We’re lucky to all live in an era when any type of food from around the world is easily accessible to us. Working in London has me easily spoilt for choice. There is an endless selection of restaurants, food trucks and take away chains to satisfy any type of craving. Unfortunately I rarely get the chance to leave my desk to grab a bite to eat. So when I was contacted by Take Eat Easy to trial their new London restaurant delivery service, I jumped at the chance to have a hot restaurant lunch delivered straight to me at the office.
Already in Europe, the Take Eat Easy service is unique in that it lets you pre-order your food for a specific delivery time, and then allows you to track the progress of your food and its delivery on a map until it gets to you. Simply enter your post code, and a list of participating restaurants pops up for you to choose from. I was pleasantly surprised at the variety of restaurants available . Everything from burgers, pulled pork, pizza, Vietnamese, Italian, and of course Thai – my favourite!
The website is laid out well and very user friendly. It’s also mobile enabled which is a big plus. The list of participating restaurants appears in a tile format along with a preview image of their food. Simply click on the restaurant of your choice, and a high quality photo of each dish available is displayed along with the price, and reviews from other customers.
I choose to order a Thai lunch for my team at work from a restaurant located near Brick Lane called Kinkao. They had a wonderful selection of dishes to choose from online. The photos made me want to choose one of everything! I’ve never met a Thai dish I didn’t like, so I knew I would be safe with whatever I ordered.
Heavily influenced with tropical flavours like coconut and pineapple, Thai food warms my soul and immediately transports me to paradise. Perfect for the dreadfully dreary weather we had in London that day. I ended up ordering 12 dishes for us to share (including appetizers and rice). Once I placed my order I was sent confirmation that it had been received at the restaurant. My order tracking map was updated with a countdown timer showing the location of the restaurant along with my office. I was able to keep an eye on the progress of my order, and could see once it had left the restaurant for delivery and track it until it arrived at my office. I noticed afterwards that there was also a chat function available – presumably to contact the delivery person, but I’m not certain as I didn’t use it. Our food arrived hot and fresh via a Take Eat Easy bike courier who carried our food in an enormous delivery heat bag on his back.
I couldn’t fault the customer journey or service of Take Eat Easy, and the food we ordered from Kinkao was delicious and more than enough to feed my hungry team. In fact, I ended up taking enough home to feed my husband and son dinner too.
New customers to Take Eat Easy will recieve a £10 credit on their first order using code 5YB4SK. And to make things even better, they’re offering free delivery on all orders until 2016.
When I got home I was inspired to make a something that embraced the wonderful tropical Thai flavours we enjoyed earlier that day. I wanted to make an authentic Thai dessert, but struggled to find anything that wasn’t a gelato or an ice cream. I discovered that there are actually very few authentic Thai desserts, as they aren’t commonly eaten in Thailand. This was confirmed by a Thai blog I stumbled upon where the author complained about their lack of traditional (good tasting) desserts, admitting that most Thai desserts consist of a piece of fruit such as a lychee floating in a milky liquid.
I was a bit stumped as to what I could make, but I knew I wanted it to incorporate pineapple or coconut. – two ingredients that feature heavily in Thai cuisine. I settled on a familiar cookie that I used to eat in my multicultural hometown back in Canada. Traditionally served alongside Chinese New Year celebrations, these Pineapple cookies were exactly what I was after.
Chinese Pineapple Cookies
Balls of homemade pineapple jam with just a hint of cloves are encased in a light and flaky pastry. The criss cross marks across the top mimic the outside of a pineapple. I really love these cookies. They’re surprisingly easy to make, and require only a handful of ingredients. And they’re also not too sweet either, which is probably quite true for most traditional Thai desserts.
Recipe adapted from Rasa Malaysia
- 4 1/2 lbs (2 kg) Pineapple Chunks, fresh or thawed from frozen
- 20 Cloves
- 1 Cup, plus 2 Tbsp (250g) Sugar (or to taste)
- 1 Tbsp Lemon juice
- 1 1/2 Cups (350 g) Butter, room temperature
- 1/3 Cup (100 g) sweetened condensed milk
- 2 egg yolks
- 4 Cups (500 g) Plain flour
- 2 Egg yolks
- 1/4 tsp Condensed milk
- 1/2 tsp oil
- Place the pineapple chunks in a blender, and puree.
- In a medium pot, add the pineapple puree and the cloves and cook on medium heat, stirring continuously to avoid burning.
- When the pineapple puree is almost dry, add in the sugar and lemon juice, and stir to combine. Lower the heat and simmer, continuing to stir until the pineapple filling turns golden in colour and becomes very sticky.
- Transfer the pineapple jam to a glass glass bowl, and remove the cloves. Chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes, or until cool.
- Using an electric mixer, cream the butter and condensed milk until light and fluffy.
- Add in the egg yolks one at a time, and beat until well combined.
- Mix in the flour slowly to form the dough. The dough will be ready when it no longer sticks to your hands.
- To make the egg wash, simply combine the egg yolks, oil and condensed milk together in a small dish.
- Pre-heat oven to 325ºF (165ºC)
- Roll a teaspoon sized amount of the pineapple jam into a small ball. Continue rolling until you have about 75 balls.
- Take a tablespoon of the dough and flatten it in the palm of your hand so it's wide enough to wrap around one of the pineapple balls.
- Place the pineapple ball in the centre of the dough, and bring the edges up towards the top of the ball. Pinch the dough so that it covers the pineapple ball entirely, and then roll the whole thing in the palm of your hand to smooth into a ball.
- Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, and gently press down so they are just slightly flattened.
- Using the dull side of a knife, gently press down on the top of the dough to create 3 lines. Then again in the opposite direction so that a diamond pattern is formed. Make sure not to press too hard - you don't want to cut down into the pineapple jam.
- Repeat the above steps until the baking tray is full, and then brush the tops with the egg wash.
- Bake at 325ºF (165ºC) for 20 mins, or until just golden. Cool before serving. Store in an airtight container.