When it comes to food, I am rather conventional. I like to go to very few places (unless it is work) and hardly experiment with new things even in old places. And I never order in (no, not even pizza). So when I got to know that Orient Heritage was a delivery kitchen I was disappointed — I can go 30 kilometers to eat but cannot have food come to me and be spoilt on the way. And so, for months, I delayed sampling the full menu of a place which had impressed me with its dumplings — curried ones at that.
But when Jitin Mittal, the young man behind the place assured me that the food will be good. Usually I’d not accept such assurances (they are often false) but having met him and sampled his food, I wanted to give him a chance.
And so, on their first birthday I finally sampled their food.
The food reached me unscathed, was still warm, and quality, as expected, was top class. The meal bowls looked beautiful (I have always found them messy and unappetizing). The portions were big enough to be had for dinner, packed in tiffin, and then had for lunch next day. It may be important to add that I live an hour and a half away and yet the delivery person, Shankar, did a great job of ensuring everything reached intact, including the cake.
Asian that tastes like real Asian.
One of the biggest reasons why takeaway never works in Chinese food is that the preparations, almost everywhere, are high on cornstarch, cornflour, and artificial flavouring, all of which do not take kindly to cooling and reheating. The food that Orient Heritage sent though, was an exception. Light, flavourful, and without any artificial or over the top flavouring, everything was good to eat, some without even reheating.
The dimsum came with no less than 8 dips — chilli, garlic, green onion, soy being just a few. The sheer casing encloses dense mass of flavourful fillings. Prawns peppered with lemon grass, chicken smelling of fresh ginger garlic, dipped in richly umami soy sauce aren’t things you expect to eat in your living room.
What needs a special mention however is the Sushi rice and Hanoi noodle bowl. Both vegetarian, both flavourful, both bursting with flavours. The sushi bowl came with a beautiful avocado, shredded carrots and cucumbers (healthy food, anyone?) and the noodles were overflowing with greens and tofu. Both looked very simple — almost bland — but both were outstanding. So much so that I ate the rice by itself, with no side. The noodles were eaten after 24 hours, and might I add, they needed nothing other than a quick reheating.
The only thing I felt could be done better is the amount of plastic. But then, I am not sure if anything else can hold the food this well.
Cake, incidentally, is another thing that I am rather fussy about. I hardly eat it outside and almost always bake my own — even on my own birthday. The cake sent over by Jitin, to celebrate their birthday turned out to be moist and fresh and good to eat. The beady things on the side could have been avoided though since they added nothing to the texture ( I am guessing that is the intent) but were rather annoying in the mouth. But all in all the cake was nice to eat.
Meeting their Goal
When I had met Jitin first at the Asian Hawkers Festival, he had told me how the reason for him and his three friends to set up Orient Heritage was to cater to the need for good quality Asian food that is also affordable. After sampling this meal I can easily say that he is on the right path.