I had a feeling I was going to love the Urban Kitchen from the second I met their founder, Toral Shah. We met in a busy bar in London, where she appeared out of nowhere, like a whirlwind of energy and joy, and completely brightened my day – not only with an amazing meal to take home (more on that later) but her story of total courage and determination.
See, Toral is the kind of person I just love to have in my life.
Having been diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 29, she completed a triathlon midway through her treatment – and started The Urban Kitchen on her recovery, determined to create a business based entirely on the amazingness of real food, and good health.
But it’s not a wishy-washy ‘healthy’ kinda deal – she’s also got an MSc in Nutritional Medicine, and years of experience researching exactly what makes good food great, without being… Well, a bit bland.
So, after our brief but ridiculously inspiring meeting, I went on my way with a (surprisingly heavy) box of food to enjoy in the comfort of my own home, chosen from a very tempting menu of healthy foods and cooked up by their brilliant chef. Normally, this’d be delivered – on a pushbike, no less – to any location in London… A fact that I, quite frankly, find absolutely adorable.
What can I say? I love food, and I really love food when it’s hand delivered by pushbike while I sit on my butt. Takeaway Kate ain’t going anywhere, no matter how much weight I lose.
And the food itself?
Pretty damn impressive, I think – I mean, look at it:
My meal was Levantine Chicken with Jewelled Quinoa, a dish inspired by the flavours of North Africa – and came with the nutritional information stickered on the side for my reference (and if you’re interested – 542kcal, 42g carbs, 13g fat, 39g protein.)
And it was marvellous. I don’t use that word often, but seriously: it was really, really tasty. The chicken was tender, and not at all dry – and the quinoa (a grain I’ll admit to finding kinda boring at the best of times) was delicious, and genuinely quite complex in flavour, unlike the bland quinoa I’ve often found myself reluctantly eating previously.
Now, I personally found the portion size a little on the large side – but naturally, that ain’t a bad thing, because it meant I had leftovers the following day. Another big bonus, right there.
Frankly, for a reviewer, I found it difficult to find anything not to like about the Urban Kitchen – even their meal plans, which are something I’m not massively for usually, are pretty solid, with a good nutritional profile and a huge variety of options. And while the price of the lunch menu seems fairly steep, I’ve become – through painful experience – accustomed to paying upwards of £5 for a less-healthy lunch that I’d have to go and fetch myself.
With a considerably less generous portion size, I might add.
So with all that in mind – if you’re in London, and looking to try a healthy, nutritious and convenient meal option, I’d say The Urban Kitchen is the way to go.
After all, it’s fantastic food, created by one hell of an inspiring woman, delivered to your door. What more could a girl want?
Thanks to Toral and The Urban Kitchen for an amazing lunch to review – and for more about The Urban Kitchen (or just to drool over their menu) – click here.