Thursday, January 23, 2014

The Odd Pod, by invitation, South Melbourne by Bureaucrat

During the week, I was lucky to try a new online lunch delivery service called The Odd Pod.  Between the hours of 9am to 5pm each work day, this bureaucrat lives and breathes (and may occasionally push some paper around) in her little green pod with her fellow podders.  When I'm not filling out a form in triplicate, I ponder what I should eat for lunch.  

It's pretty universal for any office worker that deciding what one should eat for lunch can become quite a chore.  It has to be fresh.  It has be tasty.  It has to be healthy.  So anything that can solve this dilemma is a good thing.  This is where The Odd Pod comes in.  A new online lunch delivery service that have delicious and creative salads on offer.  We're not talking about boring potato or Caesar salad, or even those semi interesting salads that are then a complete let down when you realise that it's mostly shredded iceberg lettuce drowned in harsh 'light and tangy' dressing.

When my three salads arrived at my office it attracted a lot of curious looks from colleagues.  To help me try out the salads, I enlisted Ms H and Ms C.  When I opened up the three boxes, Ms H spontaneously blurted out to me "omg, I'm going to be your friend forever!"  I couldn't help but smile at this - Homer Simpson take note, you can make friends with salad!

The first salad was the Jewel of the Nile which is made up of roasted pumpkin, cauliflower, chickpeas and steamed green beans with quinoa, pomegranate, nuts and parsley.  This was the prettiest of the three salads - the bright orange pumpkin, green beans and the red from the pomegranate arils.  I really liked the balance of ingredients and textures here.  There was a sprinkling of chickpeas but not so much that made it boring.  The nutty flavour was boosted by the crunchy, toasted almonds and the bed of quinoa.  I also appreciated the al dente beans, pumpkin and caulis.  

The universal favourite was Chango - a salad of roasted chicken breast, quinoa, mango, snow peas, capsicum, cucumber, chopped mint and sesame seeds.  This was filling, fresh and zesty.  We were all won over by the fragrant mango cubes.  I absolutely lurved the zingy lime-based dressing mixing with lots of refreshing chopped mint.  Although you can't see it in the photo, I also loved the squeaky fresh snow peas and red capsicums.  The chicken was so tender and juicy that I had thought it was poached and not roasted.

Our second favourite was the Hola Chica - a salad of shredded chicken, lettuce, tomato, black beans, char-grilled corn, avocado, coriander and feta with a chili lime dressing.  Pleasingly, it only had a small amount of iceberg and had lots of chopped toms, black beans and avo.  I particularly liked the fresh corn off the cob and the big fat coriander leaves. The dressing was creamy but it wasn't heavy or unhealthy.  It add just a right amount of richness and a little piquancy to the salad.  The corn chips were a nice touch, but they were a smidge soft and chewy.

For all three salads, I loved the use of quinoa as the 'filler' - I love quinoa as it's gluten free, packed with protein and a supergrain.  

Verdict
Food – 8.5
Service – 7.5*
Ambiance – 7^
Price – 7.5*
* Scores are notional as I was a guest of The Odd Pod.
^ Score is notional as this is a delivery service.

Overall
This is the future of the workday lunch.  Each day there is a different range of yummy salads.  Prices range from $11.50 to $15, and I believe that you definitely get that back in the quality and freshness of the ingredients and the exciting types of salads on offer.

The salads have great names such as: the Moo Thai Boxer (rump steak w baby spinach, finely sliced carrot, celery, caps, toms and cashews) and Brokeback Brisket (overnight roasted pulled brisket on a bed of purple and white cabbage, carrots and coriander served w jalapenos).  There's also the Salmon Sultan of Tarator, Baa-toush, Nazcar Roast and Barley Legal.

Ms H, Ms C and I agreed that it would cost the same (if not more) if you were to purchase all the individual ingredients and prepared them yourself.  At least this way, you avoid all the shopping, chopping, cooking and cleaning!  I especially liked the attention to detail that lifts these salads to a higher level - the prompt delivery, the super fresh and varied salad ingredients, the herby garnishes and the dressing being served separately.

There are also a range snacks and drinks on offer.  You have to order a day ahead - and don't dally in placing your order as the salads do get sold out.  There's a minimum order of $40 which includes free delivery - this will be easy to achieve if you get a bunch of friends at work and make an order.  Take the hassle out of your weekday work lunch.  Given how hot this summer is, treat yourself to a fresh, tasty lunch that's delivered to your door.  Remember, you can make friends with salad!

Address
The Odd Pod
178 Ferrars St
South Melbourne 3205
Telephone: 9973 0941

Odd Pod on Urbanspoon

1 comment:

obelix glutt said...

What a great find! I would love to chow down on a healthy salad for lunch without having the bother of going out and figuring out what I should buy for lunch and where to get it from.

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