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NOW CLOSED M&S Simply Fuller Longer range - tester review thread

(289 Posts)
TheOtherHelenMumsnet (MNHQ) Fri 25-May-12 14:26:16

This thread is for the Mumsnet M&S panellists who've been trying out the Simply Fuller Longer range with their families. M&S would like to know what you thought of the dish(es) you tried. We've included a few feedback questions below to get you started, but please feel free to add any other comments you have too.

Everyone who adds their feedback to this thread will be entered into a prize draw to win a £100 M&S giftcard.

Please note that your comments may appear (anonymously) on the M&S pages on Mumsnet and possibly elsewhere.

Please remember to state which dish(es) you tried in your response.

Q1. How did you find the SFL range in the store you visited in terms of availability? Was there enough to choose from or not? Which dishes grabbed your attention immediately?

Q2. With the dish(es) you tried, did you heat them up in the microwave or oven? Did preparation method factor into your choice of purchase? If you regularly buy 'convenience' meals, how did the SFL dishes compare to others in terms of how quick and easy they are to prepare? If you don't usually buy 'convenience' meals, were you impressed with the speed/ease of preparing the dishes or not?

Q3. How did you find the portion sizes of the dishes you tried? Did you feel full afterwards? And how about your DH/DP - was he/she sufficiently full afterwards? What were his/her thoughts on the portion size?

Q4. What did you and your DH/DP think of the dishes you tried in terms of taste and flavour - did you enjoy them or not? Is there anything that you think could be improved on this front? Would you consider the dishes you tried to be 'healthy alternatives' to other ready meal options or not?

Q5. Do you think the dishes you tried represented good value for money or not? Why?

Q6. If it came up in conversation, do you think you'd recommend any of the dishes you tried to your friends/family? If so, why? If not, why not?

Thanks and good luck with the prize draw
MNHQ

R2PeePoo Fri 25-May-12 16:44:55

Q1. How did you find the SFL range in the store you visited in terms of availability? Was there enough to choose from or not? Which dishes grabbed your attention immediately?

There were about 10 different dishes. I grabbed the Keralan curry for DH immediately but I struggled to find something I fancied. I'm not a big fan of stews/hotpots or tomatoes which left me with the salmon and brocolli asian thing. It was difficult to work out which were the SFL and which were Count on us as they were quite mixed up and spread out over three shelves.

Q2. With the dish(es) you tried, did you heat them up in the microwave or oven? Did preparation method factor into your choice of purchase? If you regularly buy 'convenience' meals, how did the SFL dishes compare to others in terms of how quick and easy they are to prepare? If you don't usually buy 'convenience' meals, were you impressed with the speed/ease of preparing the dishes or not?

I did DH's curry in the oven and the salmon thing in the microwave. I prefer to buy two dishes that go in the oven for around the same time. Or one meal in the oven or one in the microwave as two in the microwave means one is getting cold whilst the other is being cooked. The curry took slightly longer than the usual convenience oven meals but the salmon thing was about right.

Q3. How did you find the portion sizes of the dishes you tried? Did you feel full afterwards? And how about your DH/DP - was he/she sufficiently full afterwards? What were his/her thoughts on the portion size?

DH immediately toasted a pitta bread when he saw the size of his curry but he did feel full afterwards and for some time later. I was not impressed when I saw mine either, the salmon piece was obviously quite small and thin. After eating it I did feel full but not as full as DH as I snacked later on in the evening.

Q4. What did you and your DH/DP think of the dishes you tried in terms of taste and flavour - did you enjoy them or not? Is there anything that you think could be improved on this front? Would you consider the dishes you tried to be 'healthy alternatives' to other ready meal options or not?

DH said he was very impressed with the amount of chicken in his meal, nice chicken too. He mentioned that the samosa crust went soggy too quickly after coming out of the oven nice and crisp. He said it was well spiced in general but the cauliflower and potato could have done with being curried separately and then added in as they were quite floury and tasteless. But the cauli was nice and crisp rather than being soggy which meant he actually ate it. He said he would eat one again and it was nice to have a different type of curry.

