- Good selection to choose from
- "Kid Friendly" options
- Generous portions
- I needed slightly longer than suggested time
This post contains links to the Marley Spoon Australia website that provide you with $35 off your first order. Blog of Dad is not affiliated with Marley Spoon, but was provided a sample of Marley Spoon’s product for the purpose of this review.
I love cooking. The kitchen is a happy place for me.
My problem is that I have a fairly narrow range of go-to meals in my head. It’s rare that I will come up with a new and interesting idea on my own.
I dislike food shopping. Supermarkets are not a relaxing place for me.
Enter Marley Spoon
A Marley Spoon subscription is an intriguing option for people who feel the same way as me. It is a service for those who enjoy cooking and who like to try new things, but just don’t have the time to seek out new recipes. A Marley Spoon subscription takes care of the more tedious parts of cooking (except cleaning… it doesn’t take care of cleaning).
The idea is simple – subscribe to either a 2-person or 4-person box, for either two, three or four meals per week. Make your choice from a selection of about twelve choices and choose a day and timeframe for delivery.
With a maximum of four meals per week, Marley Spoon is not a complete mealtime solution. It is, however, an easy and convenient way to introduce new recipes into your repertoire, or to take the thinking out of the Monday-Thursday dinner planning.
Marley Spoon offers a great range to choose from, and the options change each week. That means you’ll never be stuck in a rut with a Marley Spoon subscription.
There are plenty of healthy choices, as well as options to cater for specific dietary requirements such as vegetarian, vegan, low in gluten and dairy free. Marley Spoon also helpfully identify recipes as “kid friendly”, which helps parents to narrow down their selections.
The Marley Spoon recipes cover a range of different cuisines, with Asian, South American, African and European influences apparent. The result is a potentially broad range of eating experiences throughout the week, ensuring that dinner time is never dull!
In our week with Marley Spoon, we opted for Pork Dan Dan Noodles with Choy Sum, Piri Piri Chicken with Corn and Capsicum, Asian Chicken Noodle Soup with Ginger and Sugar Snap Peas, and Eggplant Curry with Coconut rice.
Let’s cut to the chase. When it comes to food, taste is what matters most. The simple fact is, if it doesn’t taste good, it’s not worth buying.
Each of our four Marley Spoon meals was packed with flavour. We started off the week with the Piri Piri Chicken dish. The chicken had a pleasant warmth, with additional sauce on the side for an extra spice hit. The sides were simple – corn and capsicum – yet they were a great pairing for the chicken and made for a light and fresh meal.
Our next meal was the Asian Chicken Noodle Soup. Once again, ingredients like chili, ginger and kecap manis ensured we entered flavour country. I’m not sure that I had ever poached chicken before, but I was pleasantly surprised by the tender and juicy result. Fresh carrot and sugar snap peas brought a bit of crunch to the dish. I really enjoyed the broth.
For our third meal we went with a vegetarian option. The Eggplant Curry was aromatic, thanks to the ginger, garlic, turmeric and garam masala. The toasted coconut was a nice touch – it was a simple way to add even more flavour to the dish, but not something that I would have thought to do.
Finally we tried the Pork Dan Dan Noodles. These were a house favourite with flavour-galore from chilli oil, peanut sauce and spiced pork. Every mouthful was a joy!
Time and Level of Difficulty
Each of these meals had an estimated time of 30 minutes, except for the Eggplant Curry which was supposed to take 40. Remember that with Marley Spoon you are essentially cooking the whole meal from scratch – while the correct portions are provided, you need to do all of the washing, peeling and slicing that you would normally do when cooking.
I found that it took me slightly longer than the suggested time, but I do tend to move quite slowly in the kitchen, especially when preparing something new. I imagine that I could make each of these dishes a bit quicker if I:
A – Was making them for a second time
B – Wasn’t so concerned about not making any mistakes so that I could review them properly
C – Didn’t have a curious toddler wrapped around my legs.
None of the recipes were difficult (although that didn’t stop me making a few mistakes). Any of the mistakes that I did make along the way could be chalked up to “user error”, as the instructions were all very clear.
The biggest mistake I made was adding way too much water to the Piri Piri sauce. It was the second step of my first recipe and it was fair to say that I was rushing things a bit. I added 1/3 cup of water, instead of olive oil. I was only supposed to put in 2 table spoons of water.
It wasn’t a critical error. I simply cooked my sauce in a pan to reduce the water. It still tasted great!
Overall, I would say the Marley Spoon recipes we tried were easy to make and reasonably quick.
I can best describe the portion sizes as “generous”.
We ordered the four person box on the assumption that each meal would provide enough food for the two adults and one (food-loving) toddler, with some left over for lunches the next day. What we found was that each recipe provided at least enough food for two full dinners (sometimes with a little still left over). This was skewed a little by our decision to use the extra noodles that came with both the Asian Chicken Noodle Soup and the Pork Dad Dan Noodle dishes.
We might not be the biggest eaters around, but my impression is that most people would be pretty satisfied after eating a Marley Spoon meal.
Even though the portion sizes were generous, I still felt like the overall meals were well balanced. There was enough meat in the meat-based dishes for me to feel satisfied, while an abundance of fresh veg and noodles filled me up nicely.
The flavours were well balanced too. Spice was king in the dishes we tried, but even then it could be tweaked (by adding more piri piri sauce or fresh chilli) to suit individual tastes.
Delivery was straightforward. I selected a day and a timeframe. I selected a time between midnight and 7am. Sure enough, at about 1.30am the neighbour’s overly-enthusiastic automatic security light shone directly into my bedroom window, informing me that someone was moving about outside. If it hadn’t been for the light, I would have been none the wiser – the delivery person was whisper quiet.
I went downstairs and sure enough, there in my doorstep was a box heavy with food.
It wouldn’t have mattered if I hadn’t woken up, the box was chilled and an insulated bag with ice packs inside protected the proteins. I’m sure it would have been fine, even if I had waited until morning to retrieve it from my doorstep.
Marley Spoon is a convenient way to introduce new and tasty dinners into your weekly schedule. With that convenience comes some cost.
Our Marley Spoon box was valued at $143.20. That was for a total of 16 individual meals (in reality we actually found it was even more than 16). That equates to $8.95 (or less) per meal.
This is more than we would usually spend per meal in our house; however, there are other factors to consider when assessing value.
Firstly, I didn’t have to spend time searching for new, tasty recipes. I just had to spend a couple of minutes choosing from a range of excellent options.
Secondly, I didn’t have to travel to the supermarket to buy the food.
When these factors are taken into account, it becomes easy to see why Marley Spoon is an attractive idea for many families. It takes a load of time and thought out of meal planning, leaving you to get on with the fun bit – cooking!
A Marley Spoon subscription is a tempting choice for the time-poor parents who enjoy cooking new and interesting things, without all the fuss of searching for recipes and going shopping. Each of the dishes we tried was tasty, balanced and generous in size. If you want to try Marley Spoon for yourself, why not take advantage of the $35 discount off your first order by using this link!
Disclosure – Marley Spoon provided Blog of Dad with the four recipes free of charge, for the purpose of review and inclusion in the Alternative Mother’s Day Gift Guide. The views expressed in this post are entirely my own views, based on my experiences with Marley Spoon. For further information, please visit my disclosure statement.