Marks & Spencer Lemongrass and Ginger Marinated Chicken Breasts on Baby New Potatoes (660g), oven only, £4.99 rating 3/5

Marks & Spencer Lemongrass and Ginger Marinated Chicken Breasts on Baby New Potatoes (660g), oven only, £4.99 rating 3/5

Man cannot live by microwave alone. In search of comforting delusions about my ability to work a real cooker, I hit on M&S's new fusion range, which frowns on radiation and demands that you know one side of a frying pan from the other. These dishes are all manic Californian novelty, plundering the world in a random tourist's trolley-dash for colour and "contrast" and giving you chilli with everything.

Occupying the hitherto unexplored Chinese-American-Greek-Mexican crossover area, the spring rolls were the weirdest item on offer, but emerged from ten minutes' baking with their integrity intact. The mushroom and feta hadn't completely lost their composure and the pastry wasn't soggy.

Mind you, anything tastes great with the obligatory chilli sauce. The chicken marinade, on the other hand, caramelised too easily and left the new potatoes all sludged up, with neither lemongrass nor ginger much in evidence. Although the box said there was red onion present, 40 minutes at 220C had dissolved it into a rich, dark stuff you'd normally spread on a slice of roast beef.

Regarding the broccoli, anyone willing to spend £2.50 for the privilege of frying up a few green sticks and dumping on sachet of sauce deserves to be ripped off, and they well and truly have been.

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