One Fine Dine

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Wired: The best recipe boxes and meal kits in 2021, tried and tested

As seen in Wired 26 April 2021

** One Fine Dine was also featured in Wired's 2020 list**

WIRED Recommends the best recipe box companies to create (almost) restaurant-worthy meals from the comfort of your kitchen.

Carnivores, pescatarians, vegetarians, vegans and everyone in between – let's talk recipe boxes. Whether you’ve discovered a new love for cooking this past year or are just, like us, bored of the same old meals you’re eating each week, it might just be time.

The new generation of recipe box and meal kit services are designed to make it easy to plan and cook tasty, wholesome meals each week, even for kitchen novices. Once you sign up and set your preferences – be it for a family of four or two veggie flatmates – you choose from the weekly menu selection and all the correct ingredients will come individually packaged and delivered direct to your door with easy-to-follow recipes.

On the plus side, they cut out the need for a supermarket shop and help to limit food waste, but on the downside, they can be expensive and sometimes come with a lot of packaging – it’s easy to see each company striving to take the top spot for sustainability. And while many claim their ingredients come from the best suppliers, for anyone who likes to choose their own produce and go for organic all the way, it’s probably not for you.

To find out how the latest services shape up, WIRED signed up to the recipe box services lining our Instagram feed and gave them a try. We found each one to have its own USP – with indulgent carb-heavy dishes to healthy lower-calorie conscious offerings. From cooking vegan dishes with ingredients our carnivore palettes had never tried, to dining in our kitchen with a caviar-and-all feast complete with wine, we scoffed and quaffed it all, in the name of research.


Meanwhile, if you want to mark a special occasion, enjoy a date night at home or replicate the taste of gourmet restaurant cooking, take a look at One Fine Dine, which offers a la carte meals complete with cheese and wine with prices around £120 for three courses. It's the best recipe box service for fine dining.

One Fine Dine

The best meal kit for well, fine dining

Average recipe choice per week: Large a la carte menu that changes seasonally plus Christmas Menu and exclusive Dom Perignon Tasting Menu | Packaging: 100 percent recyclable | Dedicated app: No | Subscription based: No

One Fine Dine (from £120) is a slightly different service in that it provides all the ingredients you need for a three-course meal pre-prepared for you to simply heat and plate. The meal kits, when compiled, are designed in a, let's say, avante-garde way you’d expect at a top restaurant. Originally served on board private jets to heads of state and global business leaders, you can now order these dishes for home delivery. In these lockdown days, One Fine Dine is the next best thing to sitting in a top restaurant.

You can choose from a range of a la carte meals, which you buy as a one-off purchase, covering starters, mains, desserts, canapes and wine. The ingredients come from local, artisan suppliers and inside the box you’ll find step-by-step instructions with pictures and YouTube video links for details on how to plate your food. Food can be kept for up to 48 hours, but best served on the day it arrives.

We ordered a three-course meal with wine for up to two people. This included Miso Braised Cod with Sesame Bok Choy, Shitake Broth and Pink Ginger and Langley Chase Rack of Lamb, with minted ratte potatoes, turnips and lamb jus. We paired this with a 2019 Oliver Dubois Pinot Noir.

Dishing up was aided by the fact that everything was colour coded and the professional-looking results on the plate were fairly painless to achieve. While there was a lot of individual packaging to contend with, the box comes complete with a breakdown of how everything can be recycled.

We were amazed at how quickly these could be heated – up to eight minutes in the oven or microwave – and beautifully presented – although we did need to Google a couple of items to identify what they were (bergamot gel anyone?). The dishes even came complete with mini sauce serving jugs made from china. With such rich flavours and ingredients, this is definitely not a meal to be eaten in front of the TV, but one to be saved for a special occasion such as a birthday or anniversary.

Pros: Unique experience with no cooking required; gift cards available; recycling instructions included; 3-course Christmas menu; microwave and oven friendly Cons: Best eaten on the same day although can be kept for up to two

Price: £120 for three-courses excluding drinks and extras | View at One Fine Dine

Click here to view the complete Wired article.

** One Fine Dine was also featured in Wired's 2020 list**