Before having children Hubby and I would go out for dinner all the time – as a couple or with friends. But since having LP and Little Man we just haven’t had as much opportunity to go out – there’s not always childcare available and when we do have childcare one of us will, more often than not, have to drive. Then there’s the inflated cost of alcohol in restaurants or bars and it makes you wonder whether going out is really worth all the effort.
So when DineIndulge introduced us to their service it looked like a great idea. DineIndulge give you the experience of dining out in the comfort of your own home – making dining in just as exciting as dining out but without as much to organise.
DineIndulge have different menu packages to choose from – express menus that are simple but delicious, indulgent menus for more of a treat or deluxe menus for something really special. They even do platters for a more laid back and social dining experience and it’s so simple to book online with just a £60 deposit.
We invited a couple of our closest friends round for a meal, catered for by DineIndulge. We chose a nine course tasting menu, the kind of meal that we would love to go out and enjoy but instead brought to our home. All the details of the meal were confirmed by DineIndulge in advance – what time we’d like to eat and whether anyone was vegetarian or had any allergies. There were two courses with meat or vegetarian options and so chose what we’d like in advance, ready for the chef to buy the ingredients.
Our chef, Jordan, phoned me the day before our meal and we arranged for him to arrive a couple of hours before our meal would be served. He brought with him absolutely everything he needed – including his own pans and knives, all the ingredients and he’d even prepared as much as he could in advance too.
Whilst Jordan got set up in the kitchen Hubby and I got ready, relaxed and waited for our friends to arrive. I laid the dining table and we cracked open a bottle of wine. It was so nice to both be able to drink – and to pay supermarket alcohol prices rather than the prices we’d usually pay in restaurants.
Our friends arrived and we sat down to eat. As there were only four of us Jordan cooked and served the food himself, clearing dishes when we had finished and even washed up plates in between courses. The first course was a Gazpacho Shot Tickler which was so full of flavour and an amazing start to our meal. As each of the courses were fairly small and well paced it gave us a chance to try so many different types of dishes and really savour them.
This was swiftly followed by a Seared Mushroom Selection served with a poached egg yolk and although a vegetarian dish it was really meaty and filling. We could tell even just from the second course that the meal was going to be memorable and the sort of food we would usually only experience in really high standard restaurants.
Next was a course we chose in advance and we all went for the Crisp Crusted Scallop which was served in a shell! The alternative dish would have been Crisp Crusted Courgette Beignets if we hadn’t wanted scallops.
We all loved the Truffle Tagliatelle which was a dish we were still talking about at the end of the meal. With shaved celeriac and truffle oil it was so full of flavour, creamy and something that I would happily eat every day.
All through the meal Jordan was in the same room as us – as we have an open plan kitchen and dining room. But after a couple of courses we forgot he was there. We focused on each course as it came, carried on with our conversation and Jordan was so unobtrusive. He was quiet and just got on with cooking and serving – although at times we made conversation with him he was very much focused on his job and so professional.
The tagliatelle was followed by a Mango Sorbet and this was so interesting for me as I’ve never had a meal that’s included something sweet part way through the courses. It worked well though and really cleansed the palette before the main course was served.
For our main three of us had the Lamb Noisette which was beautifully cooked, served with feta, broccoli, carrot puree and a jus. My friend Sarah had Parmesan and Pine Nut Polenta as she’s vegetarian with the same accompaniments and it was nice that we all got to eat something that looked so similar, and had most of the same flavours despite the main aspect being different.
Before our dessert we had a Peppermint Cream which could have been a dessert in itself. It was so rich and chocolatey and something we all really took time to savour and enjoy. I could happily eat one of those every day and not get bored.
Our dessert was a Dark Chocolate Marquise served with strawberries and it was lighter and less rich than I expected yet a really good size, filling dessert.
The final part of our meal was an incredible cheese board with a good variety of cheeses, crackers, chutneys and grapes. This was something we took time over and enjoyed through the rest of our evening.
Whilst we were savouring the cheese and biscuits Jordan washed up, tidied up and even swept the floor. He loaded our dishwasher and put as much away as he could before he left. Through the whole evening he wore his chef whites and it was amazing to watch him create such great quality dishes in our family kitchen.
All four of us loved the food and had such a nice evening. It was lovely to all be able to eat together at home without having to cook and serve at the same time – as well as not having to clean up afterwards! We could spend the whole evening focusing on the lovely food and great company and DineIndulge took all the other organisation and prep away from us, making it such a relaxing and enjoyable evening.
DineIndulge gave us such a lovely evening with friends and saved us having to organise childcare, allowed us both to drink without having to get a cab and gave us much nicer food than we would have got at a chain restaurant in town. It was such a nice evening and I am already looking to book DineIndulge for another meal in the future.
Disclosure: We were provided with the above experience for the purpose of this review however all opinions are my own.