For lovers of gastronomy, meeting a renowned chef is like coming face-to-face with an A-lister. So when Ádám Mede rang my doorbell with a Laurel lunch package, I felt a bit starstruck, as if a pop star had fetched up at my door to strum one of their latest tunes.

Now we are in week three of quarantine, and although I enjoy cooking, I do miss the world of restaurants and fine dining. The best ones have put down their shutters as everyone else has had to, and are now trying to operate as a delivery-based business. I have never been a fan of ordering my food, as most meals are not compatible with being forced into small paper boxes and travelling across town before reaching my plate – but right now, this is our best option. Most of us don’t have the time to cook every day, and deliveries make our lives much easier. Currently, even the most premium restaurants offer delivery and provide an exclusive selection to order from.

As the whole world has just turned upside down, the idea of a standard delivery from an average restaurant doesn’t sound so appealing. Laurel first stole my heart at last year’s Gourmet Festival, where they showcased their ground-breaking mini Magnums, traditional stews and other creative and innovative ideas from their young chef, Ádám Mede. They have also come forward with a clever delivery plan to save the day, too.

The idea is for customers to reserve a table at Laurel for when the world goes back to normal. For this, you need to buy a voucher worth 15,000 forints, and they deliver you a 4+2 course menu for two. If you’re lucky, the chef, Ádám Mede himself, will deliver the goodies. And yes, I know we’ve claimed* (see above!) that the menu is free, and the delivered delights are free if you use your voucher in the future. But let’s see the process in more detail.

First, choose a date on this website when you would like your meal to be delivered. If you order before noon on the same day as you want the food to arrive, you can be tucking into your feast by the evening.

Just as Laurel normally operates with a dégustation menu, you order a prepared selection specifically designed to fit the delivery method. Your order arrives in a package not much larger than a shoe box, filled with sweet messages and great food, its quality perfectly matching the profile of this exclusive restaurant.

Opening the package is a bit like finding yourself at a gastro-IKEA: they provide instructions about which kitchenware you’ll need, how much time you’ll need before laying it on the table, and they also provide suggestions for wine pairings  – it’s a lot of fun, and far easier than putting up a shelf unit. Before all this, I reckoned that quality food and delivery were not compatible, but Laurel has proved me wrong. Everything is just like in the restaurant – except, of course, the presentation.

The amuse-bouche is homemade sourdough bread with smoked butter – and even though Hungary has become the land of bakers in the last three weeks, this bread really hits the spot, especially with that smoked butter. If you’ve got some Maldon salt at home, sprinkle a little on top – just a little tip, it's not in the instruction manual.

The appetiser is smoked trout with dill potato salad – a perfect combination a soft nostalgic touch reminiscent of the cold cuts phenomenon of the ’80s, but top-quality fare. While you’re enjoying that, you can warm up the Asian-spiced duck soup, with its Oriental vermicelli and generous morsels of meat.

The main course is an absolute classic as well: a butter-soft beef short rib with crispy mixed pickles, noodles and goulash essence.

Two desserts finish this great feast: malt-infused panna cotta and salted caramel with malt crumble, and petits fours comprising a mini Ischler cookie, canelé, a mini macaron and Laurel-branded chocolate .

According to social media sites, this initiative is going really well, and no wonder: they bring us a perfect dégustation/dinner menu, which brightens up the whole day. When spending days at home in isolation, nice scents and flavours can boost our endorphin levels for hours.

And the voucher that you receive offers a little light at the end of the tunnel. Incredible as it may seem now, the time will come when we can walk out again and have to leave home for fine dining – and not the other way around.