by Vandana Verma
10 September 2012
This new pan-Asian delivery service will erase memories of rubbery satay sticks and wilted salads arriving at your doorstep.
Asian Haus is a week-old delivery-only service, and it is a breath of fresh, lemongrass-scented air. Peddling authentic food that’s straight off the hawker stand and far, far away from the tired China-meets-Chandni Chowk norm, this food is a treat to have delivered to your home.
We’ve all been victims of delivery dining: the struggle to find something healthy, the inconsistencies in quality and the slow acceptance of mediocrity. Late nights at work are made even worse by a stodgy, oily dinner, and there’s nothing more disappointing than the promise of a salad, thwarted by the arrival of a mayo-marinated monstrosity.
Which is why Asian Haus was such a delight. Their excellent service begins on the phone, continues, about forty minutes later, with the arrival of a smiling gentleman bearing treats, and reaches its peak when you break into the tower of corrugated cardboard boxes that house your dinner.
I’ve never had satay delivered, because I’m always wary of those dry, over-grilled skewers that’ve been sitting too long on the back of a bike. But, on co-owner Kula Naidu’s recommendation (he manned the phones the night I rang), I sidestepped my misgivings and ordered these anyway. Tender and flavourful, these charcoal-grilled satay skewers made me glad I did, and are already on my repeat order list. An Asian chicken salad was fragrant with lemongrass and kaffir lime, while murtabak, those meat-filled Malaysian roti pockets, were lighter and more home-style than their Kuala Lumpur counterparts.
The menu has it all: mild Sichuan stylings via the kung pao chicken, bowls of soupy, coconutty khao suey and curry laksa, pure Canton fire in the gently crisped chilli chicken, a slippery tangle of glass noodle salad and a jumble of pan-fried char kway teow noodles that would sit comfortably on any Singaporean street. But the real winner was the baby pak choy with shitake mushrooms, redolent with the fragrance of anise and perfect on top of a mini mound of sticky rice.
Before you leap into your car to head for Zamrudpur, a reminder: Asian Haus is delivery only. If you want the real deal, you’re still going to have to hop on a flight to South East Asia, but in Delhi, this nifty little service means that you can plant your lazy behind squarely on the settee, pop open a bottle of whatever you fancy, and stay safely off the streets.