I quite enjoyed mine,it wasn't completely to my taste but I liked the flavours. The broccoli came out of the microwave quite brown which was a little off-putting. It was very dark and small compared to the bright fresh brocolli florets I cooked at the same time for my children. It was quite chewy too. Mine felt more like a 'health food' than his did and I was quite envious of his meal.

Q5. Do you think the dishes you tried represented good value for money or not? Why?

I think if I was buying again I would try the Count on Us range instead as they were significantly cheaper and on offer at the time I was shopping. Four pounds is quite a lot and I guess I have been trained to think in terms of stretching my money as far as it could go (this would be why I am fat then). The Count on Us range also range had more interesting dishes as well. I think Dh's meal was worth it but I am not convinced mine was, the salmon was obviously tiny and thats the bit I think of as expensive.

Q6. If it came up in conversation, do you think you'd recommend any of the dishes you tried to your friends/family? If so, why? If not, why not?

I'd suggest that they had a look and would tell them about the curry.

get0rfm0iland Fri 25-May-12 16:50:55

Just bought my two dishes - so marking place for when I have eaten them.

get0rfm0iland Fri 25-May-12 16:50:57

Just bought my two dishes - so marking place for when I have eaten them.

So, we started the test last night with dh saying, 'that was quite filling actually' in a kind of surprised manner half an hour after finishing it. I shall up date properly once he has eaten the pork and mash thing.

Nursee007 Fri 25-May-12 17:19:57

Q1. How did you find the SFL range in the store you visited in terms of availability? Was there enough to choose from or not? Which dishes grabbed your attention immediately?
I shopped in the Kew retail park M&S about lunchtime on a thursday and there was plenty of choice, and all the SFL range was together.....opposite the count on us range. Plenty to choose from (about 15 I think) and i wanted to get something we hadn't had before as both myself and DH have eaten from the range before. I got the spicy potato wedges with mexican beef for me and the steak and mushroom pie with luxury mash for DH.

Q2. With the dish(es) you tried, did you heat them up in the microwave or oven? Did preparation method factor into your choice of purchase? If you regularly buy 'convenience' meals, how did the SFL dishes compare to others in terms of how quick and easy they are to prepare? If you don't usually buy 'convenience' meals, were you impressed with the speed/ease of preparing the dishes or not?
Put them both in the oven....could have put mine in the micro....very easy for both.

Q3. How did you find the portion sizes of the dishes you tried? Did you feel full afterwards? And how about your DH/DP - was he/she sufficiently full afterwards? What were his/her thoughts on the portion size?
His pie was very generous.....mine seemed to be more potato than beef....
we were both full enough to be satified.

Q4. What did you and your DH/DP think of the dishes you tried in terms of taste and flavour - did you enjoy them or not? Is there anything that you think could be improved on this front? Would you consider the dishes you tried to be 'healthy alternatives' to other ready meal options or not?
My mexican beef was really delicious....no problems with taste and flavour at all....DH enjoyed the pie and said the beef was very tender and the mushrooms very chunky which he liked, and the mash v creamy. He said the gravy lacked some flavour, but supposed thats what happens with lower fat option!
In the past DH has eaten the cod mornay and seafood linguine many times and always enjoys them....I've eaten both red and green thai chicken currys before, though this was prior to them being under the brand of SFL....I REALLY liked them before....since they've been in SFL, they've both become REALLY salty and I no longer like them.

Q5. Do you think the dishes you tried represented good value for money or not? Why?
I have always considered M&S food at the higher end of the market, so if compared to asda/co-op/lidl/icelands ready meals, then no, its pricey....however you get what you pay for....much more tasty and far superior. Always looks and tastes fresh.

Q6. If it came up in conversation, do you think you'd recommend any of the dishes you tried to your friends/family? If so, why? If not, why not
I would definitly recommend the mexican beef and the steak and mushroom pie....its tasty, easy and something a bit different from your run of the mill convenience meals.

aftereight Fri 25-May-12 17:22:56

Q1. How did you find the SFL range in the store you visited in terms of availability? Was there enough to choose from or not? Which dishes grabbed your attention immediately?
I had to ask to find the range, but was shown straight to it. There was lots of choice (but no chilled ready to eat salad type meals, not sure why, as am sure I have had a giant cous cous one in the past?). The salmon mornay looked good, but I was very drawn to the spicy dishes, as they had much lower calorie count than regular curries etc, and were a bit unusual.

