Housebites is a new home delivery service offering “gourmet takeaway from great chefs in your local area for the price of a pizza“. Quite some promise, eh?
Housebites delivers food cooked by local amateur and professional chefs, offering menus that are more inspiring and challenging than your standard pizza or curry. And for the chefs registered with Housebites, it gives them with an opportunity to reach a wider dining audience and a chance to benefit financially from it.
This service launched in September 2011 and caught our eye. We were curious as to how the business model worked, and we liked the mix of home-cooked food and gourmet menus. And, though we’re happy to schlep across town for a good meal, who doesn’t love a takeaway when there’s a downpour outside?!
Ordering online on the website was straightforward: you are offered a selection of chefs in your vicinity who are cooking that evening; you pick the food you want and a time slot for delivery; and you pay online.
So far so good, though we were disappointed that one of the chefs with experience at Michelin-starred restaurants wasn’t cooking on the night we ordered. Price-wise, it’s more expensive than the Marks & Spencer ready-meals and a normal takeaway but still cheaper than going out to a restaurant.
And the food? Sad to say, the Iranian meal was just a bit lacklustre. Due to traffic problems, our food was late, and thus lukewarm on arrival. Our lamb stew was tasty, but the fried aubergines with tomatoes were greasy and thin on flavour. Our excitingly named Bangali Sea Bass sizzler (whole seabass served with spices) suffered during transportation and didn’t merit the £11.50 price.
We were however impressed by the professionalism of the operation: every chef has been photographed in chef’s whites for the website, and the packaging is all Housebites-branded. We liked that when our friend added to our initial order, our chef called to make sure that it all went smoothly.
So were we bitten by Housebites? Not yet. We’ll happily try some of the other menus as there are a lot of satisfied customers and people who’ve had positive experiences, and some other chefs that caught our eye. We’d also like to see how Housebites ensures there is consistency in quality of food as it grows and adds new chefs.
And so the jury is still out on this one. These tummies were made for travelling, so we’ll stick to that until the next rainy day…
Price: £37 for 3 mains, 2 sides, 1 bread and 1 dessert
Rating: 1 out of 5. Our meal didn’t live up to the gourmet claims (this time)
Good for: Takeaway, Home delivery