Seeking a change from Foodora and Deliveroo, we tried out three Berlin start-ups that promise healthy eating for your Sunday hangover.
Love to cook, but fall into the ready-made pasta/frozen pizza trap a little too easily? Hello Fresh promises an injection of culinary inspiration, with its delivery of fresh ingredients and recipes to cook at home. On opening the app (free to download) I clicked through to order my Kochbox, finding one that would feed two people three times per week for €39.99. The box can be tailored to personal tastes and dietary requirements (new discoveries, veggie, low-calorie or time-saving) and includes exactly the right ingredients needed for each meal, with changing recipes each week.
A few days after ordering (it’s a weekly service, so orders need to be placed by Wednesday for delivery from Saturday onwards) the box arrived, with tiny little packages for each of the ingredients and an easy-to-follow recipe card for each meal. My first one was spaghetti with vegetable Bolognese, which used lentils in place of ground beef. Everything was there, right down to the tiny packet of Parmesan(!) and, after carefully following the instructions, I had supper ready in just over 30 minutes.
At just under €7 per meal, I’m certain I could have got the ingredients cheaper elsewhere, and with so many bits of packaging it made me feel very aware of my environmental footprint. That said, there was a definite convenience in having everything there and carefully measured out for me. 3 STARS
Kreuzberg-based Marley Spoon is a rival to Hello Fresh, built on a similar idea: seasonal recipes and ingredients delivered directly to your door. After downloading the app, I signed up for a vegetarian box for two, with three meals per week. Here the price per portion was €7, or €42/ week – slightly more expensive than Hello Fresh, but not markedly so.
A few days later (deliveries are made Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday), the box was at my door and I was once more grateful to the delivery driver for having lugged it upstairs. I eagerly opened it to find a set of recipes that were slightly more adventurous, featuring ingredients that I’d never think to try or buy. Fancying a bit of scharf, I started out by making the taco chilli bowl with kale and Japanese persimmon. Having never set eyes on a Japanese persimmon before, I was excited to give this one a go! The recipe was easy to follow, and the outcome was definitely tasty. 4 STARS
Can’t be bothered to cook? Green Gurus, another Kreuzberg-based startup trying to keep us Berliners off the currywurst, promises ultra-fresh ready-made food delivered to your door in less than 30 minutes – and honestly, if you live in Kreuzberg or Mitte, it’s closer to 10.
After tapping in my postcode, I could choose from a selection of salads, sandwiches, snacks and smoothies for home delivery (catering services also offered). I went with a protein- and vitamin-packed farro and edamame bowl for €5.99. Having just missed the lunchtime delivery slot (delivery can be made between 11am and 2:30pm, or 5-7:30pm), I pre-ordered it for a lighter evening meal at 7pm. The little brown box arrived bang on time, tasted fresh and, as salads go, was pretty delicious. With no minimum order, I’m skeptical about how they can offer free delivery on a €1.99 nut mix, but who’s complaining? Not something I’d use all the time, but a good, healthy takeaway alternative. 4 STARS