Q2. With the dish(es) you tried, did you heat them up in the microwave or oven? Did preparation method factor into your choice of purchase? If you regularly buy 'convenience' meals, how did the SFL dishes compare to others in terms of how quick and easy they are to prepare? If you don't usually buy 'convenience' meals, were you impressed with the speed/ease of preparing the dishes or not? the middle eastern chicken was microwaveable, so very fast and convenient, but the keralan curry with spicy topping had to be cooked in the oven, which I didn't realise until I got it home. This may have put me off buying it had I noticed.

Q3. How did you find the portion sizes of the dishes you tried? Did you feel full afterwards? And how about your DH/DP - was he/she sufficiently full afterwards? What were his/her thoughts on the portion size?
The portion sizes of both were good, and filling for both DH and I, although we don't usually eat huge portions anyway. I don't think it filled me up for longer than any other similar meal though.

Q4. What did you and your DH/DP think of the dishes you tried in terms of taste and flavour - did you enjoy them or not? Is there anything that you think could be improved on this front? Would you consider the dishes you tried to be 'healthy alternatives' to other ready meal options or not?
The middle eastern spiced chicken was very tasty and tasted much healthier than a normal ready meal. Portion size ok for lunch but maybe could be larger or a range of side dishes for dinner.
Keralan chicken curry was really well spiced and the filo topping was an interesting touch. It tasted really healthy and I really enjoyed it.

Q5. Do you think the dishes you tried represented good value for money or not? Why?
Yes, definitely, healthy and balanced without any effort, and unusually for healthy ready meals, very very tasty!

Q6. If it came up in conversation, do you think you'd recommend any of the dishes you tried to your friends/family? If so, why? If not, why not?
Yes, as healthy and interesting ready meal option. Really good to have a variety of options, not just the usual ready meal staples.

PicChick Fri 25-May-12 18:10:58

Q1. How did you find the SFL range in the store you visited in terms of availability? Was there enough to choose from or not? Which dishes grabbed your attention immediately?
Had to ask where it was, quite a small section, 3 or 4 shelves with both SFL and another range mixed on them. There were about 6 choices on the shelves, not sure how many are in the range. The Chicken and Vegetable Hot Pot was on the eye level shelf so this caught my eye first. Once I had looked at the range the Keralan Chicken Curry and Smoky Mexican open Chicken Fajita looked good. I actually bought 4 dishes as they were reduced (out of date that day and it was late afternoon).

Q2. With the dish(es) you tried, did you heat them up in the microwave or oven? Did preparation method factor into your choice of purchase? If you regularly buy 'convenience' meals, how did the SFL dishes compare to others in terms of how quick and easy they are to prepare? If you don't usually buy 'convenience' meals, were you impressed with the speed/ease of preparing the dishes or not?
I heated them all in the oven, all needed 25-35 mins at the same temperature, so that was a plus. Don't usually buy conveience meals but was impressed with the tasteof these and how they looked. Very easy to prepare, peel off film and heat.

Q3. How did you find the portion sizes of the dishes you tried? Did you feel full afterwards? And how about your DH/DP - was he/she sufficiently full afterwards? What were his/her thoughts on the portion size? These were fine for me. Was interested to see what DH thought of the portion size, a farming background means he likes his plate FULL. However, he claimed he was full after eating and didn't eat anything extra on both nights we ate the SFL meals.

