High On Presentation, Low On Taste

Working professionals share a love-hate relationship with their lunchboxes. Those who love it can’t wait to open their fondly packed tiffins bursting with the comforting aromas of home cooked food. The haters hate it because they have to resort to mediocre meals served at the office canteen or a local restaurant.

Tiffin service providers have tried to fill in this vacuum but often failed. The food is usually tasteless, the packaging tacky and it gives an overall feeling of indifference packaged in a box. Mumbai’s Shree Trikutaa Square Meals believes it can put the warmth back in packaged meals with Chadaro, short for ‘chawal’, ‘dal’ and ‘roti’.

Their confidence stems from their belief that the simply prepared meal is as close as it gets to home cooked food. The company offers vegetarian breakfast and five types of meal services ranging from INR 70 for the executive thali to INR 160 for a premium thali. The difference in the selections is the number of vegetables, side dishes and desserts included. Customers can opt for various packages starting from a 10-day trial to monthly, quarterly, half yearly and annual options.

The meals are packed in convenient spill-proof plastic trays with separate containers for each dish and a thin foil covering them to capture their warmth.
The meals are packed in convenient spill-proof plastic trays with separate containers for each dish and a thin foil covering them to capture their warmth.

GOOD PRESENTATION, LACKLUSTRE TASTE
We tried some of Chadaro’s offerings, including the breakfast tray which had Upma and Coconut Chutney. The chutney was exactly how we made it at home, with some chunky coconut pieces making their errant presence felt, while the stray bits of roasted cashewnuts in the upma made it very agreeable.

The meals are packed in convenient spill-proof plastic trays with separate containers for each dish and a thin foil covering them to capture their warmth. In terms of convenience and presentation, we would give Chadaro 9 out of 10. However, when it comes to taste, we felt the food was more attuned to the mild tastes of non-Indians, since it was very low on spice.

The dal was very watery, making it difficult to eat with either roti or rice. The vegetable preparations were uninspired, while the salad was a few slices of drying cucumber and carrots.

While Chadaro lived up to its motto of delivering fresh food, it should improve the taste quotient of its offerings. Else it is back to the boring office canteen fare for its clientele.