“Can you replicate Michelin starred food at home?” we asked as we waited with bated breath for our delivery from 215.
215 is the reincarnation of the Michelin starred Oxford Kitchen in Summertown, which has undergone a transformation while under lockdown. (READ THE FULL STORY HERE) https://www.oxinabox.co.uk/exclusive-michelin-starred-oxford-kitchen-in-summertown-is-reopening-as-215-we-talk-to-head-chef-paul-welburn-about-how-when-and-why/
But although head chef Paul Welburn has a new restaurant to shout about, very frustratingly, no one can currently venture there. So Paul and his team have redefined the word takeaway by bringing a little bit of his restaurant to you.
You are united in your mission not only to enjoy Paul’s food as much as he intends, but to honour his creations by compiling them to the best of your ability. You have a mutual goal
Which meant that Saturday night was my favourite in lockdown so far. The meal was flawless, the attention to detail, as evidenced by Paul and his team, took our breath away, the flavours and techniques as finessed as you would expect in 215 itself.
Throw in some fun surprises, and a price so reasonable it made me wince (£20 for two course and £25 for three) and you’re onto a winner. It makes me quite emotive even talking about it.
That’s not to say that the experience isn’t involved. It is. To recreate his dishes in your home, Paul needs your help.
At one point Mr Greedy laughed out loud. “This is really good and I mean really, really good.”
Suffice to say then, that the 215 Stay In & Eat Out takeaway is not a peel-back-the-lid-and-get-stuck-in kind of operation.
Each course arrives in a separate bag with detailed assembly instructions. You can also go online and watch Paul plating up each dish.
It meant we had to turn the oven on to warm up the home-made bread, then the potato and truffle gratin and afterwards the chocolate pudding. You need to boil water to cook the broccoli, tortellini and pork. There are plates to assemble and cocktails to make.
You are united in your mission not only to enjoy Paul’s food as much as he intends, but to honour his creations by compiling them to the best of your ability. You have a mutual goal, and it’s really fun.
Take the optional cocktail for example; the porn star martini arrived in three parts – the cocktail in a small container, a half bottle of Prosecco and the cocktail stick and accompanying fruit (pineapple, raspberries and strawberries) ready for assembly. This is the level of detail 215 is going into, which is why you feel so spoilt from the word go.
Food aside for a moment, our takeaway bags came complete with funny face mats, a tea light candle, hand sanitiser and straws. The special element was there from the word go.
In terms of our order, (the menu changes every day) we had the full three courses with wine and cocktails, one meat and one veggie.
Starters included gin and tonic cured salmon with a pickled lemon & fennel salad, and a salad of hummus, broad bean, summer vegetables, lemon dressing.
Then a 48 hour glazed pork, carrot and cardamom puree, spiced lentil sauce or butternut squash tortellini, Grana Padano, hazelnut, kale and watercress, followed with a chocolate pudding, passion fruit, vanilla crème.
“even if I’d been in 215 this would have been absolutely delicious, so that fact that I’m eating this at home is really impressive”
We began with the bread which came with two butters. One marmite and a lemon, herb and paprika! Then the arancini balls (chicken caesar for the carnivores, cep for the veggies), another surprise which served as an amuse bouche and came with homemade mayonnaise.
The salmon was a masterpiece. Mr Greedy commenting: “even if I’d been in the restaurant this would have been absolutely delicious so that fact that I’m eating this at home is really impressive.”
The bite of the summer vegetables, from asparagus to radish, baby carrots and broad beans, was so clever under the circumstances, enhanced by the creamy hummus and the fresh zingy salsa verde, washed down with a carefully chosen white Sauvignon Blanc.
The 48 hour glazed pork, carrot and cardamom puree, spiced lentil sauce was another exceptional dish enhanced with the cube of fine sliced and pressed gratin and the tenderstem broccoli with hazelnut butter.
The handmade tortellini, stuffed with butternut squash and served with a parmesan cream, basil pesto, chopped hazelnuts and crispy kale defied belief. Each mouthful was a gift, only enhanced by the fact that you are eating it sat around your kitchen table.
At one point Mr Greedy laughed out loud. “This is really good and I mean really, really good. It’s quite funny thinking that you can create Michelin starred food at home, even though you haven’t made it,” before tucking back into his succulent 48hour pork, washed down with a perfectly matched red Valpolicella.
The chocolate pudding came with a moreish Chantilly cream so light it almost floated into your mouth, and a heavenly tropical passionfruit curd, every last morsel disappearing, the bowls licked clean.
So that’s how you do a 215 takeaway, and for that price we will be doing it over and over again. I take my hat off to Paul and his team for delivering the impossible while making it fun.
If this is a teaser for what’s to come at 215 then I can’t wait to visit. But in the meantime this is certainly the next best thing.
Thanks to 215, staying in is definitely the new going out.
The 215 takeaway and delivery service is running every Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 12pm-8.30pm, priced from £20 for two courses. Meals are delivered by taxi between 5pm and 6:30pm on the day. Order at https://www.twoonefive.co.uk/takeaway/