Q4. What did you and your DH/DP think of the dishes you tried in terms of taste and flavour - did you enjoy them or not? Is there anything that you think could be improved on this front? Would you consider the dishes you tried to be 'healthy alternatives' to other ready meal options or not?
Chicken and Veg Hot Pot - didn't like but don't usually like store bought hhot pots so not surprised. Potato topping was good which was a suprise,
Keralan Chicken Currywith Spicy Samosa Crust - lovely flavour, the samosa crust was good too. My favourite.
Creamy Chicken, Ham and veg angel hair pastry pie - good flavour in the filling, the angel hair pastry gave you a tase of pastrty without all the calories, a good idea.
Smokey Mexican open Chicken Fajita - DH liked this, good flavour, the tortilla wrap got very crusty around the top, I didn't like this bit.
The calorie count for each dish was in the high 300's, good for a meal where you feel full after eating.
Q5. Do you think the dishes you tried represented good value for money or not? Why?
I got them reduced so a bit better value, I do think it would be hard to justify £4 a meal in these times of recession as I have 7 mouths to feed (5 HUNGRY children). Ok for a treat every now and then.
Q6. If it came up in conversation, do you think you'd recommend any of the dishes you tried to your friends/family? If so, why? If not, why not?
Yes, if they needed a decent, healthy and slightly different ready meal, but not the Hot Pot, sorry.

I'm going to be posting three times as I bought three meals. One for DH, one for ds1 19 and one for ds2,16.
DS2 is the first to eat his meal.

Q1. How did you find the SFL range in the store you visited in terms of availability? Was there enough to choose from or not? Which dishes grabbed your attention immediately?

I visited the Bromley store and there was a choice of over twenty meals. The meals that I thought looked the most filling grabbed my attention.
I bought ds2 Chicken in red wine sauce.

Answers below from ds2

Q2. With the dish(es) you tried, did you heat them up in the microwave or oven? Did preparation method factor into your choice of purchase? If you regularly buy 'convenience' meals, how did the SFL dishes compare to others in terms of how quick and easy they are to prepare? If you don't usually buy 'convenience' meals, were you impressed with the speed/ease of preparing the dishes or not?

I heated this meal using the microwave, as this was the recommended heating method. Although I do no regularly eat convenience meals, I found that this was quite similar in terms of quality to ones that I have had before, so they did not seem to me to be anything too special.

Q3. How did you find the portion sizes of the dishes you tried? Did you feel full afterwards? And how about your DH/DP - was he/she sufficiently full afterwards? What were his/her thoughts on the portion size?

I personally found the portion size a bit too small, especially disappointing was the amound of meat. I do not feel full.

Q4. What did you and your DH/DP think of the dishes you tried in terms of taste and flavour - did you enjoy them or not? Is there anything that you think could be improved on this front? Would you consider the dishes you tried to be 'healthy alternatives' to other ready meal options or not?

The meal tasted good, howeveer was not anything too special. It tasted slightly too salty however,which is no surprising due to the salt content. Besides from the higher salt content that I expected, the other nutritional values are quite impressive and would be great for anyone who wants a light meal or anyone who is dieting.

Q5. Do you think the dishes you tried represented good value for money or not? Why?

At £3.99, I would consider the meal quite good value, and the amount is reasonable for the price. Also, in comparison to other convinience meals I've seen in shops this one was better for price and did look much more satisfying.

Q6. If it came up in conversation, do you think you'd recommend any of the dishes you tried to your friends/family? If so, why? If not, why not?

Probably not, I think it would be more suitable for a single person; not the kind of meal where the family could each have one.

NornIrishNut Fri 25-May-12 19:34:06

Q1. How did you find the SFL range in the store you visited in terms of availability? Was there enough to choose from or not? Which dishes grabbed your attention immediately?

As I am not sure what the complete range is like, in our local store there was about 10-12 dishes to choose from, catering for a variety of tastes. The dishes I get attracted to are the ones that are visibly attractive in terms of splitting out veg, meat and carbon such as that red curry. Not so keen on the hotpot type ones that look quite blad and 'brown'. I chose that red curry for DH and beef stroganoff for myself.

Q2. With the dish(es) you tried, did you heat them up in the microwave or oven? Did preparation method factor into your choice of purchase? If you regularly buy 'convenience' meals, how did the SFL dishes compare to others in terms of how quick and easy they are to prepare? If you don't usually buy 'convenience' meals, were you impressed with the speed/ease of preparing the dishes or not?

