New meal kit services don’t get launched in Australia very often, so it’s super exciting to see a new kid on the block. Make-Out Meals launched in 2020 servicing Melbourne city before expanding to Sydney in 2022.
Make-Out Meals partners with local restaurants to develop recipes based on their famous dishes, then delivers ingredients to you using the same suppliers as that restaurant. More than anything, this promises high-quality, restaurant-standard meals. This Make-Out Meals review will share whether that’s what they manage to deliver.
Make-Out Meals - Meal Kit Review
Make-Out Meals Review Summary
A startup in the world of meal kits, expect high-quality ingredients to help you produce restaurant-standard meals. Some practical teething problems will no doubt be worked out soon.
Ordering - Website - 7/10
Food - Quality - 10/10
Ordering - Meal Choice - 5/10
Food - Taste - 8/10
Ordering - Delivery - 6/10
Value For Money - 6/10
- Beautiful, fresh ingredients.
- Recipes from exciting restaurants.
- Expansive portion sizes.
- Recipes need fine-tuning.
- Premium cost.
- Limited weekly options.
The first thing that stands out is the quality of restaurants they have partnered with. True institutions like Lello’s Pasta Bar and LadyBoy Dining in Sydney or Mamasita and Bomba in Melbourne. These are places you’d comfortably be paying $20+ for dinner, which helps Make-Out Meals feel like a bargain. More on that later.
The Make-Out Meals delivery network is still fairly small, focusing on mainly metropolitan areas on the east coast. Currently, that includes:
There are promises to further expand into Brisbane and Adelaide, so keep an eye out for that.
Getting Started with Make-Out Meals
Make-Out Meals offers either a One-Off Box or a Weekly Subscription Box. The main difference is that the subscription box will keep being delivered at the same time every week until you decide to cancel. There are often some incentives (e.g money off) for signing up for the subscription box and you can simply set it and forget it knowing your meals are planned for. You can also subscribe to just 2 meals each week, which you can’t in the One-Off box!
Jumping onto the website gives a very minimalist, artistic feeling which is quite enjoyable to navigate. It’s not quite as flashy as some of their competitors but it is perfectly functional.
Boxes are available for 2 People, 4 People, or 6 People.
Within each box, you can have 2 Meals (Subscription Only), 3 Meals, or 4 Meals.
This offering is very similar to other meal kits on the market, although most also offer a 5 meal box. That’s probably not offered due to the variety of options, which we’ll look at next.
Meal Options Available
Each week, expect to see some very different recipes available on the menu. As Make-Out meals partner with a wide variety of restaurants, there can be some really interesting meals to choose from.
However, this is limited to just 8-10 options every week. If you’re a picky eater, this might not be the service for you.
There are definitely options available for vegetarians, with 3-4 options being meat-free every week. Expect a good rotation of meals to choose from, as they have already built up a strong mix of menu options from every restaurant they work with.
One thing missing from the website is detailed nutritional information. They only provide a list of ingredients, so it’s really hard to use Make-Out Meals if you’re managing your intake of specific fats or nutrients. You also can’t access the recipe online, as it is only provided on a physical card with your order.
Orders need to be submitted or managed before Friday each week if you’re on the subscription box.
Some of the options available have been interesting dishes like:
- Lello Pasta Bar’s Gnocchi Primavera
- Bomba’s Grilled Fish, Crushed Kipflers and Cornichons
- La Tortilleria’s Chicken Enchiladas
- Cecconi’s Chicken Parmigiana
Shipping costs are hidden when going through the ordering process. I actually can’t find them mentioned anywhere on the website until the final order confirmation page.
Delivery is $11.99 per order. That’s slightly high in comparison to the standard industry rate of $9.99 but not unreasonably high. It’s important to remember these boxes need to be shipped in specialist refrigerated vans.
You’re given options for delivery options or times. In my case, I could choose between a night or day delivery.
The boxes do come with cold storage items in insulated bags, so they can last 6-8 hours outside depending on how hot it is where the box is left. This makes nighttime deliveries especially useful as you get to pick up your box first thing in the morning.
How much does Make-Out Meals Cost?
Make-Out Meals is competing at the premium end of Australia’s Meal Kit options, especially as they deliver restaurant-quality ingredients with recipes designed by chefs responsible for some of Australia’s most liked restaurants.
You wouldn’t expect that to be cheap, but I found Make-Out Meals to be surprisingly reasonable considering the quality you’re receiving.
Pricing can be notoriously difficult for meal kit services, as they’re competing with everything from takeaways, grocery shopping, ready meals, and other meal kit suppliers. In this case, they’re most certainly not the cheapest meal kit delivery service! In fact, they are around 20% more expensive than Marley Spoon and HelloFresh.
