Fresh alternative to Shanghai convenience store lunchboxes, enter Xin Wei Cook!

4th October 2015 / Shanghai

Xin Wei Cook just launched a new lineup of simple, easy to heat lunchboxes, aimed at the busy working man like myself. The idea is to have fresh lunchboxes delivered quickly, which you simply heat for 3 minutes in the microwave. The challenge is to make sure it’s tasty. So how did they fare?

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I had my lunchboxes delivered on an pre-holidy overtime sunday afternoon for my colleague and I.

We tried the duck confit, char shiu rice and seafood pineapple fried rice.

Duck confit box (28rmb)

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The duck confit set came with a portion of a duck leg, red wine poached pears, roasted carrots and sweet potatoes and a delectable taro mash.

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Unfortunately, the duck leg didn’t look nor tasted anything like a duck confit; Actually, it was abit difficult to pinpoint how it was cooked, leaning more towards braised duck leg. I didn’t think much of the sauce that came with it either. Duck confit should be a deep-fried duck leg with a crispy skin and moist tender flesh.

The accompanying vegetables were dry and felt very mass produced. 
The accompanying vegetables were dry and felt very mass produced.

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Thankfully, the taro mash managed to save the set meal a bit. It was a very interesting option, because one very rarely sees taro mash around. It reminded me of the Poi that I had back in Hawaii, only more tasty. Sweet, rich with a coconuty feel and very creamy. A highlight to the otherwise dull meal.

Char siu Rice (29rmb)

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This one came with mixed grain rice with a fried egg on top. Paired with the char siu is a marinated kombu side dish and fried string beans.

The fried egg on the rice still had molten yolk flowing over the rice, so it was nice. 
The fried egg on the rice still had molten yolk flowing over the rice, so it was nice.

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The char siu did not taste like a conventional cantonese char siu, but it tasted very good. A little sweet, with hoisin sauce dominating the palate. The pork tenderloin slices remained juicy, tender and went very well with the rice.

The vegetable sides were also quite nice and well seasoned. The fact that not a single item on this set was dry made everything go well with the rice. I enjoyed this one and would order it again.

Seafood Pineapple Fried Rice  (32rmb)

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This was simply a big portion of fried rice and a big portion of the dry sweet potatoes and carrots.

This suffered the similar fallback to the first dish — dry throughout. The thai-inspired seafood pineapple fried rice tasted fresh with a fruity flavour. The accompanying prawns, scallops and clam meat tasted fresh and bouncy.

That said, I would have enjoyed the fried rice more if it had a more seafood flavour in it. It tasted almost like the seafood were cooked separately and then tossed together with the rice.

A wetter side dish like the fried string beans would have also paired better with the fried rice to help create a better balance of texture and mouthfeel.

I ordered my meals to be sent at 12pm, and they arrived at 11:30am so that was definitely nice. Although I wonder if it would be as efficient during peak hours on a normal work day and when their order volume was higher.

Xin Wei Cook’s lunchboxes are a refreshing alternative to the usual convenience store lunchboxes, for those into that type of thing. For me, I feel there is still room for improvement.

Currently the lunch boxes can be ordered on the 新味 (Xin Wei) App.

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