I used the microwave for the that red curry and oven for the stroganoff. The only prep/storage I was disappointed with was the fact that a large proportion of the dishes couldn't be frozen. Microwaving the that red curry was in 3mins, really quick and therefore convenient. The ovenmethod took much longer and didn't really add to the taste - I would microwave in future unless buying the one with the crispy top. Compared to other quick meals, I noticed and was impressed that you didn't have to stir halfway or leave to stand!

Q3. How did you find the portion sizes of the dishes you tried? Did you feel full afterwards? And how about your DH/DP - was he/she sufficiently full afterwards? What were his/her thoughts on the portion size?

The portion size was okay for me, but not for DH. It was more like a healthy lunch portion for him.

Q4. What did you and your DH/DP think of the dishes you tried in terms of taste and flavour - did you enjoy them or not? Is there anything that you think could be improved on this front? Would you consider the dishes you tried to be 'healthy alternatives' to other ready meal options or not?

We both tried the dishes and thought they were both tasty, but the that red curry could do with a bit more flavour and spice - too much taste of fish sauce, but much better than other brands of that red curry. The stroganoff we couldn't fault, it was really tasty for us. They are for us much better than other brands of the same dish, especially with the side portion of veg.

Q5. Do you think the dishes you tried represented good value for money or not? Why?

I am not sure £4 per dish is good value.....would probably only spend that once in a while. It isn't an everyday item for me, more luxury.

Q6. If it came up in conversation, do you think you'd recommend any of the dishes you tried to your friends/family? If so, why? If not, why not?

I would recommend if they were looking for something quick, tasty and healthy.but not for everyday food.

Bonkerz Fri 25-May-12 19:38:43

Bought three meals this week so will be back to feedback when I've eaten the last one !

AceOfBase Fri 25-May-12 19:53:21

Q:1 there was about 15 dishes which all in principle sounded tasty but most had mushrooms in which dh are allergic to. Dh had red curry and I had seafood linguine
Q2: we microwaved them and they were fairly quick.
Q 3: the portions were small. Dh ate half a loaf with his and even I (who usually eat about as much as my 4 yr old) was still hungry.
Q 4: they were very tasty though dh thought the red curry could do with more sauce and we did think they were quite healthy.
Q 5: no. If we had been fuller for longer then I would have but we weren't actually full at all.
Q 6: no. I just don't think they were good enough value or big enough for me to recommend them.

cleanandclothed Fri 25-May-12 19:59:12

Q1. How did you find the SFL range in the store you visited in terms of availability? Was there enough to choose from or not? Which dishes grabbed your attention immediately?

Plenty to choose from although I don't think I saw any vegetarian ones. Enough for me to find a couple of things I would like (veggie or fish) and plenty for DH, but might run out of choices after 4 or so I think. The curries grbbed my attention first.

Q2. With the dish(es) you tried, did you heat them up in the microwave or oven? Did preparation method factor into your choice of purchase? If you regularly buy 'convenience' meals, how did the SFL dishes compare to others in terms of how quick and easy they are to prepare? If you don't usually buy 'convenience' meals, were you impressed with the speed/ease of preparing the dishes or not?

Oven for both (steak and mushroom pie and seafood linguine). Would probably normally choose microwave things (the linguine could be heated in the microwave) but not a major factor in the choice. No comment on ease of preparation - it is a ready meal - none of them are difficult!

Q3. How did you find the portion sizes of the dishes you tried? Did you feel full afterwards? And how about your DH/DP - was he/she sufficiently full afterwards? What were his/her thoughts on the portion size?

Portion size for me was fine (am size 8/10, pregnant and starving) DH could have eaten more (he is v tall, medium build) -have just eaten so may have to comment later on the full feeling.

Q4. What did you and your DH/DP think of the dishes you tried in terms of taste and flavour - did you enjoy them or not? Is there anything that you think could be improved on this front? Would you consider the dishes you tried to be 'healthy alternatives' to other ready meal options or not?

I liked mine very much. In terms of a healthy option - I tend to like and choose healthy food anyway so it wasn't radically different from what I may normally have when I have a ready meal (which is v rarely). DH liked his but didn't think it was anything particularly special.

Q5. Do you think the dishes you tried represented good value for money or not? Why? I think they are on the expensive side. Maybe I might treat myself if it was a meal that DH wasn't eating with me, but I would very rarely buy two at that price. If it was 2 for £6-7 I might.

