October 23, 2012

Dinner Brought to You by Pop-Up Pantry

As a Manhattanite who has the cliche small kitchen, I rarely find myself cooking dinner. Not only is hard to cook for just one person but you get tired of eating the same leftovers all week. Pop-Up Pantry attempts to solve that dilemma. It's a subscription service for food lovers who want chef prepared meals deliver to your door. I received a complimentary dinner in my September POPSUGAR Must-Have box, which roughly costs $32.

Quite the insturctions

You take a quick profile quiz so they can match you with the type of meal you prefer. You select your meal and a delivery date. I selected the Seared Halibut with Ginger Soy Glaze meal which included steamed Asian vegetables, chicken yakitori, Japanese cucumber salad and coconut sesame bread pudding for dessert. The meal arrives frozen with step-by-step instructions of how to prepare (typically 30 minutes). It was a little more work than I thought I would have to do. Fresh Direct offers similar meals (smaller portions) for $10 that take 3 minutes to microwave and are delicious.

This wasn't even all the food!

First step up was putting the Coconut-Sesame Bread Pudding in the oven since it took 30 minutes to cook. While it cooked you then prepared the rest of the meal.

This is only one portion!
Place the halibut on the left side of your baking sheet and place in the oven.

Meanwhile you boil a large pot of water and place the steamed Asian vegetables pouch in.

A lot of food for one person...

Then place the chicken yakitori on the right side of your baking sheet and place into the oven.

Everything cooking in the oven
Final meal including the meal card they include 

I never used so many pots and pans in my kitchen before! The meal looked good but it wasn't the best. The halibut was a little chewy and the vegetables didn't cook all the way, which I'm sure was my fault in the prep. But this is why I prefer someone else preps my meal (lol!) or have simpler instructions. The Japanese cucumber salad was not my taste. They provided enough food for 2 so I can re-attempt with the halibut and chicken another time. My favorite part was dessert (of course!). I've never had bread pudding before but it was delicious!

If you want to pretend you can cook to impress your boyfriend, then you'll love this service. If you want to expand your palate or are just a foodie, this service is perfect for you. If you don't mind 30 minutes to prep your dinner, then you'll enjoy this service. Not sure it's the best fit for me though (did you see all those steps?!)

Would you sign up for Pop-Up Pantry?


  1. I got excited about this at first but yeah, it seems like a lot of work. I wouldnt go for this since I love to cook.
    My new kitchen is significantly smaller! I have made do with only one counter. I, too, hated having the same leftovers for hte week. I started halving recipes so that i would only have two portions of it. And if the recipe yielded more, i would freeze those portions. And those came in handy when i was in a bind or didnt feel like cooking.
    Also, I am a big fan of recipes with 5 ingredients or less. It keeps costs down, especially when cooking for 1.

    1. Good tips! It definitely was a lot of work especially to be preparing for myself. If you're a gf who wants to pretend you can cook, then perhaps I see the value haha

  2. I quite like the concept of it - I have no culinary skills at all. But I guess with so many steps, you'd be better off cooking it yourself.

    1. Exactly and a simpler recipe. I have some skills and even I didn't get it to come out perfect!

  3. Thanks for this review! I've been stalking this and similar services. I'm strongly considering trying http://www.hellofresh.com/

    1. Hello Fresh looks cute... sounds like you have to prep it as well though :/ As long as the ingredients are something I'd use over again, I wouldn't buy in


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