My first experience with Housebites

We all have times when we can’t or don’t want to cook. Due to my recent health issues, cooking isn’t very high on my priority list this week. But saying that, I’m not fond of the idea of eating ready meals and takeaways and pretty much just eating junk all week. With this in mind I thought I’d give Housebites a go. I had heard quite a bit about them and I really liked the concept so we ordered our dinner from them last night.

If you’ve not heard of Housebites, then watch this video and it’ll explain everything to you.

So I really like the idea of fresh, restaurant quality food prepared to order and brought to your house. It sounds healthier, tastier and a lot more inviting than a cold chicken chow mein or questionable sushi platter and the fact that there’s such a wide variety of food is pretty amazing.

Yesterday afternoon, we placed our order through the website which was really easy to navigate and chose dishes from Chef Laurent Rossi. Unfortunately, we got a call about 15 minutes later saying his dishes weren’t available anymore. This could possibly throw a spanner into the works for some people or may put them off but it really shouldn’t. We were notified promptly, the customer service representative was very apologetic and really nice and there was enough to choose from that it was pretty much exactly the same as going to a restaurant and being told that they’ve sold out of the dish of the day. No skin off our noses and it was handled really well. We regrouped and reordered, this time from Danielle Brown, and requested our food to be delivered between 8.30-9pm.

At 8.30pm sharp there was a knock at our door and our food had arrived. It was all packaged neatly in takeaway cartons and branded sleeves and it was still piping hot. So far, so good.

I had ordered an Asparagus Risotto and as soon as I had opened the container I was hit with the scent of lemon and mint. It looked creamy and fluffy and I couldn’t wait to get stuck in. When I put the food on my plate I realised just how large the portion was. It could easily feed two (if you’re on a portion controlled diet) though my fiancé was convinced it’s a pretty standard portion size so I would still recommend ordering a single dish per person.

On the plate you could see all the green flecks of asparagus and the lemon rind and though it wasn’t the most colourful dish I’ve seen in my life, it was still really inviting. Once I had tasted it I was sold on Housebites completely. It was quite sharp from the lemon but it was balanced with the fresh, soft mint and the creamy flavour of the rice. The asparagus was fresh and crispy and added a bit of earthy bitterness and it was lovely to have very small pieces of asparagus running through creating more texture with the larger asparagus spears adding a bit more variety. It was really well seasoned and had little pockets of parmesan cheese adding even more texture and flavour so it didn’t become too samey.

My fiancé ordered the Beef Meatballs with Penne pasta and, again, the portion was huge. The meatballs themselves were very large and dense, packed with good quality meat. The accompanying sauce was full of flavour but his one complaint was that there wasn’t enough of it. However, overall he was satisfied and full – something that rarely happens.

As a side dish we ordered a Broad Bean, Mint and Feta salad. The vegetables were all really fresh and crisp, the feta was a great contrast as it was so crumbly and salty and once again, it was a huge side salad. My one complaint was that as it was warmed up in the bag with the rest of the food, this made it taste amazing but when it cooled down, it adopted a bit of a funny flavour and we couldn’t finish it.

Overall it was a really pleasant experience. The food was fresh, great quality and delicious. The portions were more than satisfying and there was no way of feeling hungry after finishing your meal. I would prefer it if they had some clearly marked healthy options or if you could order from multiple chefs on the same order but that’s just me being picky.

I would highly recommend trying Housebites next time you’re considering ordering a takeaway. It was a lot tastier and more satisfying than a pizza or a burger and they cost roughly the same price.

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5 thoughts on “My first experience with Housebites

  1. Daniella says:

    Sounds like a great concept! They don’t deliver in my area yet so I’ve signed up for a notification for when they do.

    • I saw some tweets yesterday saying that due to demand they’re expanding so hopefully they will soon.
      It’s so nice to know that you can have a decent meal if you genuinely can’t cook one evening.

  2. Leanne says:

    This sounds amazing! I will check their website now, but as I live in a bit of a dump I doubt they’ll deliver here ha x

  3. Hugo says:

    The food is ok, specially the food quality. I am fed up with the old, out of date, stinky food offered by various take aways around so my expectations weren’t too high. It was fresh and tasty although I wouldn’t say it was spectacular, simply honest good food. But this a take away not gourmet temple so I was happy. I got fed.

