As a complete and utter foodie haven, it should come as no surprise that around every corner of Melbourne you can find delicious and nutritious food. Be it at a quirky food truck, eatery or market stand. But in this 21st century world, where we finish late from work, have post work errands and the gym to attend, there’s less and less time time to spend at home preparing good meals.
But just when you thought Uber Eats was the only option, the city gives you more. Of late, Melbourne’s ready-made, gourmet meals have really hit the ground running and are giving people a healthy alternative: healthy, fresh and tasty gourmet meals. Delivered.
5 of Melbourne’s ready-made, delivered meals services
Prices: Very reasonable, averaging around $10 for a 400g dinner for one.
Favourites: Moroccan Chicken Tagine, Slow-Cooked Mediterranean Beef and all of their delicious salads.
They have a chef making all meals offsite and the food is really tasty. Packed with fresh ingredients, whole grains and vegetables, they offer a healthy alternative to home-cooked food. I have only eaten from their fresh selection (obtained at their South Yarra shop) although have read that their delivered meals are frozen (for freshness apparently; they also have a large frozen selection in their shop.) Suitable lunch and dinner options, snacks and fresh juices.
Prices: Under $10 per meal.
Favourites: Satay tenders with green chilli risoni, Homestyle chicken rissoles with red pesto veg and the Choc protein mousse.
Youfoodz is my second fave for its value for money and nutrition factor. Their food selection is varied and they have a new dish on every week. Some meals are more of a hit than others (which perhaps look better online) and I’d recommend pan frying them rather than using a microwave. Breakfast, lunch, dinner, dessert, juices and snack options are on offer. As well as ordering online, I’ve seen some meals at local stores, for example IGA in South Yarra.
Prices: Between $12 and $20 per meal.
Favourites: Smoked fish cakes with tartare sauce, Chicken hotpot with harissa and chickpeas, Linguine with chicken, confit garlic tomato & spinach.
It’s a shame their second store in Toorak has closed down recently, although they still have their flagship open in Brighton. They have food delivered daily to their deli or fresh, packaged food to keep for a few days. Their store is also full of gorgeous produce, baked goods and delicious tit-bits for the sweet tooth. They are a little on the pricy side so probably won’t be a daily solution but it’s a nice treat every now and again.
Prices: $8.74-$9.99 per recipe.
Okay so maybe this option involves an ounce of cooking, but they do all of the thinking and shopping for you! Deliveries come complete with all of the fresh ingredients and recipe cards. They are the best value for money as each dinner can feed between 2-4 people. There is a Classic, Veggy or Family plan to choose from.
Prices: Similarly to Lafayette, it is a little on the pricy side. Blackboard special mains average between $14.40-$24 + delivery costs, around $7.50-$14.50.
Choose from blackboard specials like Proscuitto wrapped chicken with preserved lemon, Goan fish & prawn curry or Malaysian lamb with sweet soy and ginger. They also have a large selection of family meals, salads, pastas, soups and deserts.
Since publishing this article, Lafayette Fine Foods have informed me that their Toorak closure was due to the rapid growth of their dedicated meals service, Chef Good. A 5 day package for a vegetarian lunch/dinner here works out at less than $12 per meal. Meals are cooked from the same kitchen as Lafayette and are described as excellent quality. (If Layfeyette’s standards are anything to go by, then the food must be great!) Examples of dishes here include: Lamb Tagine- slow braised with sweet Moroccan spices, roasted carrot couscous; Tomato braised Sicilian meatballs, spinach & pesto risoni; Baked vegetarian samosa, yellow lentil dahl.