Q6. If it came up in conversation, do you think you'd recommend any of the dishes you tried to your friends/family? If so, why? If not, why not? I probably would mine, not sure DH would, as he didn't think it stood out from other ready meals (perhaps I should have bought him a curry - more chance to make a difference there).

Q1.

There was plenty to choose from - I like curries for conveniance and esp in summer I didn't fancy the stodgier looking meat/veg but the thai curries I was interested in until picking them up and they looked a little dull in terms of veg content. I went for the paella and the salmon with edamame beans.

Q2.

Microwaved - easy and quick - prefer this method - just as easy as others and very quick.

Q3.

My paella was fine in terms of portion - didn't feel over full or find the portion was filled with unnecessary carbs. DH felt salmon was very satisfactory and did feel full afterwards.

Q4.

DH's salmon dish felt very healthy and very flavoursome "very impressed" - it also felt genuinely authentic japanese which is hard to obtain so would definitely have again. My paella was lovely - good range of flavours and textures and not stingy on chicken/ v.yummy chorizo/ prawns. Again complex flavours and very satisfying.

I liked them as they were fairly different to what I'd normally have bought as a ready meal, normally go for curries. They were healthy from reading the label but didn't feel punitive!

Q5.

They were both in the 4 pound range - reasonable I think for good quality food.

Q6.

Definitely both would

Thank you for the opportunity as they say in the apprentice wink

unhingedbeck Fri 25-May-12 21:02:24

Q1.

In my local store - Harpenden, there were about 10 options, which from reading other replies, seems to be quite a limited amount of the range. I felt this too, as most of them were Asian inspired, the only more typical English dish was cod mornay. No sign of the pie mentioned above which I would have definitely gone for. As choice was limited the Red Thai Curry grabbed my attention as DH really likes that and I also chose Asian style hot and sour chicken noodles as I like noodle dishes.

Q2.

I microwaved both as the noodles could only be microwaved and the curry said "for best results microwave". They were very quick and easy to do, although we did cook them a bit longer than stated as they did not seem quite hot enough after the suggested 3 minutes. We don't buy many convenience meals but they were as quick and easy to prepare as any others I have bought.

Q3.

I thought the portion size was a bit on the small size, DH thought it was just a snack and started looking around for bread to go with it! I was full enough after eating though, but DH said he wasn't.

Q4.

We were disappointed with the taste and flavour of both dishes. The Asian chicken noodles had much more sauce than it looked from the picture on the packaging and it was not a great flavour, but overpowered all the other food in the meal. In contrast the Thai Red Curry had too little sauce and lacked in spice and flavour. Both DH and I felt they were quite bland over all. They could definitely be improved.

Q5.

No I don't think they are good value for money. If they tasted better then maybe, but for small portions of bland food, £3.99 seems expensive. I don't think they compare to Taste the Difference ready meals or Waitrose and are probably similarly priced.

Q6.

No, I think there are better convenience ready meals.

AshieFan Fri 25-May-12 21:03:13

Q1. How did you find the SFL range in the store you visited in terms of availability? Was there enough to choose from or not? Which dishes grabbed your attention immediately?

I bought the SFL dishes from the Birmingham store ( I usually buy from the harborne store which doesn't have a lot of choice). There was a lot of variety. The ones that grabbed my attention were the spicy meals. I've had the SFL range before so I thought I would try the Chicken Tikka Masala with Rice and I went for the tried before (by me) Red Curry for DH. Upthread I have read about the Smokey Mexican open Chicken Fajita which I have not seen before and which sounds delicious - I wish it had been at the Birmingham store!

Q2. With the dish(es) you tried, did you heat them up in the microwave or oven? Did preparation method factor into your choice of purchase? If you regularly buy 'convenience' meals, how did the SFL dishes compare to others in terms of how quick and easy they are to prepare? If you don't usually buy 'convenience' meals, were you impressed with the speed/ease of preparing the dishes or not?

They were very easy to heat up in the microwave. If I am buying a ready meal I tend to go for something that can be heated up by microwave - not always but mostly.

