When was the last time you had a healthy lunch? If you find yourself thinking too hard for an answer (yet unable to come up with one), you aren’t the only one – that's for sure. After all, Malaysians aren’t exactly known for our nutritious meal choices, are we?
With such a vast array of ahem, unhealthy, ahem but oh-so-delicious culinary selections (roti telur, kari laksa, cendol – just to name a few) at our disposal, it’s almost inevitable to fall into the cycle of eating unhealthily. To top it off, it’s not as though we can help it considering how healthy foods can be so unappetising. Steamed veggies are soggy and flavourless, wholegrain bread tastes less like bread and more like sandpaper, chicken breasts can be dry and stringy – you get the picture. It’s simply impossible to have foods that are healthy and tasty, right? Wrong. As unexpected as it may seem, the words “nutritious” and “scrumptious” can exist in the same sentence – and lunchbox delivery service Chopstick Diner is a testament to that.
Delivering health to your doorstep
The brainchild of food stylist and technologist-turned-internet entrepreneur Elaine Ho, Chopstick Diner started out as a website offering simple yet delicious recipes. On the humble beginnings of Chopstick Diner, Elaine says, “I’ve always been passionate about food. One day, I decided to upload recipes online, just for the fun of it. I had just returned to Malaysia after spending 10 years in Australia.”
But it wasn’t just online where she would share her recipes, she would also cook them for family and friends. “My cooking received much positive feedback. That was when I began tinkering with the idea of turning my hobby into a business.” That idea was soon realised in August of 2014. “I wanted to do something that was different from other delivery services. I feel the Malaysian diet is packed with fat and carbohydrates which can harm our health. So, I made sure that Chopstick Diner offers healthier lunch options.”
Going for RM15.00 each, these healthier lunch options come in the form of...
Vietnamese chicken salad
Classic Caesar salad with grilled chicken
Roasted eggplant and pumpkin salad with tahini dressing
Fresh Vietnamese spring rolls
Smoked salmon Caesar salad
For those who are easily lost for choice, Elaine says, “Customers can go for our ‘half-half’ whereby they are allowed the combined choices of 2 salads.” And judging by the look and taste of her mouth-watering gastronomic offerings, it’s easy to see why customers find it tough settling on just 1 salad.
HealthToday had the opportunity to try 2 out of the 6 salads. Here are our comments:
Roasted eggplant & pumpkin salad with tahini dressing
If you love eggplants, you will love this. Upon opening the lunchbox, what greet you are chunks of succulent eggplant and cubes of melt-in-your-mouth pumpkin on a bed of fresh, crunchy lettuce leaves. Sprinkled all over them in generous amounts are juicy bits of pomegranate pulp, bursting with antioxidant goodness. The dressing is packed separately so you can lather on as much – or little – dressing as you want. No more worries about soggy, dressing-drenched veggies!
Half-half: Fresh Vietnamese spring rolls & Classic Caesar salad with grilled chicken
Boasting vibrant-coloured ingredients (shredded purple cabbage, red capsicum, carrots, lettuce leaves, thin chicken slices and vermicelli), the Vietnamese spring rolls were aesthetically pleasing to the eye. They were rather bland on their own but dipping them in the tangy dressing did the trick. The Caesar salad was made up of halved hard-boiled eggs and several slices of grilled chicken, which were marinated to perfection – and it’s no wonder because Elaine tells us that she marinates her chicken for 24 hours! Beef bacon bits and croutons gave the salad a crunchy, crispy edge which left our taste buds wanting more.
Besides these 6 fixtures, customers can look forward to Chopstick Diner’s weekly specials (at the time of writing, it’s pasta salad with tuna). To keep abreast with the weekly specials menu, do visit www.chopstickdiner.com or www.facebook.com/chopstickdiner. For those looking for more texture in their lunchboxes, Elaine says that customers can request for sesame seeds (10g for RM2.00) or chia seeds (free) to be thrown into the mix. Eats aside, Chopstick Diner offers a trio of thirst-quenchers: Crush mango fresh juice, Crush banana pineapple juice and Crush citrus goji-ra juice – each for RM9.00.
Health up your lunch!
So, ready to give Chopstick Diner a go? Here’s the lowdown:
- Delivery costs RM5.00 for orders below RM50.00 within the Klang Valley. For other areas, additional charges apply
- Delivery charges are waived for orders above RM50.00
- Delivery days are from Mondays to Fridays, excluding public holidays
- Orders must be submitted by 10pm the day before
- Payment is via PayPal or direct bank transfer