24 July 2015

TinyOwl HomeMade - Making Lunch Time Easier

Lunch time at the new job was posing to be a difficult task. On some days I'd get a dabba from home, and those days were good. On the days I was dabba-less, I was forced to eat thela Chinese, greasy burgers, chaat, buttery sandwiches, from the stalls around me. Working in the midst of Temptation Land aka Bandra Linking road was proving to be detrimental to health. 

I was looking for some good quality home cooked lunch on the days I would not get my dabba as I was tired of eating fast food. Tying up with a dabba service was not feasible as most of them required me to sign up for a month or atleast a week. And then those who did one-day dabbas required a 24 hours notice. So you see, none of the logistics seem to be working out for me, until I stumbled upon the TinyOwl HomeMade App, which is available both for Android and IOS users.

I conveniently ignored the original TinyOwl app which focuses on home delivery options from restaurants based on your location, because I thought who needed another home delivery app? But the Home Made version of this TinyOwl has made meal times so much easier. Tiny Owl Home Made brings ghar ka khana from home chefs, cooks, and moms to your doorstep. Currently operating in areas like Bandra, BKC, Andheri E, Ghatkopar, Powai, I got to chose between a number of different home style meals, which are rotated on a daily basis. 

I have ordered from Tiny Owl Home Made anonymously, on three occasions in the past two weeks - once for dinner, and twice for lunch. I stumbled across the service on social media, and I've been hooked since then. I really loved certain points while ordering from TinyOwl, and I thought I'd share them with you guys.

- The first thing that draws you to the app is the clean, clutter-free user interface which made placing the order really fast and convenient. Also the food pictures used are extremely droolworthy and well styled.

- All three meals I ordered on all three occasions were delicious, and is exactly something you would eat at your home, or your friend's home. Another positive aspect for me were the portion sizes, which were enough to satiate two individuals with moderate appetites. Or one person with a heavy appetite.

Egg Curry + Parathas
Paneer Bhurjee + Parathas
Veg Jalfrezi  + Pulao + Parathas
- What I really love is the fact that the chefs sending me food were aunties, middle aged uncles, and young entrepreneurs. And this definitely reflects in the taste. And in the variety. They also do a spattering of Chinese, Mexican, and even Parsi  fare from my favourite Bawi Bride. So really you are spoiled for choice when comes to options. I stuck to regular ghar ka khana however. If I wanted Mexican, I'd order from a restaurant, really.

- The meals range from Rs. 100 to Rs. 250 depending on the number of dishes, and gets more expensive if you're craving chicken/meat. My lunch was priced at Rs. 120 - Rs 150, which my staff and I thought was fairly good. Better than paying hundred bucks for a cheese aloo sandwich, anyday! I also really liked the cash on delivery part which eliminated the hassle of paying via the app.

- The delivery was prompt, and they stuck to the time slot I had chosen. They also send out a text once your order is out for delivery, with the delivery person's number and name, in case you want to get in touch.

- I was impressed to have received a call from them after I ordered my first meal, asking for my feedback. Also receiving a hand written note from the home chef, made my day.


The only minor complaint I could come up with are that the dishes in the pictures look a tad bit better than they looked in real life. But then again food styling and lighting pay a major part. You after all eat with your eyes before you eat with your mouth.

Personally discovering the app has been a boon for me. It has made the decision of what to eat for lunch so much easier for me, as well as my staff, who like browsing through the lunch menu everyday. The concept of home chefs delivering lunch via the internet may not be entirely new - case in point Hola Chef, Spice Box, Foodees, and many more. It is the flexibility of ordering meals on a short notice, convenience of doing it via my phone, and including Bandra in their zone of delivery, that made TinyOwl HomeMade work for me personally. 

People are not used to spending for meals that taste exactly like the ones they would get at home. I see this concept working beautifully for office goers like me who crave for homely lunches. However, I don't know if this would work for those looking to order a one time meal. Personally I hope this concept picks up. Not only for the diner, but also for thousands of those home chefs who are unable to demonstrate their talent in a professional kitchen. Do you know any similar websites or apps that cater home food? I'd love to hear those in the comments below, and try them out.

(The author ordered from TinyOwl Home Made anonymously, and paid for her own meals. The thoughts are entirely her own.)

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