On a hard day’s night, we’re all guilty of finding the coziest spot on the couch, immediately picking up our phones, beckoning fast-food deliveries to reach our doors in 30 minutes or less—settling for our nth cheat day for the week.
Sometimes our daily work and the long hours we spend in traffic have already drained us the moment we reach home, with no energy nor patience to pick up a knife and pan to cook ourselves some dinner. For people living alone, getting food delivered is the number one solution, although options can get a little too monotonous.
But if you think better, tastier, and healthier alternatives are all either expensive or calorie-counted, that’s where you’re wrong—and you’ll definitely be glad you were.
Off to save our tired (or lazy) asses is City Chef, delivering affordable and nutritious meals with the comforting tastes of home. Whether you’re the type who lacks the time to market and prepare dinner, or one that can’t save a life chopping vegetables, this food delivery service makes sure you come home to delicious food in time for dinner.
Each meal that City Chef prepares has a balanced serving of protein and vegetables (yes, don’t worry, it comes with fluffy white rice). Their affordable meals don't scrimp on taste and quality, using only the freshest ingredients sourced from the market daily. You can be sure that everything you order is made from scratch, with no artificial flavors nor unhealthy substitutes.
Both their solo and family servings are also surprisingly generous, and if you’re a bit calorie-conscious, you can split tonight’s dinner for the next day’s hearty packed brunch—that’s what we did!
“We wanted people to have access to mouthwatering home-cooked meals and, at the same time, create a community where home-cooks can share their recipes where other people can enjoy them,” City Chef co-owner Ryan Seranno says.
Ryan is also the man behind Fit Food Manila, a diet meal delivery service that promises tasty meals with none of the guilt. And that’s how he realized that it wasn’t only the weight-watchers who needed the same kind of service—one that gives you hassle-free meals, minus the delivery charges.
“We noticed that all the dinner deliveries in the city were all diet food. This was an opportunity for us to reach out to those who don't have access to delicious and healthy food on a regular basis,” Ryan shares.
Every month, City Chef partners with the best from Manila’s culinary scene. Just last February, they had chef Noel Mauricio of Le Petit Soufflé and Ping Pong Diplomacy on board, and he shared his own recipe of his favorite home-cooked meal—the beef bourguignon with a side of French beans and marbled potatoes.
The beef bourguignon has the familiar flair of good ol’ caldereta, but with a lingering bittersweet taste. It has generous prime cuts of beef, sweet shallots, and juicy mushrooms that are all slow-cooked in a rich sauce flavored by red wine until the meat becomes fork-tender. The meal’s vegetable partner had a different personality as it is lavishly seasoned with herbs and spices.
“Tinapa in Olive Oil, Lumpiang Bangus, Pumpkin Soup with Bacon, and Garlic Liempo are loved by our regular customers,” Ryan reveals, “and of course all of our collaborations with chefs are favorites!"
Ordering from City Chef is done online. Their website shows their set menu for the whole month, and you just choose which days you wish to have your dinner delivered. You can save as much as P150 if you order for an entire week.
The solo serving size is priced at P280 a night and P1,250 a week, while family servings that serve two-three people cost P490 a meal and just P2,250 for dinners for a whole week.
Sizzling Bulalo with Gravy, Buffalo Chicken Fingers, Tinapa Pasta, Chilled Chicken Pasta Salad, and Boneless Miso Chicken Teriyaki are just some of the dishes we’re eyeing on their March menu.
“Ordering for one whole week is a really great deal for a lot people—you won't have to worry about dinners for an entire week," Ryan shares. "Our menus are set but the dishes always complement each other and you get a balance of flavors all the time.”