TRIED AND TESTED | The new Marks and Spencer Taste range


Gyoza’s attempt at an emoji. Photograph: M&S

It’s becoming increasingly hard to keep up with M&S‘s new ranges, they’re on such a roll at the moment. Not only do they have a new expanse of meat – including pork presa steaks and slow cooked beef cheeks (which we’re yet to test) there’s the Taste range with over 40 new dishes from Thailand, Vietnam, Mexico and Japan. Even the humble cashew nut has been jazzed up with coconut and chilli – truly addictive.

We enlisted the help of Adrian’s parents who are devout Marks and Spencer food fans to try out the new Taste range. This proved slightly impractical and tricky seeing as everything has different cooking instructions (hence the poor and limited images), but somehow we managed to get eight dishes on the table.

Taste Thailand:
Thai food used to be my absolute favourite until I OD’d on it in Thailand. A good green curry still has a special place in my heart, so I’m always keen to try new ones, including supermarket offerings. It turned out that Ade and I really enjoyed the M&S Green Thai chicken curry £4.50 but not as an authentic dish, it was too rich and heavy without the fragrant kaffir lime tones.

The Fragrant wok beef noodles £4.50 were undoubtably everyone’s favourite from the entire Taste range. Flat rice noodles with Thai basil and chilli dressed beef – flavoursome and hearty, with low-level spice making it kid-friendly too.

Taste Vietnam:
Chargrilled calamari and king prawns with a lime, ginger and chilli dressing
£4.50 was fresh and zingy with plenty of crunchy veg. The dish is stir-fried on the hob so there’s no fear of creating rubbery fish in the microwave.

Chicken noodle pho £4 was unlike the pho we’ve had in restaurants, it usually comes s a subtle broth but this version was punchy and very aromatic from the lemongrass. Again, great as an altogether different dish.

Taste Mexico:
Not only were we impressed with the Mini taco selection £4, the fact they came in packaging that enabled them to stay upright and not spill out when cooking in the oven was a big plus. The lime and chilli marinated chicken with chargrilled peppers were the winning flavour combination.

The Chicken enchiladas £4.50 went down well with everyone apart from me as I can’t eat cheese. They’re packed full of shredded chicken, roasted peppers and onions in a sour cream, abobo and guajillo chilli sauce topped with a rich and smoky tomato salsa and crumbled cheese.

Taste Japan:
We all LOVED the Prawn and mangetout gyoza with a ponzu dip £3.25 – these steamed really well in the microwave without turning chewy. So neatly stuffed with fresh fish and veg in bright colours, the zingy soy, lime and rice wine dip was great too.

Ade and I are huge katsu curry fans, the Crispy katsu chicken curry with fragrant rice £4.50 could do with a bigger pot of sauce, plus it lacked slightly in authenticity but the chicken turned out perfectly after 25 minutes in the oven. We liked how they jazzed up the rice that is typically plain and boring by adding garlic and ginger.

There are countless other options in the Taste range that we were tempted by, such as the Yakitori chicken skewers and the Wok friend shaking beef. We’ll certainly be buying the gyoza and beef noodles again.

Follow them on Twitter
Find them on Facebook

Marks and Spencer provided the above dishes, this does not affect our review in any way. We always write with complete honesty.