TV meals got their bad rep in the 50s when they were first commercially available. One would expect that, almost seven decades later, food preparation tech has leapfrogged consumers to the point where they never have to lift a wok lid to savour an approximation of freshly-cooked food.
We seem to be on the cusp of that 2018. Key among the new players in the ready meal arena is Taste Asia, which leverages blast-chill technology to rapidly preserve just-cooked food, removing the need for added preservatives and reducing moisture loss.
No better way to test that theory than to sample it ourselves. It took a hot minute to rip apart the packaging, apply any included sauces, and toss the generously-sized portions into the microwave. Minutes later we were treated with some bewilderingly good nosh that could’ve come right out the hawker stall.
Taking the curry chicken with rice as an example: the chunks of meat were fork-tender, juicy and far from the stringy, dried-out nuggets we were expecting. The yielding skin sloughed right off in satisfying fashion, each sliver plumped up by an adequate amount of fat beneath. The rice itself came out puffy, fragrant and adequately hydrated.
Curry is in itself a subjective topic, but this particular mix paid sufficient homage to the multitude of spices that should exist in a hearty curry, while maintaining a viscosity and creaminess that left a full feeling in the mouth. A well-chosen intensity of coconut rounded out any residual tang from the cumin present. Clearly the chefs behind this one understood the finer points of curry – a point Taste Asia prides itself on, considering they’ve roped in a crew of chefs native to each cuisine.
A quick look at the brand’s site indicates pocket-friendly prices but a peculiar spread of retail locations. Fortunately, the office-going (and the lazy) can call upon the delivery option, available after a $19 minimum expenditure. We’ve all been spoiled by food delivery services in recent years, but for those looking to beat the 45-minute waits, this could be your next best option.