I think we are delving deep into the fantastic world of South Asian and Oriental cuisine these days after having an over dose of North Indian, Mughlai and Italian over the past few years.
And that is where Pandan Asian Eats comes into the picture. It is always not possible for us to visit a restaurant and gorge on those adorable dimsums and curries, so better to order them, right?
The delivery was before time (clapping for that) and the packaging was sturdy with least chance for spillage and spoiling. Here are the times that we relished:
Pok Pok Wings: Chopped garlic and spring onions compliment chicken wings, but peanuts? That is a bold ingredient to experiment with and let me tell you that the crunchy peanuts went so well with the subtly sweet and spicy juicy chicken that we were asking for more! RECOMMENDED.
Chicken and Thai herb dumplings: Those sliced fiery red chillies will definitely seduce the spice lovers into gorging on these beauties. The minced chicken is equally hot and is balanced by the thick and sticky dumpling skin. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
Chicken Green Thai curry with rice: Talking about rice first, I loved the addition of caramelised garlic. It adds so much depth to plain rice and compliments the delicate flavours of the Thai green curry. Moving on to curry, it was flavourful and excellent with the richness of curry leaves, lemongrass and coconut in very bite. The chicken pieces were succulent and fresh. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
Wok tossed noodles: Slightly oily but with the unusual flavours of mustard ( I am still clueless as to how did they incorporate mustard in noodles) and the usual sprouts, carrots, cabbage and bok choy leaves. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
So after a long time, we got to experience South Asian/Oriental dishes a few days back and we were pretty impressed with the delivery service of Wok Me. The order came at 7:50pm, 10 minutes before our designated time. How often does that happen?
Neatly packaged in paper boxes with no spill overs, these were the items that we tasted:
Chicken Lemongrass Sio Mai Dimsums: You know the dimsums are unusual when they are adorned with caramelised garlic on top. The thick, sticky, translucent and soft skin enclosing finely minced chicken with lemongrass surely tastes like heaven. The fresh flavour provided by lemongrass is the USP of this dish. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
Yum Yum Rolls: True to their names, these vegetarian spring rolls were yummy to the core! The crunchy and flaky exterior and the soft juicy interior consisting of finely julienned cabbage and carrots can inflame your palette. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
Make your own Wok Box – Flat Rice noodles in spicy coconut curry: The appearance of these noodles would not entice you since the curry had dried up by the time the order reached us, but the flavours will. The noodles are healthy as they are fashioned from rice and have a velvety smooth texture. The aroma and taste of the coconut gravy is tantalising to your taste buds and the addition of carrot juliennes, cottage cheese cubes, baby corn and shiitake mushrooms makes this a complete meal. The topping of peanuts and sesame seeds is so mouth watering! RECOMMENDED.
Recommendations: The noodles were slightly dry. They could have been moister.
A lot of hype was generated around this restaurant when it had opened and it is rightly so as QRO serves the most delectable shakes and pastas! Pocket friendly for the students, the restaurant serves Continental food in addition to the usual Chinese and Italian.
So here are the dishes that I tried-
Baked Penne Mozarella- For all the cheese and pasta lovers out there, this is a perfect dish for you all. The goodness of penne combined with oodles of cheese is sure to win your heart. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
Steamed Wheat Dimsums(chicken)- Well I am a huge dimsums fan and a restaurant serving the wheat ones is just heaven for me. These dimsums do have some amount of refined flour in them so as to stop the dough from getting blacked. The dimsums have a dense chicken filling and you don’t need any dip to go with it. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
Choco Brownie Shake- I have finally found my favourite shake in the town ! Choco Brownie Shakes are served everywhere but QRO sure knows how to make them the best. It is thick(as shakes should be!) and have a right amount of sweetness.It surprises you, delights you and casts a spell on you. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
Fish and Chips- I love this British street food but have never seen it served in a café. The fish had a subtle taste and a flaky texture.The dip was delectable and was the highpoint of the whole dish. RECOMMENDED.
BBQ Chicken Wrap- Try all the dishes here but never try their wraps as they don’t make them good. The BBQ chicken was sweet in taste and there wasn’t much sauce in the wrap which proved extremely difficult to eat it.
Their site mentions myriad cuisines and the pictures from every type are drool worthy to the core. Without much ado, I will start with my reviews for their Chinese dishes:
Fish in hot sauce: Soft lightly fried fish drenched in a thick sweet sauce and topped with spring onions, caramelised onions, carrots, bell peppers and crunchy peanuts – HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
Chicken Schezwan Dimsums: Artistic! Such softness of the dainty skin enclosing light minced chicken in a spicy gravy – mesmerising. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
Fish in butter garlic sauce: If heaven is a dish, then this is it. Very lightly fried fish tossed in butter along with finely chopped garlic and peanuts is sure to melt in your mouth. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
Orange chicken: A very novel concept of pairing chicken with a citrus fruit – hats off! Small blobs of chicken fried to crusty perfection and tossed in oranges and sesame seeds – a plethora of flavours to serenade you. The sweet and sour refreshing flavour of orange coupled with fine crunchiness of the sesame seeds is a winner for me. However, the chicken was slightly dry from the insides and the whole ensemble tasted too sweet sometimes. RECOMMENDED.