    However for the customer service it is disappointing. In my area there is only one chef (or actually two ladies cooking as one) but it is a lottery to have them available. I was waiting for a week to order for them and as they put their schedules up in the last minute it was either too late for me to order or I wasn’t there. So any planning of: ‘Tonight I don’t feel like cooking or tomorrow I come late and have no time to fill the fridge so I could order’ is useless. You just have to check their website regularly and hope you are lucky. The personnel on the phone has no information about it either.
    Second thing that annoyed me is that they have the number but don’t want to take orders on the phone. So any individual requests such as: spicier, milder with/without sth are excluded.

    And if you manage to convince them to take the payment they only accept proper credit card (if you use visa debit e.g it asks for security info on the ‘Verified by Visa’ page and they can’t take the details of you and frankly you wouldn’t want to give them anyway).
    I know they are young business but a year is enough time to get this things sorted? So, all in all yes do order from them if you can is my review.

  4. Andrew Burns says:

    A year after the original blog, I thought it might be timely to add a more recent review of this service.

    I first heard about Housebites, in January 2013 when I noticed an offer on O2 Priority Moments – I thought the concept was excellent and really wanted it to succeed.

    First the positives – Jane, you know who you are, one of their London chefs, is one of the most innovative chefs I have ever encountered. Her Pulled Pork starter is to die for, and if I ever needed a private chef she would be one of the first chefs I would consider. From my 4 HouseBites experiences, she provided experiences 2 and 3 which were outstanding.

    Now……

    First of all, if you would like to see any evidence of what I am about to describe, you may do so at my Twitter feed – Wc1pubfans – where you may also DM me any questions.

    Experience 1 – January 2013

    On a quiet Sunday night, I ordered a mexican meal from one of their ‘top chefs’. My Chicken Burrito was tiny, lacking in filling, delivered late, was lacking in Chicken, but instead had a delicious extra ingredient, a well cooked piece of plastic from a takeaway container, cooked to a tee, and almost causing countless damage to an expensive mouth full of teeth.

    Naturally I contacted their customer services department and received the following reply…

    Thank you very much for your email, and for explaining the situation in such detail.

    ‘We have of course taken your complaint incredibly seriously, and have spent the last few hours discovering exactly where the problem arose. It seems that the piece of plastic came from the container that the contents of the burrito had been temporarily placed in. The container had cracked with the heat, and that piece of plastic had fallen off into the chicken mix..’

    While most people would run screaming to Environmental Health, I decided to give them another chance, after a discussion with Simon their founder, and to be fair the next two meals from Jane mentioned above was outstanding

    A bit more confident, I ordered meal 4 from a new chef. I was salivating at the description of the following ….

    Rock Salt Lemon Chicken
    1/4 corn fed chicken marinated in lemon and rock salt then roasted and served with a simple fresh green salad and a punchy vinaigrette dressing. Healthy & delicious.

    Seasoned Fries
    Homemade potato fries, seasoned with sea salt and cracked black pepper. Perfect with any main.

    I ordered six hours in advance, for delivery at 20:00, at 20:30 I received a phone call advising that the meal would be 15 minutes late, and offering me a free dessert. I should have cancelled the order, but like an idiot I didn’t.

    An hour later, with no calls at all from Housebites, a courier arrived and threw a bag at me, that was freezing cold, I pointed this out, he asked me what I expected as it was free. I contacted their helpline, and pointed out that the meal was freezing cold. Given this was chicken, I asked how it should be cooked – I was advised ‘put it in the microwave until its hot’.
    I was promised that their customer service would contact me in the morning and sort the problem out. The meal went straight into the bin, and I trotted off to the Pizza shop.

    I then received this incredible reply from their Customer Service department ….

    ‘I’ve also spoken to X (our Head Chef), who was the one who phoned you up to warn of the delay. She’s really sorry that it was delivered later than expected, but hopes you enjoyed the complimentary pudding. She also added that there was no mention of refunds, and that she was with Chef Hamza all night, so I’m afraid I won’t be able to re-credit your voucher.

    However, in view of the inconvenience you feel you’ve had, and to thank you for your patience with this situation, I’ve added £5 ‘

    So as a business concept – I spend £20 on an inedible meal that went straight in the bin, and they offer me no refund on the meal, but a £5 credit on the next meal I order.

    I had a great conversation with their founder, so assumed he would offer some common sense – wrong…..

    ‘FOUNDER’ was informed of this whole situation this morning, and is in agreement with this.’

    Absolutely outrageous – I really wanted to recommend this service, but they treat customer worse than most leading burger chains who serve cold burgers and charge four times the price.

    I would seriously recommend avoiding this service, from my experience when its good its good, when its bad it is shocking and verging on dangerous

    As mentioned earlier, am more than happy to answer any questions – please DM me on my Twitter feed – @wc1pubfans – now am getting hungry so am off to the kebab shop.

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