What is Yandex Chef?

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Everything that comes in a shipment of Yandex Chef. Each paper bag has the ingredients for one meal, other than meat which is in the large silver bag

Grocery shopping, and cooking, can be a pain in the butt. But what if there was away to eliminate, or at least lessen, part of that pain. If you’re like me you want to eat somewhat healthily, so that means no shawarma everyday, and you know it is too expensive to eat at a restaurant every night. This is where Yandex Chef comes in, but what is Yandex Chef? Yandex Chef is a service offered in Saint Petersburg and Moscow, where you get the ingredients and recipes needed for five meals (or three if you choose that option) delivered to you every week, all you have to do is follow the instructions. Other than salt, pepper, and cooking oil, everything you need is included in Yandex Chef. The question is, is it worth it? Well, I have just finished my first week using Yandex Chef and I will tell you all about it here.

There is a selection of different menus to choose from, each slightly different with varying prices. The most expensive being the “Fitness” menu, which costs 4095 rubles per week. We opted for the “Family” menu, this is the cheapest one and is 2896 rubles per week. Each meal in the “Family” menu has 3 portions, presumably one portion for each parent and then another portion for a child. The “Family” menu averages out to be 579 rubles per meal. Keep in mind, this is just for dinner and for breakfast/lunch you will still need to buy your own groceries.

First dish in the Yandex Chef box. Tilapia in sesame breading with fried zucchini
Everything needed to prepare tilapia in sesame breading with grilled zucchini in a sesame sauce is in this bag

The exact dishes in the packages change every week. This week the “Family” menu had tilapia with zucchini, buckwheat noodles in pad thai sauce, bucatini pasta with cheese sauce, frittata, and chicken legs. Each meal also comes with plenty of vegetables, mostly broccoli, tomatoes, and onions. The meals are always delivered on Sunday, and they come in separate paper bags, together in one giant box. There is also a very large insulated bag, that holds all the perishable products like the meat. Everything is labeled, and so it is almost impossible to get the ingredients mixed up. There is also the recipes, that show step by step instructions with pictures, as well as all the ingredients you will need. I am not a great cook by any means. To be honest, I have been known to struggle following recipes I found online. The recipes sent with Yandex Chef are so simple, and so easy to follow with only a few steps each, not even I could mess them up.

Each meal is also quite large. The smallest of the meals is 1.14kg, split into three portions that 380g per portion, the largest is 1.62kg (540g per portion). For the two of us, this was more than enough. We always saved the third portion for lunch the next day. The food is also very tasty. I would absolutely eat any of the five meals again. My favourite was the tilapia dish, but even the buckwheat noodles were delicious which I was not expecting.

Is Yandex Chef worth it? In my opinion, yes it is especially if there is more than one of you. If you were to split the “Family” menu evenly between three people, all living together, each would pay roughly 190 roubles per meal. That’s only slightly more than a shawarma, but it’s much healthier and generally a greater amount of food too. Yandex Chef eliminates much of the hassle of deciding what to eat for dinner, and then having to go to the store to purchase the ingredients. You simply follow the recipes, and use what is sent to you.

Yandex Chef recipe for tilapia with sesame breading
The recipes are incredibly easy to follow. On the left it shows you everything you will need. This is the recipe for the sesame breaded tilapia with grilled zucchini

On the other hand, if you are on a very tight budget you could purchase your own groceries and make your own meals for cheaper, especially if you took advantage of coupons and sales. However, part of the reason for ordering through Yandex Chef is to save time, to not have to think too much, and to try cooking dishes that you may not have thought you could. I had only ever heard of a frittata, I had a vague idea of what it was, but I never thought I would ever make a frittata. For me, Yandex Chef is absolutely worth it.

 

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