Monday, September 7, 2015

The Natal Kitchen Food Review

I never quite planned on being a "mommy blogger" but ever since Kambing, it seems like I suddenly have so much more content to blog about. Well, I guess you can say she kinda re-lit my fire. And with SO many people having babies, it's nice to read up and share experiences.

My Sweet Kambing vs Sleep
When one is stuck in a tornado-hit home, baby in arm, laundry undone,  it's also nice to go online and find out one is not alone.

That said, one (that being me) would like to share a recent experience with one's friend's latest start-up, The Natal Kitchen. One was lucky enough to have one's friend deliver a bento set to one's house while she was kinda stuck trying to get the baby to take the afternoon nap. (Is it just my baby that refuses to sleep?)

Anyways, the bento arrived at the perfect timing, and I was so glad I didn't have to brave the blistering heat and go out to buy my own food. Cooking is beyond the question.

So, what exactly is The Natal Kitchen? As the name suggests, they specialize in providing nutritious, nourishing food for mothers serving their "confinement".

For the benefit of non-South East Asian readers, a "confinement" period is a month or two after birth, where a new mom is confined to post-natal practices aimed at helping her recover from the rigours of pregnancy, labour and birth. Traditionally practised by the South East Asian community in various ways for years and years, some practices can be easily dismissed as old wives tales. Some others, however, do, in fact, make a lot of sense and hold a wealth of truth.


A good example would be the diet of the new mom. In any culture, a new mother would need a nutritious diet to help her gain back all the blood, sweat, and tears (literally) lost during the trying past couple of months. Likewise, in Chinese tradition, the confinement menu consists of foods that are rich in nutritional value, and that "warms" the new mother's body up, and helps her to retain as much "heat" as possible. It is believed this will help her avoid health problems such as rheumatism, arthritis, headaches and body pains later in life.

Therefore, even though I didn't quite practice the traditional act of confinement, like not bathing for the entire month and not washing my hair (HOW TO TAHAN SO HOT!!?!?), I would've liked to have a good, yummy menu sorted out for me every day. Good food all day errday, why not?

Unfortunately, The Natal Kitchen had not started business in the early days of my post-partum period, so I didn't get the chance to book their services. BUT, after trying their food... I am so tempted to have another baby JUST SO I have a good reason to order their food!!!

Firstly, if you think that confinement food is tasteless and boring, think again. Their team is without a doubt, experts in their field. Not only did they manage to whip up meals that are wholesome and nutritious (I don't know how many times I'm going to type nutritious in this post), they also taste absolutely fabulous!

So let's start off with the packaging of the Bento. It came in a thermal bag to ensure the food stays nice and hot. Inside, the food is packed in HACCP, food grade and micro-wave safe bento boxes. The kicker is that it is packed and sealed (and I mean SEALED) using a special machine to ensure FRESHNESS and QUALITY. I emphasize these two words because when I was researching for confinement menu packages, I read a couple of reviews, and ended up ordering none. Based on the many pictures I saw, the packaging could really use some work, and the food really didn't look very appetizing.

The Natal Kitchen, however, has each dish neatly placed and sealed off in the bento, meaning the sauce or soup won't spill into the other dishes and that the flavour stays INTACT. Call me fussy but I really don't like eating food that looks ... questionable. Therefore, double thumbs up for good packaging. It is in these little details that I know the good people at The Natal Kitchen put pride in their work.

湘莲红豆午鱼汤 + 芫莤姜茸牛奶鸡 + 黑豆莲藕虫草花肉片

Now on to the food. These were the dishes I had.

Firstly, let me just state that I wasn't prepared for such large portions. I mean, the bento looked deceivingly shallow, but they REALLY put ALOT of LIAO in there. I was eating forever. Between watching Kambing and eating I took about 2.5hrs to finish everything! Major Burp. And it was so good I HAD to finish up every morsel of it.

At first look, I was most eager to try the chicken because it looked like green curry, and I was thinking "wow. Green curry for confinement food?" So I dug in, and well, it wasn't green curry, but it was just as good, if not better! I wasn't quite sure what it was because there was no menu and I had to find out from them later on what the dish was called, but I could certainly taste some ginger in there. It was also very creamy and aiyah, just divine! Thinking about it now is not good because I want to eat it now, like NAO.

Next up is the lotus root dish. To be honest, I wasn't expecting much from it. It looked like one of those #eatclean aka #tastelessandboring dishes, but boy, was I wrong! There were so many flavours going on at once I didn't know what to think. On top of that, the lotus root was cooked to perfection, leaving it scrumptious, refreshing, and very delectable. I'm no connoisseur but I'm pretty sure alot of red dates were used to make the sauce.

Finally, I was on to the fish soup. When I was serving my confinement, my mom kept cooking fish soup with papaya that tasted absolutely horrid. Not that my mom's cooking was bad or anything but fish and papaya just don't go. That said, I would be lying to say I wasn't quite keen on trying this, but I did anyways. Because well, if it's good for baby and good for me, why not? The good thing is, if not for the fact that they had placed a fish steak there, I TOTALLY wouldn't have guessed it's fish soup! Not fishy AT ALL! They also had slices of lean meat in there, which I believe was meant to somehow filter out the fishy taste. Great combination, and I must say, they certainly don't stinge on ingredients! There were so many herbs in there! Now I remember asking someone before why confinement catering is a great deal more costly than regular catering, and she said it's because they use a lot of herbs. However, as mentioned earlier, how can one be sure that they REALLY used alot of herbs? You never know if it's just MSG or seasoning right? In this case, it shows for itself when you put your spoon in and scoop out tons and tons of various herbs and spices that you know are good for you! Also, The Natal Kitchen prides itself in using ZERO MSG and Premium Ingredients.

Even for the longan red date tea, they add black dates (5 times more costly than regular red dates) to give it an extra oomph and of course, to boost it's nutritional value.

"Mommy, can I have some too? Pretty Please?"
Finally, I dug in to the dessert. At first I thought it was Tea Leaf Egg (茶叶蛋) because there was an egg in there. And I even wondered why the soup was so sweet. Then I realized it was the dessert! (Free desserts every Friday) It had a unique taste, not quite like anything I've tasted before, and I'm not sure, but I'm assuming it's the team's special concoction. Whatever the case, pairing it with an egg was really smart, because the egg really brought out the taste of the soup, and vice versa. Sweet and savoury, all at once! Of course, as with all the other dishes, a whole bunch of herbs in there as well!

All in all, it was a VERY good meal that left me craving for MORE! Ok I really have to stop talking about it now or else I'll start getting very hungry!

If you're interested to find out more about The Natal Kitchen or book their services, visit their website at www.thenatalkitchen.com.sg

They can also be reached at Tel: 6635 7940 | info@thenatalkitchen.com.sg

This photo is taken from their Facebook page. I think they're also having some special promos going on right now.

Hey look, it's US! (Just wanted to show off the banner with my photo on it. Haha!)







1 comment:

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