Description: “A rich coconut curry with slow cooked beef and potato, flavoured with ginger, lemongrass and cinnamon. Garnished with coriander. Less than 5% fat.” OMG this is on the money. So much meat. So little potato. I’m not complaining.
Health: 350 calories comprising 16.9g of fat (<5%… really? 12.1g saturated), relatively modest 4.4g of fibre and 16.9g of protein. Although I reckon there must have been more in my portion. A relatively modest (for Eat) 2g of salt.I’m not entirely clear how the “coriander garnish” takes the calorie count of this soup from 261 to 350 (according to the information on Eat’s website) so am guessing that’s a mistake.
Taste: Nom nom nom… Snarf, gobble… chomp chomp… erm, maybe I should have another pot just to be sure? This is a new favourite – the soup is thick and well spiced (it doesn’t compare to a real beef rendang for chilli-hotness but that’s just as well, as that would be inedibly spicy). There were only a few bizarrely uniform cubes of potato in my helping; a good chunk of beef in every mouthful surrounded by tasty vegetables in a thick, creamy soup. A taste-explosion in every mouthful.
Full-o-meter: Eaten with that delicious bread roll (ode to that to follow at some point – a world improved from the dry, crusty pan-bread pieces Eat used to serve with its bread), there’s been no need for further snacking this afternoon. It’s a hefty one.
Make it yourself?: Sure, but it probably won’t be as good. Eat does coconut based soups well.
Verdict: 5/5. Saturated fats be damned.
This one’s a couple of day’s late – sorry – been a bit manic.
Worth flagging that I had this at least in part to contrast with Eat’s chicken laksa soup – a very, very tasty Eat option which only scored low for me beccause it scores so high on the saturated fat front…
Description: A coconut based Malay-style curry of a soup thick with rice. Pret lists ingredients: chicken, rice, coconut milk, onion, garlic, fish sauce, lime juice, lemon grass, red chilli and galangal.
Health: Not bad at around 243 calories. Pret’s soups and portions seem to be better suited to healthy eating than Eat’s.
Taste: It tasted of disappointment. Thick with rice, thin on chicken and flavouring, this slurry was as far removed from Malaysia as I am (I’m Malaysian, but live in London). Boo. What a let down.
Full-o-meter: With roll, it was fine. Not great; the absence of fibrous vegetables and even enough chicken results in this not feeling like the most wholesome of soups.
Verdict: 2/5. Shame on you, Pret. You can (and usually do) do better.
Description: From Eat – “A Malaysian classic…lots of noodles and chicken in a spicy coconut creamy soup. Garnished with spring onion, spinach and freshly chopped coriander.” Hrm, as a Malaysian I have to point out that this only bears a slight resemblance to a proper laksa. But that’s not necessarilly a bad thing.
Health: Just bad. For soup, I mean, which is still better than most sandwiches, but whilst the 367 calories is low for a lunchtime meal, the 1000+mg of sodium, the 11g of saturated fat, and the low fibre content loses this points.
Taste: Salty, chickeny, creamy, coconutty tastiness. Nothing bad about ths smooth noodle texture and the rich tasting chicken. Could do with a bit more spice to bring it to Malaysian Laksa standards, but imagine it has been toned down for the general population.
Full-o-meter: Ok ish, but I suspect I’m going to be hungry in an hour. The coconut in the soup stock makes it quite heavy for a small pot of soup.
Verdict: 3.5/5. Would get a 4 if it was healthier, as tasty, and will have it again in spite of myself.
Will try to compare this with the Pret variant, but with the wedding coming up next Saturday it may have to wait until my return from the Far East…