Chefling's sushi kits outline the possibilities for the DIY gourmet experience
It's the age of limitless possibilities and yet sushi at home is unfeasible to many. Assembly is a problem, for one - sorting the right ingredients alone is quite the task, not to mention inconsistent deliveries and pricey gourmet condiments. But what if someone cherry-picked the essentials, sized up the portions and delivered at your doorstep, everything you needed to make sushi? “The fact that our sushi kits are pre-portioned is a big draw for our customers. Because usually people have to buy whole portions. If you need soy sauce, you have to buy a full bottle, you probably won’t find 50 ml packs,” Rounit Gambhir, of Chefling tells us.
Gambhir’s six-month old label is delivering immaculately assorted sushi kits pan India, stocked with wasabi, Nori sheets, sriracha mayo, sushi roller mats and the works. This doesn’t just update the DIY design but also democratises the gourmet experience, vis-a-vis format and cost. “Six pieces of sushi at a restaurant costs at least Rs 700, our smallest kit costs Rs 999 and you can make 18 sizeable rolls and 36 smaller ones,” Gambhir shares. In an interview Gambhir breaks down the uptick in pre-portioned meal kits that could signals a change for urban dining culture:
What does a standard kit have?
Around 11-12 ingredients like sushi rice, soy, ginger, wasabi powder, Nori sheets, the works. It’s the A-Z of assembling sushi in your home. But we only include non-perishable items because the meat, fish or the veggies should be eaten fresh; plus, delivering perishable items pan India isn’t always feasible so we don’t include the protein in the kits.
Why did you zero in on sushi?
The idea actually came to me last year during lockdown. I was at a friend’s place, she was making sushi and it looked very complex. You have to source 12-15 ingredients from different places and it can cost something between 5k-7k. But pre-portioned kits with a shelf life of 6 months and resealable packaging solves a lot of problems
Why not start with something more simplistic for your first kit?
It’s interesting, I read about this company in London that was working with food kits and it failed because they were only sticking to run-off-the-mill stuff. For example, if I do a pav bhaji kit here, not everyone would buy it because almost everyone knows how to make it. So exclusivity has been key to us from the get-go, we’re planning enchilada kits next.
Where do you source the ingredients from?
We source them mainly from Japan and China, some of them are actually hard to source in India, like sushi vinegar, for instance. Nori sheets are also very pricey here.
Price starts from Rs 999