Kung Pao chicken: Ahhh, the king of the Oriental main course. Those crunchy peanuts working their magic on soft and chewy boneless chicken pieces and the thick gravy lending the typical sweet flavour of vinegar – HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
Hakka Noodles: One of the best I have tasted – not too oily or dry and pretty thin and fine. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
Chicken Hong Kong style: Diced chicken again in a sweet sauce with chewy shiitake mushrooms – RECOMMENDED.
Family based restaurants serving lip smacking north Indian dishes are difficult to find these days. And this is where Chawla’s Tandoori Junction comes into play.
A twenty years old restaurant which started at Karkardooma and has now spread to Noida and Defence Colony, Chawla’s should be on your go to list for those delicious family outings and here are the reasons why:
Paneer Tikka: Tanginess and an unusual smokiness define this common vegetarian appetizer.
Kastoori chicken: Firm and chewy boneless chicken pieces drenched in subtle spices and smoked to perfection, with a lovely balance of flavours – I could not keep my hands off from this one.
Dahi ke sholey: A vegetarian dish which is cathcinh up with all of us. The one served here is flaky and crispy from outside with not too many layers and soft and sweet from inside – the reduced yoghurt is ohh-so-smooth!
Kalmi Kebab: Any kebab slathered with cream or yoghurt is always enticing for me! This one was heavenly soft, so damn succulent that the chicken falls out of the legpiece, creamy and had fresh coriander leaves to provide a different level of decadency.
Chicken Tandoori momos: A balanced chewiness coupled with the a slight peppery flavour awaits your palate when you savour this.
Handi chicken: Rich and creamy gravy with the aroma of green cardomam and the tender chicken pieces and an unusual spice level – recommended.
I am loving the way the delivery outlets are proliferating in the Delhi NCR region. Specially when they are experimenting in authentic exotic cuisines. Thai, Asian and Japanese seem to be pretty much in and Hong Kong Express is yet another outlet in the south Delhi circle opening its door to the uber sauve customer.
As claimed by many other outlets, Hong Kong express also belives in fresh preparations but what baffles me the most is their exorbitant quantities. I mean 10 momos in just 180 bucks from a quality outlet? Noi kidding guys, no kidding.
Chicken momos: A soft translucent skin of refined flour enclosing a delicate mixture of minced chicken and chopped onions, green chillies and coriander is sure to entice you. Add to this, the lightness of the momos and you can eat a whole box of them! HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
Chicken Sui Mai Dimsums: Oh boy! Why did I taste these? Because I could not stop myself from devouring the entire plate! Thin wanton sheets enveloping a mellow minced chicken mixture with the addition of chopped spring onions from three sides and steamed to perfection will definitely haunt you. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
Chicken Thai green curry: I am pretty sure that Thai green curry does not appear orange in colour. Nonetheless, it was quite sweet because of overuse of coconut milk and could have used some Thai spices. The refreshing flavour and aroma of lemongrass in combination with the fried curry leaves lends an unmatched authenticity to this dish. RECOMMENDED.
“Soi Thai” roughly translates to “Thai street”. As the founders of this wonderful delivery outlet have travelled across various parts of Asia and have also been trained in the region’s food preparation, they decided to set up Soi Thai as the non existence of quality Thai cuisine at optimal rates inspired them.
All their curries, marinades, sauces and pastes are fashioned in house with no addition of preservatives and MSG. You can actually taste the freshness and authenticity of Thai flavours in their dishes. Here are a few of them that I recently tasted:
Tom Kha soup: A tangy soup with the right consistency and coconuty flavour is sure to entice your taste buds. The presence of fresh vegetables – broccoli and carrots with shredded chicken is a lovely add on.
Chicken dimsums: Fine minced chicken grounded with yellow bell peppers and fresh coriander leaves enveloped in a light skin – melt in the mouth goodness.
Tofu and mushroom salad: Finely crushed tofu and mushroom but way too tangy – sourness can be reduced. A bit spicy as well.
Pad Thai Noodles: Excellent creation – a lovely medley of firm noodles, soft chicken, crunchy peanuts and sweet-sour flavour – what more do you want?
Thai yellow curry: Juiciest chicken pieces with cubes of pointed gourd drenched in a thick gravy with coconut milk as base and with a strong flavour of red chillies, black pepper and curry leaves. A perfect accompaniment to the soft sticky rice.