When you have a stream of friends coming over, all ostensibly to see how you are faring but somehow landing up at dinner time, you have to feed them well. Since the food at home these days is mostly low in fat and taste, I thought we should order in something for a group that was paying a visit some days ago. I am trying to – for the time-being at least – erase the words biryani and korma from my memory. So I thought we would order some Thai food – which is both healthy and delicious.
That was when I remembered Thaicrate. I had heard about this Thai cuisine delivery outlet several months ago, and had been meaning to order food from there. But it somehow never happened. I found their contact details online and promptly placed my order: Moo priew waan (Sweet and sour pork – Rs. 460), kai med mamuang (cashew chicken – Rs. 440), pla nerng (steamed fish – Rs. 520), phad phak boong (morning glory – Rs. 330) and kieow tieow kee mao phak (Devilled noodles – Rs. 360). I even got a 15 per cent discount on the total amount.
Thaicrate is near INA (address: 25, Prem Nagar Market, Opposite the Thyagaraja Sports Complex, INA Colony, New Delhi 110023, phone number:0-8010081180). It opens at noon every day and delivers almost everywhere in Delhi, and also to Gurugram and Noida. It charges a small amount for this.
It is also very professionally run. I placed my orders a day in advance, and within minutes I had got a confirmation. The food arrived right on time the next day.
It came beautifully packed in small plastic containers, which Thaicrate tells us can be used in microwave ovens.
It was good food, too. I did not have the pork (I hope the halo above my head is visible to all) but enjoyed the chicken and the fish. The chicken dish was a dry one, and small cubes of the meat had been tossed with slices of bell pepper and cashew in oyster sauce and flavoured with white pepper. The chicken was soft, the cashew was crunchy, and the sauce nicely piquant.
The fish was deliciously light, and the soothing flavours of lemon and coriander had been given just the kind of kick it needed with a chilli dressing. The family and friends enjoyed the pork which had been cooked with bell peppers and onion, and tossed in chilli plum sauce.
What disappointed me a bit was the morning glory – a dish that I fell in love with during a sojourn in Thailand. It had been tossed with garlic and chilli, light soya and mushroom sauce, but I found it over-wilted, and therefore not tasty enough.
The devilled noodles – so called because the flat Thai rice noodles with seasonal greens had been flavoured with fresh red chillies (and basil) – went well with the dishes, though I liked my steamed rice with the chicken, too.
This is a nice place, and I am going to try it out again. Of course, as two of my friends who have lived in Thailand said, nothing served in India is quite like the food they had in the smallest of dhabas in the Southeast Asian nation. But there are some interesting dishes on the menu that I would like to order. They have, for instance, lime leaf lamb (cooked with kaffir lime leaves), ginger eggplant (tossed with mushroom, ginger and lemon) and seafood stir-fried with basil and fresh red chillies in oyster and fish sauce.
Thaicrate also does special meals that are gluten-free, nut-free and lactose-free, the website tells me. I am not venturing there – yet – but would one day soon like to try out the dishes that I have to now stay away from. But like what’s-his-name, I shall be back.