So, last week a big brown box of fancy deliciousness was delivered to my door.
Bonapeti is, basically, a really fancy takeaway. Instead of coming home from a long day at work and falling face-first into a greasy pizza, you can fall face-first into a delicious plate of “good, fresh, nutritious food”. Or that’s the idea, anyway.
The brains behind Bonapeti have worked at places such as Nopi, Terre a Terre and The Fat Duck. The aim is to create “wholesome, plant-based food” that doesn’t contain all of the salt, sugar, preservatives and other nasties you’d get in an M&S ready meal.
They’re launching in London in January 2015, and I was invited to review a preview box. It arrives in a big brown box with a big orange sticker on it. The food inside is all put into neat little pots with labels on, so you know exactly what you’re getting. There’s also lots of padding so that you’re not going to end up scraping bits of courgette off the side of the box – everything feels fairly stable.
I actually ended up with four courses and a little snack pot of beetroot crisps. I munched on these (They were delicious, and I want more) as I sorted everything into courses.
You get a little recipe card with each course. This has cooking instructions (which are as complicated as “Put the thing on the other thing”), a description of what you’re about to eat, and nutritional information.
I started with Marinated roasted beetroot salad with Puy lentils, yogurt, dill and pistachios.
With this, I just served it in the pot it came in. The little brown pots are pretty enough that you don’t need to decant them onto a plate.
As for the salad itself, it was fine. I’m not the biggest fan of beetroot in the world unfortunately, but it tasted fresh and clean. The lentil and mint vinaigrette was absolutely gorgeous, and the burst of orange zest was a refreshing citrusy twist.
So, main course. Marinated courgettes, dried tomatoes and walnuts with parsley pesto and a salad of broccoli, calabrese, orange and pine nuts.
Despite initial confusion over whether to heat this up or not (Answer: No. Bonapeti caters for those on a raw diet, too) this was also impressive. It had taken a bit of a beating getting it onto the plate, mainly because I dropped the container on the floor (oops), but it was a fairly intense plate of food. The courgettes are marinated in lemon zest, so as with the starter and the orange on the salad you get a lovely citrus favour cutting through the oil and vegetables.
The pine nuts weren’t as crunchy as I’d like them to be, possibly because they’d had time to soak up moisture from the other ingredients which were very wet, but otherwise this was impressive. I particularly liked the parsley pesto.
Right, next course. This was my first of two desserts. Chilli marinated roasted pineapple, toasted coconut, mango and papaya salad.
Chilli pineapple is insanely good. Can’t believe I’ve never had it before. You start with a super, almost caramelised pineapple and then the heat slowly builds at the back of your mouth. Then the sweet coconut on the top and the mango cuts through, and you get that lovely contrast in textures too. Big fan of this one.
Finally, semolina and honey cake with quinces. There was a lemon yogurt to serve with this, too, and extra quinces to pile on top.
This was probably my favourite of the courses. Cake can often get dry and horrible, but this was moist and delicious. I imagine that’s the benefit of using the quinces with it. And the portion was generous – I’d only eaten half of everything because I was sharing it with Garry, but I was stuffed.
I think Bonapeti is a really interesting concept. A healthy takeaway is a great idea, people don’t always have the time to cook, but if we have the option of something healthy like this to go for instead of a greasy curry or sweet and sour chicken balls, we’ll all be better off.
What’s most exciting is the talent behind the company. I’ll be very interested to see where this goes.
If you’d like to learn more about Bonapeti, go to their website.
Do you think you’ll check them out when they launch properly?
Love, Amy xxx