7-11 Ready-to-eat meals

When you talk about grabbing a quick lunch from the convenience store, the first thing that comes to mind is probably sandwiches or cup noodles. As compared to the convenience stores in Japan, Korea or even Thailand, the offerings for a proper meal in our stores have been lacklustre until last year

I have always opted for a sandwich or onigiri as I remember having a ready meal from 7-11 before and it was really not fantastic. It was during one of my errand runs when I was going to grab a sandwich from 7-11 when I glanced upon the chiller full of these ready meals and the offerings really enticed me and set me off on trying most of the meals available in 7-11

Travelling Spoon Series

Travelling Spoon launched 2 popular local dishes in collaboration with famous hawkers; Ban Mian by Qiu Lian Ban Mian and Chiew Kee Soy Sauce chicken hor fun in Jul 2022. Halal certified, these 2 are dishes well-loved by Singaporeans so I was really curious if the ready meal could match up to the actual dish

The packaging of the ban main and Hor Fun is similar in a white and red-themed tall bowl with heating instructions printed on the label itself. When I first opened the packaging, I was intrigued with it as the Hor Fun was separated from the chilli and the sauces to maintain the Hor Fun texture. The bowl came with a half-sized braised chicken thigh meat on top of the Hor fun, 2 braised quail eggs with sauce and chilli

The flavours were good and the chicken was flavourful and tender while the quail egg has a hard exterior but fully braised insides. I originally felt there was too little sauce making the rice noodles bland but only after I almost finished, I found the secret compartment of the 2nd layer which contained more sauce and 2 pieces of tau kwa ( hard tofu). So if putting all the sauce, I gather the flavour will be just nice. In terms of texture, I found the Hor Fun rubbery and the tau kwa very soft and deeply flavoured. So overall, I feel the flavours were similar to the one at the stall except for the texture of the Hor Fun noodles and the quail egg

For the ban mian, the noodles and crispy Ikan Bilis were separated at the bottom bowl from the meat, fish cake, mushroom and chilli sauce. The texture of the ban mian was al dente and slightly too chewy for me. After mixing the chilli which is the highlight of dry ban main, the noodles tasted much better. The chilli was mid-level spicy and the mushroom was soft and flavourful. The fish cake was ok and nothing too special since I am not a keen lover of fish cakes and the minced chicken meat was nicely flavoured and remained tender

In comparison, I feel that the ban mian was the better of the 2 as I feel the rubbery Hor Fun and egg really spoils the eating experience even though the flavours were still on point.

7-11 Branded Series

The first meal I bought from the 7-11 series was the Thai chicken basil rice as it looked really enticing. To my surprise, the rice is real rice and not rubbery instant rice. It was soft and fluffy just like the ones cooked at home. The Thai basil chicken taste is pretty authentic in flavours with mild spiciness and the egg is fully cooked and not sunny side up which made sense for a ready meal. As it is fully cooked, it was slightly rubbery but I am extremely pleased as the overall sauce and meat flavours are better than some foodcourt stalls

The next item that really caught my eye was the Kimchi fried rice which was fried with short grain rice completed with bits of kimchi and cheese. The rice has a very strong kimchi flavour and the plus point is that it is not sour. You can find chunks of chicken meat, egg and seaweed with white sesame topping. Overall it was very nice and flavourful and even better than the Kimchi fried rice I attempted to cook at home. My only complaint was the small serving size which was filling only for a small eater

The next 2 items are quite similar to the kimchi fried rice in a small serving size so I bought both bowls for lunch as having just one of them is not quite filling for me. The prawn sambal fried rice came with chunks of carrots, cashew nuts and a total of 3 medium-sized prawns. While the meal looks spicy, it is not spicy at all but had that nice fragrance of the fried shrimp and sambal sauce. Each rice was coated well with the sauce and did not lump up together which is the key for all fried rice. The flavours were good but the rice was slightly on the dry and hard end

The chilli crab linguine looked really good when I first removed the packaging after heating it up. There was a generous amount of noodle sauce and toppings of some crab meat chunks. Surprisingly, the noodle texture was not too soft or hard and that is the consistency I liked. Even though the sauce was on top of the noodles, it did not turn soggy and after mixing the sauce, every strand was coated quite sufficiently. The taste of the sauce was however quite mediocre with no tangy tomato flavours. There was an overpowering peppery taste instead of the spicy and sweet chilli crab sauce I was expecting so it was quite a disappointment

The next item that caught my eye was the chicken curry with rice. As a chicken curry lover, I had quick high expectations for the meal. The serving of curry chicken had approximately 5 pieces of chicken meat with a couple of potato cubes. The curry was more of a runny consistency which is similar to the ones sold at economical rice stalls. In terms of flavours, the curry is not overly spicy or thick with coconut flavour but a light gravy with sufficient spice and creamy flavours. The chicken and potatoes were not tough and still complemented the slightly hard rice

Last but not least for the 7-11 meals I tried was the Japanese curry chicken cutlet which used short grain rice as well. The curry gravy had bits of potatoes and carrot cubes and the consistency was very thick and smooth. The chicken cutlet was no longer crispy as I steamed it in this picture instead of the recommended microwave. I bought it a 2nd time just to try the cutlet when microwaved and it is still not crispy like those in the restaurant but is also not soggy so it is acceptable. The curry is very balanced in flavour and tastes as good as some restaurants

Overall, I am pleasantly surprised by the standards of the 7-11 meals as some I tried were quite good and I will definitely buy them again if I need to grab a quick lunch. The price is also affordable compared to some offerings in food courts. In my opinion, the meals are better than some mediocre food courts and restaurants. They still have other meals like black pepper chicken chop, chicken biryani, chicken bolognese, mac and cheese and carbonara penne. Most meals last 2-3 days when bought from stores and can be kept in the chiller

7-11 Hawker Fiesta Series

The last series that I tried from 7-11 was the Hawker Fiesta series which is a collaboration between 7-11 and 12 popular hawker brands to bring a total of 24 hawker classics to all 7-11 stores as ready meals. Some of these meals include Katong Laksa, Old Chang Kee sandwich, satay bee hoon, curry rice and more. The first meal I tried was the Scissors cut curry rice which has 7 cut chicken cutlet pieces, 1 fried egg and cooked cabbage and curry sauce. The curry gravy is separated from the rice and cutlet to keep the food from getting soggy. The vegetable was soft and flavourful but I found the curry too diluted and not too spicy. The pork cutlet pieces were still crispy and the rice was still slightly fluffy but the egg was slightly hard. It was a far fetch from the actual dish from the hawker store but I guess it can still satisfy your cravings

The last one I tried was the Jian Bo Shui Kueh which is a personal favourite so I was excited when I found out that 7-11 carried the Shui Kueh from Jian Bo and I can satisfy my cravings at any 7-11 whenever I feel like it. There was sufficient topping for the 4 pieces of Shui Kueh per package and it is not as oily as the ones sold in-store. The texture of the Kuehs was soft but not as soft as the fresh ones in the store. Overall, I feel the flavours and texture were forgivable for the convenience of getting them at any time of the day

I only tried 2 meals for the Hawker Fiesta and I think the food is definitely not on par with the fresh ones from the stalls but it is also not so bad that the flavours are totally gone

Author: elizbeartravel

A human bear who loves travelling, eating and cooking

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