We’ve written this every month for quite a few, but this time we’re pretty sure this’ll be our final at- home review! Having said that, Brum’s very own in-home dining wizard at Festen may be on the radar well after the chat of support bubbles and furlough has faded.
Festen bill themselves as ‘no fuss’ despite having honed their craft at the likes of Simpsons and the Ritz, and we agree. This was the easiest, least messy – we didn’t use a single pan – and most reasonably priced food we’ve enjoyed in lockdown and more importantly, it was blooming delicious.
We’ve had some at-home boxes that have been unnecessarily plastic heavy, but the Festen packaging was minimal. Paper bag, foil trays with cardboard tops and a modest compostable plastic tub for the pud. Two courses costs £9 and no, that’s not a typo. Due to our moronic view that you always get what you pay for, expectations were of decent home cooked grub that, with prices like this, we might as well try.
Everything went in the oven at the same temperature at varying times with all but one dish cooked in their foil containers. Rolled pork with a tonne of herbs, capers and lemon made the kitchen smell incredible. It was rich, tender, melt-in-the-mouth gorgeous. We ordered sides of roast potatoes and spring veg to go with the pork. These cost extra, but still a snip. The roast potatoes were so perfect that we toyed with the idea of ordering a big batch for Easter Sunday before accepting it was probably a bit lazy. We’re still regretting it.
Chicken a la Festen looked simple and tasted anything but. Essentially a chicken breast with bacon, a crunchy breadcrumb topping and spring veg (sweet peas, baby onions and asparagus) the flavours were seriously pleasing. It was smoky, sweet, herby and perfectly cooked. We’re rubbish at cooking chicken breasts but can confirm if you follow the instructions this turns out superbly.
Cheesecake wasn’t your average cheesecake either. We couldn’t get it out of its container neatly, so ate it straight from the pot. The crunch came from a crisp kadair pastry and almonds on top of the moreish creamy mixture rather than a biscuit base. Flavours of almond, citrus and mint were just fresh and dreamy.
You can order wine with your meal – we didn’t as we seem to have stockpiled, but the selection is well worth a look. In terms of keeping up to speed with Festen menus, your best bet is to sign up to the mailing list then you’ll receive a menu each Saturday for delivery the following Friday. Delivery is free to a handful of Birmingham postcodes. Check the website for details.