Reviewed by Tom Litten
One of the more enjoyable elements of the last year or so has been that I’ve formed a very close connection with my hob, and I’m the proud owner of four times as many vinegars as I was in February 2020. The downside of this newfound enthusiasm is that I’ve unwittingly become the ‘person who cooks things’ at any barbecue or family event. So, when Exeter restaurant CIRCA asked if we wanted to try one of their cook at home ‘meat sharing boxes’ I jumped at the opportunity…
Once our meal box was safely at home and on the kitchen counter, the box is opened to greet you with all kinds of colourful sauces and butters, and everything is neatly labelled and packaged in compostable cardboards and plastics. This is a nicely constructed three course meal with clear instructions.
There’s virtually no prep left to do, so whilst the main course was warming in the oven we got started on the sourdough & black garlic butter and pork rillette & pickles. The portions were generous with a whole loaf of sourdough between two of us, and just the right amount of pork rillette to toe the line between substantial and indulgent. The rillette is my favourite element here, it’s surprisingly light and subtle and the fat content is well balanced by the sharpness of the pickles.
On to the main: the Dartmoor lamb shanks fell apart beautifully and there was more than enough meat, and obviously wild garlic is a welcome addition to any meal. The duck fat roasted potato terrine and accompanying sauce are
undo-the-top-button-of-your-trousers levels of rich, which was a new level of filling considering I haven’t had actual restaurant food for about six months.
We saved the wonderfully light and spongy sticky toffee puddings until the next day (I debated having one for breakfast until common sense took over), and CIRCA even thought of adding lunchbox-sized clotted cream for us to scoop on top.
One of the things I’ve missed over the past year or so has been the theatre that comes with good dining. It’s impossible to create the same experience at home, but CIRCA’s attention to detail and style of home meal is certainly the closest thing I’ve had for a long time. I would certainly recommend checking out this delivery service yourself if you live in the Exeter area!
This delivery box was gifted. To find out more about CIRCA at Home visit: circadevon.co.uk/circa-at-home