While hunting for a quick service, Manasi Y Mastakar digs into a new online food portal only to come back with a gastronomical smile
What does a foodie want? Good food, variety and value for menu. And Fresh Menu, an online food portal, gives you just that. And as the name suggests, the menu is “fresh”, as in it changes every day, so you have different dishes to try each day. Founded in 2014 by an IIM Ahmedabad alumni, Rashmi Daga, Fresh Menu has its main office in Bangalore, with Vivek Raghunath heading the operations.
They have six kitchens in Mumbai, and each kitchen operates independently and serves a radius of 3-5 kilometres. Once you place the order on their website (freshmenu.com), you receive food within 45 minutes, sometimes even earlier. Though are also listed on delivery apps like Zomato, Swiggy, Food Panda, Uber Eats, majority of their orders are from their own platform.
Meals are freshly made after receiving orders from customers and are delivered by their own fleet of delivery boys. The menu is prepared with a fair mix of cuisines and dishes across categories. The focus is to provide customers good international food and offer something new every day, given that the dishes on the menu change every day. Prices of the dishes are decided on the ingredients used, cooking process and ingredients.
The menu is divided in five sections: Mains and sides, pizzas, soups and salads, quick bites, and desserts. Worth trying from the mains (rice bowl) is Chicken Steak in mushroom sauce (Boneless chicken leg meets Mushroom Sauce along with some fresh button mushrooms, herbed rice, and sautéed vegetables on the side). This dish is best for the ones who prefer bland, non-spicy yet tasty food. Vegetarians can gorge on Mexican Burrito Bowl, which comes with Mexican rice, sweet roasted corn, tangy Mexican tomato salsa, fresh broccoli, habanero grilled cottage cheese, and seasoned bean mash.
Other notable bowls include the French delight Chicken Cordon Blue (made of succulent chicken wrapped around chicken ham and cheese, then breaded and shallow fried), South Asian Grilled Fish, Chilli Chicken Lollipops, Hot Garlic Chicken Hakka Noodles Bowl. From the vegetarian section one can opt for Black Sauce Noodle, Crispy Fried American Corns (delicious Golden Fried Sweet Corn with Peppers and Onion).
Pasta lovers can get their fill from Penne Pomodoro (penne tossed in flash roasted tomato dices and aromatic herbs, finished with basil and bocconcini and comes with garlic bread), Fusilli in roasted garlic lemon sauce, creamy smoked tomato pesto farfalle (all veg). Unfortunately, they don’t have many non-vegetarian pastas, and are available only on rare occasions. Their pizzas are also worth trying. Available only in 12 inches, the base is made of multi grain bread, with succulent sauces, tasty toppings and melting mozzarella cheese. Salads are skippable, and soups don’t have many variety either.
From the dessert section, Molten Lava cake is the perfect indulgence for chocolate lovers. This carefully designed cake with layers of dark chocolate and crunchy almonds is a treat. Other must try’s are Lychee Cherry Jar (actually delivered in a glass jar), Irish Choco Cake and Red Velvet Cream Cake.
There isn’t much choice in the beverage section (this one needs a boost with new flavours and variety everyday), with Lemon Grass cooler and Mandarin cooler (this one is orangey without being too overpowering in flavour and not too citrusy either) being their regulars. They come in a pack of 2 with each being 250 ml in quantity. There has been a latest addition to their beverage section though: Hibiscus and Ginger punch (2 for Rs 100).
All the dishes are reasonably priced: their mains, sides, quick bites and pastas are between Rs 160 to Rs 220, pizzas around Rs 300, desserts around Rs 100. And they also offer occasional discounts of upto 20%, which make the dishes even worthier of the money you are paying.
All in all, Fresh Menu comes as a breather for south Mumbaikars who are on the lookout for something new and different. Currently they have kitchens in Worli, Powai, Bandra Kurla Complex, Bandra West, Fort, Goregaon East, with plans of coming up with more kitchens in the city.
170 gm Penne (boiled)
50 Fresh tomato
25 Bocconcini cheese
30 gm Tomato sauce
10 gm Olive oil
3 Fresh basil
Salt as per taste
Boil penne in salted water. Strain and toss with oil. Keep aside to cool. Wash fresh tomatoes and core eye. Give cross mark on base and blanch in seasoned simmering water. Cool immediately and peel off skin. Remove seeds and cut in medium size dices. Marinate these tomatoes with salt, pepper, shredded basil, and olive oil. Flash-roast in very hot oven for 4-5 minutes. It should not turn black/brown. Remove from tray, cool, and keep aside. Toss blanched penne in tomato sauce, check seasoning. Add roasted tomatoes towards end and toss lightly. Cut bocconcini cheese in half and cut in slices. Garnish with sliced bocconcini and fresh basil. Comes with Garlic bread.