Q3. How did you find the portion sizes of the dishes you tried? Did you feel full afterwards? And how about your DH/DP - was he/she sufficiently full afterwards? What were his/her thoughts on the portion size?

Portion size was quite big for me and I did not eat all of it. I felt full afterwards. Portion size for DH was good - he ate all of it (apart from the baby sweetcorn which he does not like!) and felt full and didn't need to snack as quickly as he normally does with other ready meals.

Q4. What did you and your DH/DP think of the dishes you tried in terms of taste and flavour - did you enjoy them or not? Is there anything that you think could be improved on this front? Would you consider the dishes you tried to be 'healthy alternatives' to other ready meal options or not?

The red curry got thumbs up for taste and looks. I did not enjoy the taste of the Chicken Tikka Masala - there was a bitterness to it that was quite unpleasant. I don't think it was the chicken part that had the bitterness - it was the rice part. Also, the rice felt a bit wet. It was such a shame because other products within the SFL have been delicious.

Q5. Do you think the dishes you tried represented good value for money or not? Why?

I think the range is a little on the pricey side, even within M & S, so I buy it infrequently even though I like to eat from the range.

Q6. If it came up in conversation, do you think you'd recommend any of the dishes you tried to your friends/family? If so, why? If not, why not?

I would definitely recommend the Red Curry because it is always consistently delicious and filling. I would not recommend the Tikka Masala because of the unpleasant bitterness and the wetness of the rice.

aristocat Fri 25-May-12 21:09:34

Will report back when have eaten the dishes

lorisparkle Fri 25-May-12 21:20:59

Q1. How did you find the SFL range in the store you visited in terms of availability? Was there enough to choose from or not? Which dishes grabbed your attention immediately?

I was in a rush on the way home from work and found the range quickly. Did not have time to really look at range but the Thai curries looked nice.

Q2. With the dish(es) you tried, did you heat them up in the microwave or oven? Did preparation method factor into your choice of purchase? If you regularly buy 'convenience' meals, how did the SFL dishes compare to others in terms of how quick and easy they are to prepare? If you don't usually buy 'convenience' meals, were you impressed with the speed/ease of preparing the dishes or not?

Bought both the red and green Thai curry and heated them up in the microwave. Presumed they would be able to microwaved as we needed tea in a hurry! Very easy to prepare and heat. Rarely buy convenience meals but these seemed easier than usual.

Q3. How did you find the portion sizes of the dishes you tried? Did you feel full afterwards? And how about your DH/DP - was he/she sufficiently full afterwards? What were his/her thoughts on the portion size?

I had not had much to eat all day and found my portion (Thai red curry) a little small and ate some of DSs tea! DH found his was fine but still snacked later (could be a naughty habit though!)

Q4. What did you and your DH/DP think of the dishes you tried in terms of taste and flavour - did you enjoy them or not? Is there anything that you think could be improved on this front? Would you consider the dishes you tried to be 'healthy alternatives' to other ready meal options or not?

I really enjoyed mine and thought that out of the veg the mange tout were lovely. DH thought that his sauce was a bit watery but we both enjoyed the meals

Q5. Do you think the dishes you tried represented good value for money or not? Why?

We only buy convenience meal as a special deal so in comparison thought that the meal was very expensive but they were good quality in comparison to other convenience meals we have had.

Q6. If it came up in conversation, do you think you'd recommend any of the dishes you tried to your friends/family? If so, why? If not, why not?

Although I would say they tasted lovely I would say that they are expensive

jackandbethsmum Fri 25-May-12 22:07:05

Q1. Plenty of availability (DH got them in Uxbridge) - 15 or so to choose from. He said the Paella, Chicken in Red Wine Sauce and Middle Eastern Spiced Chicken grabbed his attention.

Q2. Microwaved them - nice and easy with no stirring half way through. As others have said, the dishes could have been a little hotter - needed another 30 secs. We chose Paella (reduced )to £3, Middle Eastern Spiced Chicken and Thai Green Chicken Curry.

Q3. We both found the portion sizes to be quite good (not as small as many you can buy). To be honest, we ate quite late so not sure if we felt fuller for longer.

