Ever been to a restaurant with a seemingly inexhaustible menu? We certainly have. There was one place on the Island which had a twelve page bill of fare crammed with all sorts of dishes from lobster thermidor to fillet steak, with various world food delicacies shoehorned into the pages in between. Not only was it really hard to choose but the cynics among our party were doubtful that all the promised dishes could be delivered using fresh home-cooked ingredients.
Likewise we have sometimes had menu fatigue in a Indian restaurant. Each dish seemingly different but the descriptions are actually masterful examples of obfuscation. Is there really a significant distinction between chicken “cooked with fresh green chillies, green peppers and onion” and chicken “stir-fried with onion, capsicum and green chillies”? Perhaps we have become jaded.
So, in a way, it’s nice to have the choice taken from us. Like a family dining table where the chief cook has got fed up of creating meals to suit each child’s foibles, so we were pleased to get what we were given by Delish Indian.
Each week, Parita from Delish Indian publishes on her Facebook page the details of what she is cooking up, diners can order it, and your dinner arrives on your doorstep by Friday night ready to be reheated and enjoyed. We’ve sampled this enjoyable fare before with friends, but with the lockdown in progress this was one we wanted to try again.
The neatly packed bag of food arrived in good time, and came with sensible and easy-to-follow instructions printed on each of the cartons. And that’s important – well, for us it is anyway. We eat out a lot because we are far from enthusiastic home chefs. Although in these difficult times we’re learning to love home cooking, Delish Indian’s simple and successful reheating process was great for kitchen refuseniks like us.
This week, Delish Indian was serving beef madras. Now madras is the kind of curry that the spice-wary have long learned to avoid. In some restaurants, anything more adventurous than a korma is a licence for the chef to load both barrels with chilli and let ’em have it. Cat’s concerns that the beef madras might be a bit lively were not realised. This deep rich curry was flavoursome but without too much heat. What it did have was meat – and plenty of it. The sauce was stuffed with cube after cube of lean beef. Not stringy, fatty or flaked to destruction; the chunks of meat held their form – each one a tasty little mouthful.
Dinner for two (two dishes, plus rice and poppadoms) £25
Our side dish was ‘gunpowder’ root vegetables. Again, despite the suggestion of an explosive taste, the roasted parsnips and carrot sticks were enhanced but not destroyed with spices. The peas pilau was an excellent way of sneaking yet more vegetables into our takeaway, and an attractive substrate the rice dish was too. All of this came with a packet of microwaveable poppadums, which magically puffed up when pinged for the requisite amount of time.
We served out our dinners ourselves, and added a few touches of our own. Beer, mango chutney and creme fraiche had been procured, and with the addition of the Delish Indian food straight from the oven, the whole thing made a very presentable lockdown supper that we enjoyed.
Delish food is good value, easy to reheat, and enjoyable. Ordering is simplicity itself, and we appreciated the straightforward menu – you eat whatever Parita is cooking that week. If you want to spice up your home dining, we’d be happy to recommend Delish.
This is the full-length version of the review first published in the Isle of Wight County Press.