in the sink. For, in the city, takeaway has given way to makeaway. For the uninitiated, makeaway meals/meal kits are essentially DIY cooking boxes or better still, warm-up in the microwave ready-to-eat choices and picnic baskets. The best bit about each of the choices on offer is that the recipes are from the popular chef and the dishes too boast stamps from the best restaurants. And whilst pre-pandemic most chefs/restaurants would have mocked the idea of packing up a meal for you with ingredients and disclosing recipes, they too are supportive of the trend.
The team at Asma, a Middle-Eastern inspired restaurant in Downtown Dubai has kept the interests of the customers’ forefront with the concept: Asma at home.
“It was curated to enhance the culinary experience for patrons from the comfort of their surroundings. With every dish passionately prepared, we deem convenience, culture and creativity to be the most significant ingredient when cooking up the Asma at home platters,” said Nahla Al Walli, founder, Asma. And if you’re in the mood for some cooking, but don’t wish to go looking for ingredients or scour the internet for recipes to match, then too you will be spoilt for choices – from starters to mains, and desserts to even beverages, there are DIY meal kits available for it all. And yes, everyone is covered, including vegans. “Veganism is more than a food trend; it is a stream of consciousness. 2021 felt like just the right time to launch the recipe kit boxes,” said Rinky Pamnani, a lifestyle guru.
Keen to step out for a picnic, but worried about the risk? That too is taken care of by picnic baskets. “Previously at PikNik our guests would hand-pick the contents but we’re now preparing the baskets in a sterilised environment. It’s important that our guests don’t feel the impact of this change, so we are filling them up with treats and providing them with a green space to enjoy an afternoon in a socially distanced manner,” shares Jay Williams, chef, Westin Dubai Mina Seyahi Complex Director of Culinary.
Friday brunches are cancelled, Saturday picnics are on: Westin’s PikNik basket is prepacked by the culinary team in a controlled sanitised environment, it is filled with goodies like sandwiches, cheese selection, charcuterie meats, cold mezze, salads, warm savoury bites and sweet pastries. For: Dh250/ two adults and two kids; 04-5117373; every Saturday, 12pm-4pm
Home platters in reusable, recyclable glass boxes for the eco-conscious: Asma at home platters offer Middle Eastern flavours steeped in tradition. The Middle Eastern inspired restaurant’s offerings include 20 Arab fusion dishes like Dolma, Falafel, Shawarma, Hummus, and Arayes. All of this comes packaged in reusable crockery. The glass boxes can be reheated, reused and recycled. For: Dh49-220 onwards; Deliveroo or 04-394 0646; daily from 10am to 1am
Vegans in the house: Just launched are lifestyle guru Rinky Pamnani’s Deliveroo Recipe Kits, filled with the freshest ingredients and a recipe card with instructions. Vegan choices for now cover breakfast meals like an oatmeal to a pasta bolognese. For: Dh98-221; Deliveroo
DIY meal boxes: The team at Kibsons’ has ensured that they’ve taken complete charge of the chores, for the boxes not only include carefully measured ingredients, a recipe card with details on cooking time, serving size, etc. but also has you covered with choices of baking apple-blueberry muffins to juicing beet and apple, and even quinoa burgers, if you please. For: Dh10-200; kibsons.com
Tacos in a box: Lotsa! Tacos, a delivery-only concept, boasts a range of items including Burritos, Quesadillas, light Fajita platters, etc. The tacos are likely to stand out from the crowd with their unique melting pot of cultures present in each taco: Tangy Tandoori Chicken, Birria Brisket Dipper, Korean Taco, Salmon Poke Taco, etc. For: Dh15 - 67; Deliveroo, Zomato, Talabat and Careem