Friday, May 09, 2008

"Bento" take-out to a take-out party

It was so sweet for Mochachocolatarita to invite us to join the Chinese take-out party. I was on the verge of declining the "invite" because I have not been cooking lately. I am truly the one on the Chinese take-out diet. Buying Chinese take-outs, and having them delivered to my home!! I asked shamelessly, if I could take part with real Chinese take-outs and this sweet girl said "Go for it...". There I am, shamelessly not cooking, and submitting my entry to Mochachocolatarita's Chinese take-out party.

Package that shows what's inside...

Most of them deliver FREE (minimum order: 2 boxes) and cost ~NT70 (~USD 2.30 based on 9,May 2008 conversion rate) per person per set. Cheap ?

In Taiwan, Chinese take-outs or more commonly known as 便當** (pronounced Bian Dang), literally meaning convenience-meal, are quite similar to the Chinese take-out rice-plate in the United States. It is hard to find Cantonese Chow Mien/Fried Noodles or Fried Rice here where I am staying. Even if there is...99% chance of finding something not authentic. DOH! So I rather choose what they do better - 便當饭盒 . The "contents" of the meal is somewhat similar to the economic rice/economy rice in Singapore...that is rice with meat+ vegetables.

A very typical Taiwanese rice-set. Mostly preserved/braised/stewed food in a wooden box

Taichung Kang Road, Section 1,, # 172
Taichung City, Taiwan

They do it differently here when you asked for delivery. Over the phone, you usually order one main dish (typically meat/fish) - can be braised pork ribs, grilled chicken chop, kung pao chicken etc., and they will pair it (for you) with 2-3 different sides of (really small portions of) vegetables (eg. green leafy, long beans, cabbage, corn kernels, bamboo shoots, onions, preserved vegetables etc). In other words, you get a choice of meat but not the vegetables.

~Less than USD3 per person (lunch and/or dinner)
~FREE delivery to your door step

Why not?

Really a savior on lazy days when I don't even feel like stepping into the kitchen except to open the fridge and get a drink or a ready-snack. Oh, the evil of convenience...I'm falling prey to. But Jeff Bezos, Founder, CEO of did say...most, if not all consumers, enjoy convenience, selection, and low prices. Then, what will stop me in this vicious cycle of Chinese take-out diet? Selection, I guess. I don't know how healthy or unhealthy it can get if I do this continuously.

Time to get back to cooking soon.

** I checked Google translation:
Bento (english) --> 盒饭
便當 --> Lunch
ekiben (english) --> 铁路便当

Why is it that I always get the impression that Bento is 便當 ??

Anyway, happy weekend!