Asian or not is the question?

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Being recently invited to The Asian Box for reviewing the new additions in their menu was delightful. But was the food as exciting as my emotions? Let’s find out!

Apart from listening to many mixed reviews of the place & myself having a good time (2 visits), I really wanted to check out if they would go all authentic. And my recent South East Asia trip came quite handy!

Starting with the 2 other important elements  (amongst many others) apart from food – Timing & Hospitality. 
The timing fell flat for me. With the time gap between the first starter to the second and not starting the event on time did not win bonus points for me but does make room for improvement for them.
And ironically the hospitality was awesome! I loved Priya. Truly did. From treating everyone with a smile, explaining the dishes and taking feedback with a smile won me over!

Onto the review of the ‘FOOD’.
Upon entering the place for reviewing, we were served with orange & apple juice (mix of both I think). It was very sweet….sweeter than Fanta & I had to order for Coca Cola (That didn’t help while calorie counting but was a saviour).

The below dishes were served for the review. I shall go through them individually & let you know if they’re going to be a part of the menu. 
P.S. There was a stingray dish served as well. Unfortunately, I had left by then so I would;t be reviweing the same.
1. Tofu Shitake DimSum
2. Minced Chicken & Vermicelli Thai Salad
3. Korean Rice Bowl with Korean Sesame Chicken
4. Pineapple Rice
5. Vietnamese Rice Paper Rolls
6. Steamed Fish
7. Grilled Fish
8. BBQ Sambal Stingray
9. Roti John
10. BBQ Chicken Sausages in Soy Sauce
11. Black Pepper Chicken
12. Chilli Prawns

1. Tofu Shitake DimSum
Seemed a bit too salty for my palette. But the silkiness of the tofu & the chilli kick along with the perfect thin-ness of the the dimsum skin was awesome!
PART OF THE MENU? YES

2. Minced Chicken & Vermicelli Thai Salad
A fresh salad. It definitely reminded me of the competitor (Malaka Spice’s salad).
Good part that there was enough of the all elements. Bad part..the onions overpowered the mint. Bad breath, no thanks.
PART OF THE MENU? YES

3. Korean Rice Bowl with Korean Sesame Chicken
Simplistic presentation just like the Koreans would serve & eat. But the chicken seemed too sweet and the rice was just too buttery. If the two are toned down, it will be a winner.
CHANGES: They shall be served separately. (Served together during the tasting).
Served with an assortment of sauces. (Didn’t help much)
PART OF THE MENU? YES

4. Pineapple Rice
It was presented in a pineapple. Seriously. I loved the presentation & the taste as well. If anyone can convince me that a fruit can go with a protein (esp. Chicken) then you’re gonna make me follow you and The Asian Box nailed this!
Please add kimchi, please! 🙂
CHANGES: So the rice will be cooked along with the pineapple & fresh pineapple ( small chopped pieces) shall be added be added at the end as well to give it a crunchy texture.
PART OF THE MENU? YES

5. Vietnamese Rice Paper Rolls
Ok I remember having these at Smiley House (I miss that place) on a very authentic level. Reaching the level was quite a challenge for The Asian Box but they unfortunately succumbed.
These rice paper rolls are supposed to be really tight with the vegetables which gives the freshness and the sauces need to give the kick. The stuffing was definitely fresh but the looseness of the rolls made it a bit messy. The sauce did their part in saving the remaining flavour.
PART OF THE MENU? YES

6. Steamed Fish (Grilled Lemongrass Steamed Surmai)
9.9/10 for the presentation. They nailed it. A wooden board along with cut slices of the fish with vegetables & sauce. Ok the fish was perfectly cooked but the bamboo slices which were placed on the fish took away all the glory of the dish.
Serving them on the sides would be a much better option.
CHANGES: Fish changed to Fillet Tilapia
PART OF THE MENU? YES

7. Grilled Fish ( Thai Chilli Basil Grilled Fish)
Not everything that sparkles is gold. And not every fish served to you will be perfectly cooked. Overcooked and tough along with the burnt flavour on the skin of the fish made it to my bad books. But the way Priya handled the criticism for the same was impeccable. 
CHANGES: Fish changed to Tilapia
PART OF THE MENU? YES

8. BBQ Sambal Stingray
Came in too late & I was off by then. But from my experience on stingray, seafood lovers..GO FOR IT.
PART OF THE MENU? YES

9. Roti John
An omelette sandwich that is a popular snack item in Singapore, Malaysia and Brunei. Reminded me of some dish served at Vohuman (see the pic & tell me!). Way too messy & confusing for the Puneris.
The Roti John served to us had chicken, egg, mayo inside, hot sauce on the side along with cucumber.
PART OF THE MENU? NO

10. BBQ Chicken Sausages in Soy Sauce
I love any food item on sticks. Trust me, I had a lot of Chicken Satays like flower bouquets in my hand during my stay in Malaysia. Yeah, that crazy!
I loved the portion but the oiliness made it a bit distancing. Unfortunately…
PART OF THE MENU? NO

11. Black Pepper Chicken
Just a regular dish. I could pack this and eat it at home as well. Nothing bad, nothing spectacular. A comfort dish.
PART OF THE MENU? NO

12. Chilli Prawns
Prawns + Chilli (or anything spicy) = Best combo ever. I had a bite of it before running for my meeting & absolutely loved it. Fresh & properly cooked big prawns stole my heart but not everyone’s. hence,
PART OF THE MENU? NO

The sauces (pictured in white) I talked about above were the following-
* Thai Red Chilli Sauce
* Fish Sauce
* Vinegar
They are served exactly the way its served in Vietnam.

Final review which will answer the question to my title of the blog-
Not as Asian as expected but there are going to be some changes in the menu so my hopes are high as well.

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