5 Takeaway/Delivery Meals To Ease The Lockdown Blues
Updated: Mar 24, 2022
It's been a rough month being cooped up at home. Between staring at the computer monitor during the day for work and staring at my iPhone, iPad, or TV screen in the evening for leisure, I'm slowly but surely going insane. Luckily for me, there's breakfast, lunch, and dinner to offer temporary relief and sharpen the senses.
I don't know about you, but I'm tired of thinking, cooking and cleaning for the past few weeks. Thankfully, there's food delivery. Even better, most restaurants have started offering takeaway and delivery to give us a taste of what a professional can whip up. Spoiler: it's really no contest.
If you, like me, grew weary of eating your own cooking, I've got just the lavish meals for you to order and enjoy at home. Treat yourself, don't cheat yourself folks.
Chef Raymond and his team at modern Malaysian restaurant Beta have crafted a rather sumptuous experience for you and another (possible three) to have at home. Focusing on classic northern Malaysian dishes for a rustic, wholesome feast at home, the restaurant’s Taste of Beta 1.0 takeaway menu (RM158++), called “Journey To The North”, features quite the selection.
Start with a winged bean salad with budu aioli and a side of acar with peanut and sesame. The former is piquant and refreshingly green, while the latter is spicy with a sourish-nutty crunch. For mains, indulge in fried chicken with rempah, calamari curry with masala spice and okra, and caramelised tamarind tiger prawns (RM40 add on) with a khao yam-inspired nasi ulam with homemade chicken garum. The meal comes with condiments – lacto-fermented tomato sambal belacan, puffed rice and fried shallots and anchovies. There’s also the option to add on a decadent cempedak tart for dessert, should you wish.
It’s a deliciously lavish meal, one that definitely gave my family and a brief but much-needed respite from the humdrum of lockdown life. If you haven't dined at Beta before, check out my review.
When I first dined at Li back in 2017 (how time flies), I fell in love with the restaurant's modern take on the Malaysian classics. Provisions, Li's bakery spin-off, is still my favourite place to get bread. Their lunch specials are absolutely worth it, and I generally have a good meal every time I pay them a visit.
I was surprisingly happy to then find out last week that Li had curated a special takeaway/delivery menu, think a modern tai chow meal, that's cleverly named "Fami-Li". Oh, the feels. Each set (RM150) comes with:
• Half gula melaka chicken
• Mapo mushroom chawanmushi
• Smoked mackerel kerabu, fish sauce vinaigrette
• Charred greens, sweet garlic purée, crumbs
• Kaya tart x2
• Dragonfruit enzyme drink x2
• White rice
The gula melaka chicken was brilliant, incredibly tender grilled cuts of chicken imbued with smokiness and a hint of robust sweetness that lingers at the background. Served with chicken jus, it's an East meets West take on the classic grilled chicken that doesn't feel out of place when eaten with plain white rice. The smoked mackerel kerabu salad with a fish sauce vinaigrette was also fantastic – light yet flavourful and fresh yet robust. Charred kai lan, served with a sweet garlic purée and crumbs for extra crunch, was also a welcoming addition to balance the meal with even more greens.
That silky smooth steamed egg custard topped with an earthy mushroom mapo tofu-inspired sauce, a.k.a chawanmushi, is also lovely over rice. Li's dragonfruit enzyme drink (think kombucha) is a refreshingly sour concoction that helps tie the meal altogether. For dessert, there are two kaya tarts, a slightly sweet, somewhat salty egg-tart like dessert that ends the meal with the restaurant's signature sous-vide kaya front and centre.
3) Park Grill
This downtown modern American grill house-inspired restaurant is fairly new to the dining scene, with Park Grill recently joining the takeaway and delivery game. You can expect elevated comfort food classics from Park Grill this lockdown season, with a hearty selection of starters, steaks, mains, sides and two desserts to mix and match your at-home meal.
I managed to indulge in a three-course (plus an extra main) meal just the other week, and I enjoyed what I tasted for the most part. My experience started with a thick and robust bouillabaisse (RM32+), a French seafood chowder vadouvan served with grilled sourdough. While I still prefer my bouillabaisse somewhat light and seafood-forward, this earthy, spice-heavy version was quite the palate opener.
I tried the Park Grill burger (RM58+) and the codfish and chips (RM68+) when it came to the mains. The burger was satisfyingly meaty, using mimolette cheese, a house special sauce and arugula to deliver a pretty tasty burger. A side of triple-cooked fries didn't hurt either. The cod and chips, on the other hand, was also delightful. Served with mashy peas (not my thing), parmesan fries and special spicy tartar, the fish itself, which isn't very big, was delicious. The crispy exterior arrived still crunchy when it reached me, with the flaky, oily fish still perfectly cooked. I preferred the burger's triple-cooked fries to the parmesan fries, as these thick-cut, batter-fried potato strips were too chunky for my liking.
For dessert, there was a whole miniature manchego burnt cheesecake (RM39+). Again, a rather interesting choice of cheese, one that I reckon will work for some and not for others. The cheese, a full-flavoured buttery and savoury choice imbued the cheesecake with a density that crumbles and melts in the mouth, which I liked. The taste, however, is a mix between savoury, sweet, and a little umami thrown in.
Almost a month ago, Dewakan announced "Hidang", a set menu for two (RM200 nett) that unsurprisingly took dining media by storm. Hidang changes every week, and it started off with nasi ulam, sotong sumbat with corn puree and sos hijau, beef tripe masak cili api neraka, sayur manis and sweet potato and bunga kantan syrup.
Dewakan is giving locked-in diners a comfort food snapshot of our nation's cuisine, an attempt that has been praised by the almost everyone I've come across who has tried the meal. Keep tabs on Dewakan's Instagram page for weekly updates, or message their business line on WhatsApp for a more direct response.
I love dining at Fuego, and it is easily one of my favourite restaurants in KL. I even brought Harumi there on her first visit to Malaysia, and I also chose the venue as the afterparty to celebrate my first book launch back in 2016.
Opt to bring a little Latin flavour into your house with Fuego's lamb rib set (RM220), which includes guacamole, corned beef croquettes, a 500g charcoal-grilled lamb ribs, a salad, butternut squash, and the restaurant's signature churros. Get a bottle of wine, and you're all set for a veritable banquet at home fit for two to three adults.