Q4. I loved the Middle Eastern Spiced Chicken - lots of distinct and different flavours - mint, coriander etc. I personally tend to go for lower calorie ready meals with under 5 grams of fat. DH thought the Paella was very tasty and filling, ingredients seemed fresh and tasty. He also had (the next night) the Green chicken curry which he thought was tasty, but didn't think it was as good as the other 2 and could have done with more sauce.

Q5. We both thought whilst very nice, they were too expensive - £8 for a couple to eat is too much. We are more likely to spend more if it is like a takeaway with a few dishes to share.

Q6. We think we would recommend them - maybe to wealthy or single friends!!grin

Mainly marking place but... went into Worcester store to purchase and left empty handed. Had problems locating the range. I think I found it all in one place. Very limited selection so decided to cut my losses and go to Birmingham store when I am in work next week.

Received my vouchers earlier this week but am unable to get to a M&S until tomorrow so will post my responses next week when we have eaten our meals.

caramac4 Fri 25-May-12 22:23:00

Only received my vouchers yesterday (24th May) will be purchasing my meals during next couple of days. Will feedback soon.

MsGee Fri 25-May-12 22:31:34

I haven't received my vouchers. Got the email saying they were posted last week but nothing has arrived.

duchesse Fri 25-May-12 22:50:46

Q1. How did you find the SFL range in the store you visited in terms of availability? Was there enough to choose from or not? Which dishes grabbed your attention immediately?
I visited the store in Exe Bridges at lunchtime. It took me about 5mn to locate the range. It was housed in a section of shelf about 1m long x5 shelves high. The salmon and beans/ black rice grabbed my attention most- it looked freshest and healthiest, but I had a look at all the other available ones as well.

Q2. With the dish(es) you tried, did you heat them up in the microwave or oven? Did preparation method factor into your choice of purchase? If you regularly buy 'convenience' meals, how did the SFL dishes compare to others in terms of how quick and easy they are to prepare? If you don't usually buy 'convenience' meals, were you impressed with the speed/ease of preparing the dishes or not?

I cooked them in the microwave. The salmon is not cooked so it's a question of actually cooking it from raw rather than heating up. They were all microwaveable afaik so the cooking method made no impact on my decision about which to buy. Don't buy convenience meals usually so nothing to compare with. I can see that they are very quick and easy to prepare.

Q3. How did you find the portion sizes of the dishes you tried? Did you feel full afterwards? And how about your DH/DP - was he/she sufficiently full afterwards? What were his/her thoughts on the portion size?

I found mine fine, in fact I struggled to finish it, not because I didn't like but because I did feel quite full quite quickly. DH on the other hand said "the chicken was nice and tender, but the meal could have done with more sauce. And more rice, and more lentils" ie more food.

Q4. What did you and your DH/DP think of the dishes you tried in terms of taste and flavour - did you enjoy them or not? Is there anything that you think could be improved on this front? Would you consider the dishes you tried to be 'healthy alternatives' to other ready meal options or not?

I thought the meal tasted good- not too salty, nice balance of flavours, but not sure about the fact that you are microwaving broccoli- it didn't look too good after 4mn in the microwave, and the beans looked a little dried out. I suspect you are going to struggle with making sure that fresh vegetables end up still looking and tasting good after being conditioned and microwaved. My impression of ready meals was that they have a lot of flavour enhancers and little substance, so these would be an improvement, yes.

Q5. Do you think the dishes you tried represented good value for money or not? Why?

Frankly, I would not pay 3.99 for a small piece of salmon and a sprinkling of vegetables. But that is because I'm a total skinflint. I guess that what people are actually paying for is the convenience. Convenience has a different price for every person. I might buy these and feel they are good value every once in a while but I wouldn't routinely buy them as that would be a very expensive way of eating.

Q6. If it came up in conversation, do you think you'd recommend any of the dishes you tried to your friends/family? If so, why? If not, why not?

If it ever came up in conversation I might suggest them as a quick way of grabbing an evening meal.

Am I the only person to have seen this in active convos and thought it was a range of clothes for the overweight or tall population...

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