Many of you may know the little gem of a restaurant known as Otago, known for serving up fresh & delicious meals using healthy ingredients.
My 1st visit to Otago was about 2 years ago for a meeting and I had the pleasure of meeting owner Vaughan on my way out. Not only did he exude passion for his food, but he told me of a vision he had. He wanted to bring healthy meals to people who just don’t have the time to shop for & prepare healthy meals at home.
Fast forward to January 2016. I find out that Vaughan is realizing his dream & launching Otago’s line of Real Life Food (TM) and I was asked to try it out.
The idea is that the food is prepared and vacuum sealed to be cooked “sous-vide” which simply means by adding the item, still in its pouch, to boiling water. All items are READY IN 10 MINUTES OR LESS.
Although Home Delivery is coming soon, I wanted to pick it up at TAU – one of the delivery locations near my home so that I could see how simple / complicated that would be. It was easy. (note that home delivery is in the works & will be available VERY soon!)
The food looked good, but given that we already had dinner plans or food already prepared for several nights after the day I got it, I was running out of time to try it out. I finally brought it over to my sister-in-law’s home one day for lunch so that we could try it out together.
Let me say that my ‘main’ was the Miso Cod. The idea of eating fish that had been sitting in my fridge for 5 days did not sit well with me AT ALL. To say that we were a little apprehensive about trying it would be an understatement, but the packaging assured me that it was not yet expired and worse case scenario- if it was awful, we’d eat something else and I wouldn’t have write about it.
We lined everything up on the counter and trimmed off the cardboard from each pouch, being careful to keep the pouch sealed.
I first added the cod, still in its pouch of course, to the boiling water and set the timer for 6 minutes (as indicated on the pouch).
Given that the sides (Steamed Baby Carrots & Rosemary Sweet Potato) only requires a 4-minute cooking time, we added them in 2 minutes later.
At the 6-minute mark, we removed the sides and placed them on a plate (they had been cooking for 4 minutes, as per instructions)
Full disclosure: My sister-in-law & I were both terrified of eating undercooked fish so we let it go for an extra minute or so. I’m sure it would have been ok at 6 minutes, but I tend to be a chicken about undercooking food! Now that I’ve done it once, I would be more trusting the next time around 🙂
I removed the cod and added it to the plate.
We cut the food out of the bag and plated it. The bags were disposed of and it was at this moment that it occurred to me that there was no clean up to do! This actually amazed me 🙂
I had to admit, the plates looked good! ( Note this plate is a half-portion of each of the bags)
Now for the tasting…
The cod was actually quite good. We both found it a touch salty, but we agreed that we often find Miso salty so it wasn’t surprising. It was still good and the texture was actually excellent!
What really surprised me was that there was zero indication that this food had been in my fridge for 5 days. No fishy smell! Truthfully, I was shocked.
The carrots were perfect and I was surprised that I also enjoyed the sweet potato. The reason for my surprise is that I actually dislike rosemary. Fortunately, the rosemary flavour didn’t dominate and the sweet potato was good! My sister-in-law really liked the sweet potato, but wasn’t as surprised since rosemary isn’t an issue for her 🙂
So what do I think?
I think OTAGO is a tastier and healthier option for:
- busy people who have no time to shop or cook and find themselves eating a lot of takeout.
- a family dinner if the alternative is takeout or eating out. While I wouldn’t consider OTAGO to be a cheap family dinner, I would say it’s on par or less with a lot of takeout or eating out options, but tastier, healthier & more convenient
- a date-night at home, especially for parents of an infant, who don’t have a lot of time to prepare a nice romantic dinner AND eat it. What’s especially great is that it stays it the fridge for up to 10 days, so if that date-night-at-home didn’t work out on the intended night, you have 9 more nights to still enjoy your romantic dinner for two 🙂
It’s fresh and yummy and ready-to-eat in 7 minutes. It’s the healthy alternative for those who really don’t have time or who need a break from cooking…there’s a reason they call it “Real Life Food” 🙂
Now, if you’re not convinced, what if there was a way for you to try OTAGO for FREE?
If you visit the OTAGO website, you can sign up with your email to find out more when they officially launch, including when they begin delivering directly to your home! If you refer a certain number of friends to sign up, you can actually earn FREE FOOD from OTAGO! Just click here to sign up!
For those of you who decide to try it out, I’d love to hear your thoughts.
With that, I wish you a fabulous and EASY day!
As with all sponsored posts, I will only ever share with you products and/or services I believe in. All opinions contained within are my own and cannot be bought