The Romfood Review: Gourmet guilt-free fusion health bowls from Pink Foodie
- Credit: Adriana Elgueta
The Romfood Review, the Recorder’s new two-weekly food column will be trying out the latest and tastiest eats from across the borough.
During these testing times, with hospitality shut during two long lockdowns, restaurants have suffered the most and in a bid to support our local and independent eateries, here we will be championing their efforts and showcasing their skills and innovation.
We'll be back in the New Year and if you’d like to have your restaurant or takeaway featured next time, please just email firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.
We’ve been in a brief inter-Tier 3 limbo where we can legally eat out but with soaring cases in Havering, we're still sticking to feasts at home for now.
This week, we tried Romford-based Pink Foodie, a gourmet delivery and takeaway service, only three weeks old, that feels a bit like Korean barbecue meets Prêt-a-Manger with a touch of French patisserie.
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Confused? Well Megha Arora’s brand isn’t looking for uniformity – “it’s more important that it all just tastes good, ” she says. Indeed, it’s an eclectic mix of cuisines and courses, with influences from Mexico, Korea, Japan, France and India, reflecting the wide-ranging mix of Megha’s cooking experience.
After giving up a marketing job, Megha decided to pack herself off to study at the prestigious Parisian cookery school Le Cordon Bleu, where she was trained in French cuisine including delicate pastries.
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But as well as her deluxe French techniques and Indian background, for Megha, there are no limitations and she will add anything in to mix it up a bit. For example, she has dreams of a “gourmet” taqueria one day, with fillings of fennel salad, slow cooked lamb and crispy fish skin, not your classic Mexican fillings. Indian tapas plates and naan pizza bread are also some of her favourite creations while “striving for different".
Long term, her dream is to open a restaurant (or a few!) and before Covid she was doing eight course private dining experiences. Her most recent venture, Pink Foodie is a healthy takeaway alternative, named by her daughter and her love for the colour, pink.
The menu is quite mixed, but you can expect your main to be some kind of health bowl and your dessert to be a kind of patisserie.
To start we had the Sichuan spicy pork dumplings and the vegan dumplings – which seemed to me very like Japanese gyoza and were my favourite part of the dinner – both which came with a hot chilli sauce to drizzle over.
Neither of us are big fans of vegan food, but keen to sample vegan options, we were suitably impressed with how flavourful the veggie ones were as well as the pork, and how light and airy the dough was. Authentic, punchy, and generous starter sizes, we thought.
We also tried one of the baos – a keema bao which is a Indian/Korean fusion with the classic fluffy bread bun and an Indian filling of lamb mince, coriander and tamarind chutneys.
Next up, I had the Tokyo salmon rice bowl, which may be of the "gourmet" brand but the size of which most certainly won’t leave you hungry. Packed with goodness, the raw salmon was lightly seasoned with lime ginger dressing and sesame and accompanied with just about every veg you could fit in – cucumber, radishes, lots of carrot, snap peas – all ingredients that will leave you feeling very cleansed.
My housemate had the Seoul beef rice bowl which had a huge range of ingredients from a fried egg to apple slices. Unsure of how the egg would travel, she was pleased to find the yolk was gooey and still warm. She said the star of the show was shredded beef which was mildly sweet and had a smokey barbecue flavour.
We had to take a long break before tackling the third course but the little banoffee pie and the vegan chocolate tart were a welcome end, and my housemate's highlight of the meal.
"Perfect cream to rich chocolate and coffee filling ratio, to keep it from being sickly, perfectly light pastry and very oozy" said my housemate.
"It doesn't taste vegan, so I'm converted to the vegan tart life."
If you can't face picking up another spatula this Christmas, but have had too many pigs-in-blankets to justify more stodge, then Pink Foodie, is a totally guilt-free and healthy to start to 2021 with all the intrigue and luxury of a great meal out.
Available on Uber Eats and JustEat, you can also check out the menu on the website.