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Bueno: catering to multi-cuisine woes at your door

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Mexican food

Gurgaon: You need not go looking for menus from different food outlets now. The Gurgaon-based home delivery platform Bueno will cater to all your cuisine woes by offering American, Mexican, European, Italian, Lebanese, Indian and Asian cuisines at your doorstep.

Bueno comes with the convenience of the online and app route.

What makes Bueno stand out from most home delivery platforms is that for those who either live or work in the capital suburb, it is a one-stop to get the most popular dishes from all seven cuisines.

Trying out its pasta, biryani, burgers and brownies, all prepared by Bueno’s team of five-star chefs, turned out to be satisfactory.

Explaining the concept behind the platform, Bueno co-founder Rohan Arora told reporters: “As the name suggests, Bueno means good. It is largely about serving good food. We don’t stand for a specific cuisine, we serve in all locations here (in Gurgaon) as our platform is consumer- centric.

“People are different, they eat different things, so why do you really need to contain them to ‘I serve Indian, I serve Mexican or I serve Chinese’ be there? I serve what you want to eat.”

The Bueno special chicken biryani with raita (flavored and beaten curd) will impress you with its good quantity, especially if you are the only one eating it and depending on your hunger level. The chicken was well-cooked and the spices were just right – neither too chilli nor too bland.

“Indian cuisine sells the most here; biryanis and curries the most. Then comes Italian pasta and Chinese dishes are ordered often. But these are meals and away from meals, snacky food, rolls and burgers sell really good,” Arora said.

It was best then to try the burgers, which turned out to be scrumptious.

The mutton seekh burger was different and melted in the mouth. Huge and packed with minced meat and veggies, this one is a must try if you are a burger lover.

Also, if you are inclined towards healthy food, try the pita bread and hummus. While the hummus is finger-licking good, the pita bread tasted like white bread after a while.

The pasta, for many, is a safer option to order from an international cuisine outlet. So, I went with the penne basil pesto chicken variety. But something was amiss. Perhaps some cheese? A caution: Consume the pasta when it arrives, or the dried version won’t be tempting at all!

Now for those with a sweet tooth, Bueno is coming up with a broader and new menu, but still offers walnut brownie, tiramisu (in a jar) and blueberry cheesecake (in a jar). The brownie is a delight. Keep some vanilla ice-cream ready in the freezer, and it gets better with every bite.

The Bueno team plans to expand operations in Delhi and Noida, but they want Gurgaon to be “our anchor”. (Kishori Sud, IANS)

Next Story

Vietnamese Citizens Looking for Healthful Food Products, Only to End Up with Anything but that

This is not that story, at least in Vietnam

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Vietnamese, Citizens, Food
Various types of fruit are on display at a Vietnamese supermarket. Many consumers are switching to ready-to-eat, processed foods instead of relying on their traditional, plant-heavy diets. (H. Nguyen/VOA) VOA

There’s a familiar trend of fast food chains like KFC and Burger King entering developing countries, where citizens start to see obesity rates increase amid all the new junk food options. Vietnamese.

This is not that story, at least in Vietnam. The junk food trend has certainly come to Vietnam already, but now there’s an even newer trend in the country, and it’s the definition of irony:  more Vietnamese citizens are looking for food products that are healthful — only to end up with products that are anything but that.

A Vietnam food puzzle

Sugar is the ingredient that perhaps best exemplifies this irony. The problem is not that Vietnamese are eating large amounts of candy and ice cream, though some are doing that. Instead, they’re buying products like fruit juices and yogurt, not realizing that all the added sugar may outweigh the health benefits of the fruit. Products are packaged in labels that appeal to citizens’ health goals.

Vietnamese, Citizens, Food
Fast food chains like McDonald’s are growing in Vietnam. (H. Nguyen/VOA VOA

This is part of a broader change across Vietnam, where companies are selling more ready-to-eat meals and processed foods to citizens who used to buy vegetables and eggs directly from farms. The change is leading to obvious business opportunities. For instance, the Nutifood Nutrition Food Joint Stock Company recently got an expected debt rating of B+ from Fitch Ratings, which predicts the company will profit from more Vietnamese buying health foods.

“The government has introduced initiatives to address malnutrition and stunting, whose levels remain high by global standards,” Fitch Ratings said in an explanation of its expected rating. “Fitch also expects a high birth-rate and consumers increasingly seeking convenience with nutrition will continue to drive demand for Nutifood’s products, particularly its ready-to-drink products.”

Moderation is the goal

Milk and related products sold by Nutifood and its competitors highlight the balance that is hard to strike in the national diet. Vietnam for years encouraged parents to give their children milk so the next generation would be taller and have stronger bones. Today however, obesity is a bigger problem than undernourishment, having increased 38 percent from 2010 to 2014 — the highest in Southeast Asia. That’s why Vietnam does not use the term “undernourished” but “malnourished” to describe its whole range of nutritional issues.

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In other areas there’s low awareness of dietary risks, such as the overreliance on MSG and salt, usually in the form of fish sauce and soy sauce, two very popular ingredients in Vietnamese food. Sugar, however, is the more recent trend. Companies were able to influence nutritional recommendations for decades, by focusing on fat rather than sugar as a source of health complications. So Vietnamese have added sweeteners to their food and drink without a second thought. Go to a cafe, and the waiter will automatically put sugar in an order of coffee or mango juice unless the customer says otherwise. In nearby Indonesia citizens like to joke that they have their sugar with some tea, rather than have tea with sugar. Something similar could be said of Vietnam.

People have many choices

Companies like Pepsi and McDonald’s have tried to put the focus on exercise, rather than diet, for good health. Naturally active lifestyles are decreasing in Vietnam, as people move from the countryside to the cities, and from hard labor to office jobs. Citizens often get on their motorbikes to drive just one block, and walking in the cities, with 100-degree weather and few sidewalks, is hard. On top of that, citizens use new Uber-like services to have drinks or meals delivered. Researchers agree exercise and diet are both important, but the latter has a bigger impact on health.

“Vietnamese consumers care about their health more than ever,” Louise Hawley, managing director of Nielsen Vietnam, said.

Vietnamese, Citizens, Food
Vietnamese citizens are increasingly replacing their fruit with juice, not realizing that all the added sugar contained in juices could outweigh health benefits. (H. Nguyen/VOA) VOA

That makes awareness all the more important. It is one thing to eat unhealthful food, while not caring about the effects. It is quite another thing to eat unhealthful food, however, because one thinks it’s nutritional.

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The growing health concern in Vietnam has to do with not just nutrition, but also air pollution, water quality, and clean supply chains. A Nielsen survey showed health became the top concern of Vietnamese citizens in the second quarter, surpassing job security, cost of living, and work-life balance. “With the current situation relating to pollution and increased consumer awareness,” Hawley said, “health is expected to continue to be a top concern of Vietnamese consumers in the third quarter of 2019.” (VOA)