When I first told my friends that my weekend plans included going to a complete stranger’s house for a dinner party, it was met with mixed reactions. Some thought it sounded like a great idea, whilst others simply couldn’t understand it. Though I was open minded, I have to admit I wasn’t sure how I felt about the idea of Yumzee, a new social dining experience where strangers host dinner parties and guests pay to attend. Not wanting to miss out on anything food related that is happening in the city however, I accepted an invitation to attend a Yumzee meal – read on to find out how it went, and whether this new way of dining could be for you!
First of all, I’ll explain a little bit about how Yumzee works. Anyone can host a meal, and anyone can be a guest. Meal details are uploaded onto the website, with a description of the food and anything else guests will need to know. Then guests can sign up to attend the meal, usually paying between £10-£20. Everyone then gets together for a homecooked meal and gets to know each other – a bit like Come Dine With Me, except that guests haven’t been specially selected for making ‘good’ telly.
The meal I attended was called ‘A Taste of Home’ and was a relaxed, buffet-style Indian feast. We started with homemade pakoras and raita, had some beautiful curries and Indian dishes for the main (including roasted aubergine and yoghurt – something I am wanting to now cook myself!) and finished with pistachio kulfi and chai tea. This meal was certainly something I could never have knocked up at home, and was inspired by the home-cooking the host enjoyed as a child, which added a special element to the feast that you won’t find when eating out.
However tasty the food was though, it was the social element to Yumzee that really had me sold. It was surprising how easily people began to get to know eachother after sharing food (and a bit of wine!) together. I can’t think of many other situtations in which complete strangers would get together for an evening and leave feeling as if they now know each other. I can only imagine how great something like Yumzee could be for those that have just moved to the area and are looking to meet like-minded people. After the meal some of us ventured to a local pub to continue the evening, and by the time we went home it was easy to forget that we’d only just met a matter of hours ago.
So, if you’re a food-lover in Birmingham who likes the idea of meeting new people, stop what you’re doing and go and get yourself a Yumzee account. If, like me, the Yumzee concept falls outside of your comfort zone, take my word for it and give it a go anyway – I’m certainly glad I did! Thank you to Rebecca and Shireen for having me, I had a great evening and will certainly be going to another meal soon!
*On this occasion I was booked onto the meal complimentary for review purposes. This does not affect my honest opinion.