If you live in a bustling neighborhood like Koramangala where restaurants are a dime a dozen, stepping out to grab a quick bite is a no brainer. Say you live in Benson town, or maybe the boondocks Whitefield, your choices drop by a third. Ordering in is always an option, but who wants Sharmaji’s Palak Panner, Tandoori Roti and Chicken Tikka every day? FreshMenu seems to have birthed itself to cater to the needs of those who like to change things up a bit, on a fairly limited lunch budget. The concept is simple – quality ingredients, gourmet global cuisine, value for money pricing on a daily rotating menu, prepared fresh by trained chefs. Was it too good to be true? We put it to the test on a lazy Saturday afternoon.
The FreshMenu website and App are designed to have you drooling at first sight. The daily menu is styled and shot by some really good photographers and is bound to have your digestive juices flowing. Unfortunately, it also raises expectations sky high. On most days, the sixteen or so menu items will have a spread across salads, appetizers, sandwiches, burgers, main course and desserts. When you scrutinize the menu, you’ll see that they make a dedicated effort to cater 50-50 to the vegetarians. I found the price range of INR 150 – INR 300 quite competitive as well. A Corn and Spinach Ravioli in Tomato Sauce for INR 200 – bring it on!
It was easier to place an order on their website than their app, which has some niggles. I hope they work this out, because the interface for the app is much cooler and obviously more convenient. The delivery was 4 mins earlier than the allotted time, which makes us hungry souls quite grateful.
The packaging was clean and modern. Each box had the name of the dish printed on top including the red/ green sticker to indicate whether it was veg or non-veg. It also had a small note that stated “This food is freshly prepared for immediate consumption. Contains no added MSG, preservatives, flavours or artificial colours” Always a plus in my books!
So coming to the actual food. The Salad of the day was a Pasta Salad with Roast Chicken. A generous dose of sun dried tomatoes added the required tang to the creamy dressing that enveloped the lettuce, baby tomatoes, olives and roast chicken. It was also clear that it was just tossed before it made its way to my house – the salad leaves were still crunchy. Excellent value for money at INR 150.
Appetizer that noon was Cauliflower, Baby Corn and Scallions. Unfortunately this was just a fancy name for our omnipresent Gobi Manchurian. This one was pale yellow because there was no food colouring used in the preparation. It tasted just fine, but maybe I will pass this one on my next order.
I grabbed the Corn and Spinach Ravioli in Tomato Sauce. A very good portion for one person – six large ravioli pockets stuffed with corn and spinach. The half moon shaped pasta sleeves were generously coated with a rich tomato sauce that had walnuts as well. The pasta was served with a green salad and a soft dinner roll. All in all a very tasty and substantial meal.
The Lamb Stew with Chickpea Rice was eagerly attacked, but the accompanying portion of stew felt miserly. The other two compartments of the box were filled with what seemed like the gravy. It was hard to find more than four chickpeas in the Rice, so essentially the name was a misnomer. The entrée was served with a pasta and radish salad which was a saving grace. At INR 300, this was the only dish that fell short of expectations.
Luckily they had a fabulous dessert called Summer in a Jar to redeem it all! A fun trifle made with multiple layers of cake, cream and jam rounded off with a gloriously yellow mango mousse. Just delicious and so old school – we loved it. A bit pricey at INR 300, but the portion was large enough for 2 people, so we’re not complaining.
The allure of getting something different every day, accompanied by the fact that everything is freshly made and delivered in 45 mins, makes FreshMenu very appealing to an average office goer or the lazy homebody. They currently have calorie counts mentioned for their salads, they could easily extend that to the rest of their dishes as well. If they manage to stick to this price point and keep delivering quality and tasty meals on time, I don’t see why they won’t do well.
Lunch: 12pm – 3pm, Dinner: 7pm – 10.30pm, All day Menu: 12pm – 10.30pm
They currently serve in Koramangala, Richmond Town, MG Road, Frazer Town, Cox Town, Ulsoor, Indiranagar, Hennur, Kamanahalli, Whitefield, Marathahalli, Bellandur, Sarjapur Road, HSR Layout, Jayanagar, JP Nagar and surrounding areas.
Cost: INR 100 – INR 300 AI.