Saturday, 16 May 2020

Cook with Leyli Joon & Co, Cardiff delivery review

The thing that always strikes me about Leyli Joon’s food is its complexity of seasoning, texture and spice.

Whether it’s their crisp, spicy and sticky Korean fried chicken kebab topped with green chilli zhoug, garlic sauce, sriracha mayo, pickles and 'slaw at Bab Haus at Sticky Fingers, or a Persian supper club dish of Welsh burrata with samphire, cherry tomatoes, chilli, kataifi pastry and vivid herb oil; you can never accuse a Leyli Joon dish of being one dimensional.

Since lockdown, Leyli has started delivering Cook with Leyli Joon meal kits and ready-cooked feasts to Cardiff and beyond. There's normally something different to order online every week with delivery taking place on Saturdays. We were gutted to miss out on a cook-a-long Korean fried chicken with bibimbap and Persian saffron chicken with jewelled rice as Mrs G (aka Dr H) has understandably been working a lot more weekends lately.

So, the prospect of an early May bank holiday Persian BBQ feast was a dead cert. At £55, the feast was advertised as serving four people or two people with leftovers. It more than lived up to its billing as we had six hearty portions over a couple of days. 

Unlike some of the other Cook with Leyli Joon kits, the Persian BBQ was thankfully low intervention. All the salads and dips were pre-prepared so we only needed to cook the marinated meats, halloumi, green peppers and flatbread. The entire prep and cook time was around twenty minutes; my kind of cooking. And the clear instructions were 100% idiot (me) proof.

Everything we ate was absolutely belting. 

Lightly charred beef and lamb koobideh kebabs were super juicy.

Gorgeously tender chicken joojeh kebabs were fragrant with citrus, saffron and interlaced with a fine dice of caramelised onion and garlic. There was enough for at least four kebabs’ worth.

Golden halloumi was drizzled with a potent and vibrantly herby green chilli zhoug and a dusting of tangy and earthy za’atar. 

A groaning bowlful of bulgar wheat and chickpea tabbouleh was slightly sweet and warming spiced. 

Having rolled out the flatbread dough, we dry-fried them in five minutes. Crisp, bubbly and soft, they were a lovely mop for the excellent dips; 

silky hummus fragranced with sweet and earthy beetroot; 

creamy and tangy yoghurt flecked with mint and cucumber;

and the star of the show, a compellingly smoky aubergine dip (mirza ghasemi) topped with crispy onions. 

Even a crisp pickled cabbage salad and carrot slaw had extra dimensions from fennel and mustard seeds.  

Blistered green peppers were delicately bitter with a nice lick of char.

Mrs G and I were blown away by Leyli Joon’s Persian BBQ feast. It puts every other kebab delivery I’ve ever had to shame and you get a serious bang for your buck. I can’t wait to give another of their meal kits a go, even if I'll need to demonstrate more skill in the kitchen next time.

*Update* - Leyli Joon's Persian BBQ feast is back on Friday 22 and Saturday 23 May. You can order it over here:

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