There’s a quirk in their pricing that 12 portions can be supplied as either 4 People, 3 Meals for $139.00 OR 6 People, 2 Meals for $119.00. Being clever about which option you pick can save you a bit of cash.
My Make-Out Meals Review Box
My box arrived at the very beginning of the delivery window, at around 8:30am. I received a text nearly 2 hours later to tell me my box had arrived, which wasn’t particularly helpful. These are the kind of kinks they’ll iron out over time, so I don’t worry too much about it.
The delivery boxes are smartly designed with a pun to “kiss goodbye to normal meals”.
Interestingly, this was a much slimmer and taller box than I’ve received from other meal kit services. Maybe that helps them fit more in the delivery van. Regardless, it has no practical impact so I’ll move on quickly.
Pulling out the ingredients, it was immediately obvious they were of very high quality. Just take a look at that pasta!
The meat was supplied by University Meat, a reputable supplier of restaurants and hotels in Australia. Everything was fresh and had plenty of time on the use-by dates. Not a bruised vegetable in sight.
Here are the ingredients laid out to cook the Lello Pasta Busiate.
How’s The Food?
When trying each meal for this Make-Out Meals review, I’m mainly thinking about three primary factors: Cooking, Taste, and Portion Size.
I must admit, I found these dishes quite difficult to cook for a couple of reasons. Firstly, I was missing a recipe card for one of my dishes and had to email their support team for a digital copy. The response was quick, but not quick enough for me to cook the meal on that night.
Secondly, the recipes are printed on a small piece of card with lots of text and no images. You really need to read through each step 2-3 times and think about what you need to do before it all makes sense. It feels like they’re designed to be easy for chefs but that can feel difficult for your average home cook.
Lastly, there was a major issue with the Busiate Pasta recipe as it clearly states to boil the pasta for 8-10 minutes. After 10 minutes, the pasta was definitely not cooked! When I double-checked the packet, it clearly said you need to give the pasta at least 15 minutes. That meant my first attempt ended in me eating undercooked pasta. Not ideal.
Once I had the recipes worked out and cooked my ingredients properly, each dish tasted absolutely delicious. There was always an element that became the star of the show in each dish. For example, the Hotel Jesus Chicken Maryland had an awesome Mole sauce that you’d find almost impossible to make better yourself.
I think it’s likely that some restaurants will have better dishes than others, so you’ll be able to work out which dishes are the best over time.
There’s no doubt the portion sizes were HUGE. I had no problems serving very filling meals with the amount of ingredients I received, so this is definitely a plus for Make-Out Meals in an area where other services often fall down. If you were a light eater, these portions would allow you to keep some back for lunch and get even more value out of a Make-Out Meals subscription.
What isn’t included?
As is standard with all meal kit delivery services, Make-Out Meals ask that you provide some standard ‘pantry‘ ingredients alongside their provided kits. These are the ingredients that they might ask you to have:
Oils & Vinegars
- Olive Oil
- Vegetable Oil
This is a very small list of ingredients that most people will already have at home. However, I always recommend checking your recipes before your box arrives so you can make sure you have all your staple ingredients available.
My Overall Thoughts
Make-Out Meals is a new start-up in the ultra-competitive world of meal kit delivery services. We have some incredibly popular services here in Australia that are tough to beat, so it was always important that Make-Out Meals did something a bit different. They’ve certainly achieved that.
I love the concept of restaurant-designed meals you can cook at home. With each box, you receive beautiful, high-quality ingredients that are combined into delicious meals. Since these restaurants are putting their names against the ingredients, I would be confident standards will remain consistently high.
However, there are some teething issues that need working out. The recipes aren’t easy to follow & need better quality control, we need visibility of nutritional information, and there need to be more options available each week. I’m sure these issues will be a thing of the past as they work to improve the Make-Out Meals service.
I’d also love to see them lean into their restaurant partnerships with things like:
- Sharing the story of each dish and how it was developed.
- Suggesting add-ons or personalised elements.
- Offering a discount for visiting the restaurant after cooking one of their dishes.
Overall, this is a great service but I don’t think they’re quite ready to knock the major services off their perch just yet. I’m hoping that time will come though.
The most similar service available currently would be HelloFresh. I’ve always found their recipes to deliver restaurant-standard meals, much like Make-Out Meals. The ingredients don’t have the same quality, but it’s definitely a service worth looking into.
I’d love to hear about other people’s experiences with Make-Out Meals – were they similar to mine? Did you find my Make-Out Meals review useful? Let me know in the comments section below!