I have ended my confinement about 2 months back. One of the best (right) thing I did for myself and my family is to cater confinement food!
Sharing a little about my experiences here.
We were contemplating between hiring a live-in confinement nanny or cater confinement meals (lunch & dinner). In the Chinese traditions, we are supposed to be “confined” for 1 month post-delivery and be the Q.U.E.E.N to be served and uphold in dignity. Kind of.
It’s more like to be confined; no showers; no shorts; no plain water/only red dates drink; drown yourself with lotsa yucky fish soup and best of all: be the-on-demand-milk-dispenser or the-express-every-3/4hourly-cow.
Of course, being the modern mum – I did almost none of the above; save the milk-on-demand part.
Not to digress further, we didn’t hire a live-in nanny in the end due to various reasons such as it’s Chinese New Year period (prices go real high to hire one); lack of room space to accommodate everyone and etc. The next best thing is to take care of the nursing mummy’s diet and reduce the cooking chores.
I shortlisted the following after some research:
1) Chili Padi – They are known for their Peranakan food. Food tasting of confinement meals are available at a cost at one of their outlet. But I didn’t go for it as they are the most expensive!
2) Newbaby – I almost went with this company but after calling a few times, I couldn’t get through and thus gave up. This company is apparently quite popular with mummies too.
3) Confinement Food – Honestly, I don’t like the website. It’s too amateur looking to be trustworthy in my opinion.
4) Rich Food – They are the cheapest among the more reputable companies. But they don’t deliver to my address! It’s good to call up the various companies first before poring over their menu; especially if you stay in an older estate without many new mummies. Less catchment; doesn’t make sense for them to deliver.
5) Natal Essentials – This is one of the most traditional company. I choose them in the end. Price is average. If you look at the menu on it’s website, you will notice that it’s quite repetitive. The person-in-charge said that the reason for such menu is because confinement food options are actually quite limited. They don’t believe in dishing out more variety just because of competition. They do vary the cooking methods which I found helpful enough. Portion are huge and I am not a small eater! They are good enough for hubby and I to share; except the yummier dish always seemed insufficient!
I do like it that they pack the food in microwavable containers which makes cleaning up real easy. I know some mummies are not keen in such containers but it worked well for me. The last thing I want to deal with is dirty dishes!
Also the food remains warm enough in the thermal bag provided.
And no MSG is definitely a great healthy selling point!
My few grouses:
Delivery wasn’t on time for 2 occasions. But I have to give credit to the customer service lady who called and explained that it’s a new driver on the road and my place is actually out of the way for them to deliver but they will still do it. The lady kindly offered 2 meals in replacement of the late delivery.
The fish dishes were sometimes fishy on certain days. But my mum said that this type of fish is normally fishy. I am not a fish fan.. so any fishy smell turns me off immediately. I ended up not eating most of the fishy fish unfortunately.
I wished they offer porridge as an option instead of rice only. Maybe I am a Teochew (need to eat porridge lah) and also after a caesarean; I found porridge easier to digest. But they did explain that porridge won’t keep well as compared to rice. Oh well….
But otherwise I found the company responsible and the dishes really tasty for confinement food. They also accommodated my last minute request to divert a week’s meal to my mum’s address. And if you have special requests such as no liver, no kidney, replace trotter to pork ribs and etc – they are very happy to accede to all these requests too.
Some of my favourites in the menu are:
Black Vinegar Pork Rib (I can’t stomach trotter)
Braised Chicken with Preserved Veg (Mei Cai) – I love Mei Cai; didn’t know it is a confinement food!
Steamed Egg with Minced Meat – Simple homecook style
Doubled boiled lotus root pork rib Soup – flavourful and home style again
Braised Chicken Drumstick with Chestnut – how not to love chicken drumstick hey.
Pig’s Tripe with Peppercorns – my childhood favourite and about the only innards stuff I eat. The soup is yummy. Son and me fought for it
Stir fried Frog Leg with Ginger and Spring Onion – once again, didn’t know this can be a confinement dish too!
A worthwhile recommendation if you are looking for confinement food catering! Oh and do remember to order 1 month ahead of your EDD to enjoy early bird discounts.
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