• Rice (5kg SongHe Thai rice, $15.50)
• Chicken (1.5kg Kee Song fresh whole chicken, $8.20)
• Ginger (400g old ginger, $2.25)
• Pandan (unavailable)
• Chinese parsley (unavailable, substituted with 15g Italian parsley, $1.95)
• Chicken rice paste (370g Prima Taste Hainanese Chicken Rice, $7.90)
• Chicken rice chilli (250g AAA Hainanese Chicken Rice chilli sauce, $2.40)
• Ginger paste (unavailable)
• Dark sauce (320ml Tai Hua standard dark soya sauce, $1.55)
• Cucumber (2 Japanese cucumbers, $1.95)
• Delivery: For first-time customers, free delivery for orders above $30. Subsequently, free delivery for orders above $49. There is a flat $7 fee for all other orders.
• Total: Eight items for $41.70, with free delivery.
To test four online grocery delivery services, we came up with a list of 10 items to purchase from each retailer.
We decided to buy ingredients to make Hainanese chicken rice, as the dish requires a variety of items, including meat, vegetables, staples and condiments.
We also tried to standardise the weight and brands of the food we bought, in order to provide a more accurate comparison.
When an item was not available, we substituted it where possible (for example, using frozen chicken instead of fresh chicken), but if there was really no alternative, we did not buy it.
• Rice (5kg SongHe Thai rice)
• Chicken (fresh kampung chicken, where possible)
• Chicken rice paste (370g Prima Taste Hainanese Chicken Rice)
• Chicken rice chilli (various brands)
• Ginger paste (174g Soup Restaurant Samsui Ginger sauce)
• Dark sauce (320ml Tai Hua standard dark soya sauce)
• Old ginger
• Chinese parsley
Ordering groceries with RedMart was a wonderfully hassle-free experience.
Even before adding any groceries to my online cart, I could input my postal code to see the available delivery time slots - a useful feature if you need the food delivered by a certain date. When I put in the order on Monday evening last week, the earliest delivery time slot was two days later, on Wednesday.
RedMart's user interface was clean and a breeze to navigate. Its search function threw up a well-curated selection of appropriate items that can be further sorted by category.
Its inventory is also impressive for most basic needs, although it was lacking in some of the more niche items.
For example, a search for "cucumber" threw up six different varieties, including mini cucumbers, Japanese cucumbers and baby Continental cucumbers.
There was also a short write-up accompanying each listing, which is how I learnt that baby Continental cucumbers are "small cucumbers, similar in size to zucchini" and have "dark green, tender skin".
Chinese parsley was sold out, as was flat parsley, so I ended up with Italian parsley.
Also, while it had a remarkable variety of ginger products, in the form of teas and tablets, there was no ginger paste.
I selected a time slot of 10am to noon, and the delivery arrived at 11.15am.
The groceries came in red plastic boxes that were sealed shut with cable ties, and the deliveryman cut them open in front of me to hand me the bags.
The RedMart chicken looked the best out of the three fresh chickens. It was plump, the packaging was well-sealed and the chicken had the latest expiry date.
The fresh vegetables also looked firm and not wilted, although I wish that the ginger came in smaller portions as 400g is a lot.
Note: Last Saturday, RedMart issued a product recall notice for several chilled and seafood items that "were not stored in accordance with temperature standards". The fresh chicken I ordered was one of them.
RedMart gave affected customers a full refund for the product, as well as $20 credit on its website.
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