There were two reasons why the red flier slipped in with the newspaper the other morning interested me.
Firstly, it was of Red Ninja Express, a Chinese order in place, at Bandra. I am always on the look out for a place that sends edible Chinese here.
Secondly the menu card promised ‘New York style boxes’. If you live on an OD of sitcoms such as Becker and FRIENDS then you would be familiar with these boxes. I gravitated towards it just as a kid would towards the Golden Arches.
Turned out that Red Ninja was on twitter too. I tried to order at 1115 pm on Thursday night but they were shut. I would have ordered earlier but was trying to calm down the tiny kitten which was alone at our courtyard.
I tweeted about how one couldn’t order from Red Ninja post 11 pm.
@RedNinjaExp tweeted back:
@Finelychopped Hi came across ur tweet,Im sorry v cudnt tke ur ordr tnite as our kitchn had already shut.Tomo onwrds v r opn 1130am-1130pm.
Well they were responsive at least.
Soon Bunkin Banu gave us another opportunity to call on Saturday night. I must say that I was impressed by the lady taking the order on phone. She could answer my questions on the menu. Rather rare. In most cases when you call most restaurants here and get guttural answers such as ‘Hunan sauce is brown’, “Singapore noodles has gravy in it’ which make you want to tear your hair.
A look at an earlier tweet from them:
RedNinjaExp Red Ninja ExpressNinja box suggestion: Try our butter garlic chicken with fortune rice,its a super combination and will keep u coming back for more
and memories of the fantastic butter pork my friends at KL had introduced me to along with some suggestions from the lady taking the order and I decided on a ‘Super Box’. Butter garlic chicken (less gravy), burnt garlic rice (her recco, (‘Fortune rice has aniseed’) and pan fried dim sums (folks on twitter had suggested their dim sums) and a 7 UP.
A good deal at Rs 210 (5 USD). Just the rice and chicken was Rs 150 (3 USD) which was not bad too.
The order took which I placed at 1015 pm took. I vented my impatience on twitter after 45 minutes and pat came the reply.
RedNinjaExp Red Ninja Express
@Finelychopped So sorry for the delay,weekends r a bit busy usually..Hope u enjoy ur food :)
The food followed. The chirpy red box was at our door.
Well, the quantity was just right for one person. The combo order had 3 dim sums that indeed tasted good.
But there was a problem. The chicken side order was place on the rice and packed into the box. This format could be a problem if, like me, you don’t like your food to be mixed by others. In fact Mr Chow sends their (a bit more expensive) combo meal with the side and mains in two different boxes.
This mixture just wouldn’t work for me. If they have to pack the two into the same box then perhaps a butter paper separating the two might help.
So how was the food? Did it live up to the visions of the butter pork of KL and butter prawns of Malacca?
All I can say is that the chicken was juicy and didn’t tax your teeth.
The rest of my memory of the meal was shrouded in the uneven patches of salt and garlic. A fallout of the sauce splotched on the top of the rice.
Will I order again?
Perhaps. Even if not enthusiastically. The price works for me. I am starved for good Chinese. I will try to get them to separate the two layers the next time.
And I am a sucker for anything red.
Well I did order again from Red Ninja. On a Sunday night. This time my order reached me in half an hour.
After learning my lesson last time I didn’t go for the combo. I ordered for a separate rice and chicken side. It worked.
Gone were the red boxes. Regular aluminium foil. Rs 250 (6 USD). A tad more expensive than the combo and the quantity was too much for the single eater.
But this worked much better tastewise. There was no taste of garlic as such in the burn garlic chicken fried rice but it was fairly well flavoured. With it I ordered an appetiser – chicken in black bean sauce dry. One of the few places here to offer dry black bean dishes.
Well the chicken was extremely tender and pliant and had the signs of being tossed just right in the wok. Genteel and distinguished. A pleasure to eat. The sort of dish you would expect to come out of the wok of a Chinese chef who treats it respect.
I guess there is more to life than exciting packaging.