Alternative Eats: Xinwei Cook

We delve deep into Shanghai’s food underbelly to give you an alternative view of the city’s dining scene.

Ok, we are just going to come right out and say it. Xinwei Cook is a food revolution for city dwellers in Shanghai (and beyond). It is perfect for the times when you are hosting a dinner party and want something that looks and tastes spectacular, but is pretty darn simple to make. The real beauty of the whole concept, however, is that you simply need to look online and order your dinner from a range of international cuisines in the morning, and get it delivered straight to your door that very evening (if you live within the Shanghai inner ring road) or a time of your choosing. What’s more, each box comes complete with every single pre-measured ingredient you are going to need in the cooking process, even down to the salt and pepper. It is also really convenient for people who live on their own and don’t want to do a big grocery shop every time they wish to eat a single, home-cooked meal. To successfully make the most out of the dishes, all you really need is a few saucepans and a stove.

Although some of the recipes seem like they might be complicated (cooking scallops and octopus for the first time was pretty nervewracking), the easy to follow, English instructions were very straightforward and included pictures relating to every step of the way. The boxes look pretty compact when they arrive, but actually there are a lot of ingredients vacuum packed inside, and each portion can easily fill one person.

We selected the octopus salad (RMB 28), a family cod set for three people, which also included French onion bacon potatoes and a green salad with chicken and Parmasan (RMB 128) and scallop bacon rolls with arugula salad and balsamic dressing (RMB 68). The seafood was fresh and we had no qualms about cooking the octopus and scallops due to the clear instructions, however, we did cut out some of the butter, included for frying, as it seemed a little excessive. But hey, it’s better to have too much rather than too little, right?

We will definitely be sampling more dishes from Xinwei Cook in the future. In fact, we have already noticed a few new additions to their menu in the space of only a few weeks.