Mirror reporter Lucy Marshall tried some of the options from Aldi’s Valentine’s Day meal deal selection and was stunned by the variety and flavoursome dishes she was able to get on the cheap
This week marks the most romantic day of the year and many loved-up partners or those looking to impress a new date will be scrambling for ideas for the ultimate charming night.
It’s tradition for many to buy special gifts or head out to a fancy restaurant for Valentine’s Day, still, the reality is that such occasions are becoming increasingly expensive and the rising cost of living crisis is adding an extra annoying burden to our purse strings. So having fun on the cheap is always ideal.
If you don’t fancy ordering a takeaway or slaving over a hot stove for hours, supermarket meal deals for two are a perfect alternative. Proving that love can be shown on a budget, Aldi launched their very own range of special three-course meals from February 9, with prices starting from just £3.50 per person.
There’s something for everyone, from seafood for two, to a succulent Wagyu feast, a chicken dish, a vegetarian menu, as well as several starters and desserts, there is something for everyone. But do they actually taste good, and feel fitting for a special occasion?
After walking into my local Aldi store and being left stunned by the great deals and endless meal options, I had to see if the menu was worth it for a special romantic night.
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Having tried other supermarket meal deals in the past, including M&S and Sainsbury’s, I know how great they can be. They provide a delicious and luxurious meal without breaking the bank and stop one partner having to spend ages cooking.
Before choosing our meal I picked up some £1.49 tealights from Aldi to decorate my table for the occasion. There are some great small gifts and accessories available in store.
Now onto the best part – the food. My partner and I chose what we wanted together and stood by the Valentine’s Day selection for around 15 minutes due to the mass variety. I was surprised by how much choice there is as often set menus can be quite limited.
Every single option looked incredible and you can tell Aldi has really thought of everything this year. After spending much of January and early February cutting back on sweet treats post Christmas 2023, desserts in our household have been pretty much non-existent. So, when we saw brownies, macaroons, and chocolate puddings we decided to cut out a starter and opt for trying a variety of the desserts instead.
The main event
First up was the main meal. We opted for the specially selected Wagyu burger box, priced at £5.99 with servings for two. The instructions were super easy to follow; the burger, adorned with a sweet heart-shaped soft cheese on top, took just 30 minutes to cook.
I was pleased to see the burger bun and onion bits were included in the box, as the number of times I have bought fajita or taco boxes, thinking there will be a full meal inside, but it turned out to just be a few tortillas and not fillings.
We questioned if 30 minutes would overcook the burger but it came out beautifully. As the oven pinged I opened the door to reveal what looked like something out of a Burger King advert; the beef patty was oozing with juices and the cheese was dripping onto the edges of the meat. To say my mouth was watering would be an understatement. I put the bottom of the burger bun in a frying pan with oil for a short while which added a beautiful crisp as I took that very first bite.
“Oh my god,” said my boyfriend as his eyes rolled to the back of his head while munching on the burger. It was so tasty and cooked to perfection. We had planned to go out on February 14 but I suggested cancelling it simply because of this burger; it could easily compete with restaurants’ versions. 10s across the board.
To accompany the burger I picked up the specially selected gastro green vegetable medley priced at £1.99, as well as potato wedges for £2.79. While both were very nice, the allotted time of around 20 minutes for the wedges was a little long as they were slightly overdone when they came out. Upon reflection, it should have been an air fryer job. They were bang average and the vegetables, well, buttered vegetables are hard to be overly excited about.
I would give the main dish an 8/10 overall. The total cost for a main and two sides for two totalled £10.77. Despite discussing how “stuffed” we both were for a few minutes, there was no doubt it was now dessert time.
I picked up three options to try. First up was the most extravagant of them all – the specially selected gastro melting bomb – £4.99 for a pack of two.
If you have any form of social media I have no doubt you will have seen someone go to a fancy restaurant and get one of those puddings, in which the waiter pours chocolate on top of it and it melts. I love that Aldi decided to create their very own version of this; my partner and I said this was undoubtedly the best part of our whole meal. The melting bomb gets nothing less than a 10/10.
After pouring the rich milk chocolate on both spheres the hard chocolate melted away instantly – this is what I call a dinner and a show.
I have always been obsessed with macaroons – I feel like Audrey Hepburn in Paris when I eat one and who can argue with how nice they taste. “Oh my god, I love Aldi,” I called out as the macaroon crunched in my mouth. I am so pleased my boyfriend was unbothered by this dessert as one sits in the fridge ready for me to gobble up. While I loved it, it wasn’t as good as the melting bomb. Score – 9/10.
By this point I was so full I could not speak, so I saved my final dessert for the following day. Last but certainly not least I tried the gooey chocolate brownie and it certainly lived up to its gooey name. 9/10.
It’s clear to me that Aldi have nailed their Valentine’s dishes. While the supermarket is known for its budget food, if I was served all those food items in a restaurant I would have nothing but compliments for the chef. It felt like a luxury, special Valentine’s meal.
Do think you will try the Aldi Valentine’s meal deal? Let us know in the comments below.