Cosy Classy Winter Takeaway from Dee Den

Image source: Photographer Ian Waldie

Sometimes a takeaway is just what the doctor ordered after a busy week. Melanie Rosettenstein discovers that a Dee Den takeaway will not only give you the night off from cooking but will provide a fancy home dining experience like no other.

Picture this! It’s a Friday afternoon at the end of a busy week, you’re starving but there’s nothing in the fridge. You could be persuaded to enjoy a fancy dinner out with hubby but it’s pouring with rain, you don’t have anything to wear and the babysitter is not returning your calls. What’s a busy modern mum to do? At this point, and as the hanger sets in, takeaway is your best option but ordinary fast food is the last thing you or your waist line needs!

For something different, a takeaway from Dee Den is the fabulously fresh, fancy and filling solution. Dee Den takes pride of place on top of quaint Buderim in a beautifully renovated Queenslander. It’s mission: to delight its many new and loyal customers who come from all over the Sunshine Coast with a modern take on Asian food which combines fresh aromatic flavours with a playful blend of spices.

The restaurant has both charm and sophistication in spades as well as friendly, smiling staff who are always on hand to top up your wine, clear your dishes and report on their menu favourites – or whip you up a cocktail while you wait for your takeaway order. The name “Dee Den” comes from a Thai phrase that loosely translates to “standing out” or being the “odd one out”. And so the restaurant’s name and slogan “Something Different” is entirely appropriate.

After announcing to the mob that our Friday night dinner would be a special Dee Den takeaway, bellies rumbled with anticipation as we scan the easily accessible online menu, making sure to pop our best bottle of rosé in the fridge. This was going to be no ordinary eating-in affair. Dee Den’s takeaway menu features some of the restaurant’s top sellers as well as some comfort food that can be enjoyed at home without the hassle of cooking and then cleaning up afterwards.

Owner Jeremy Khoo says all the takeaway dishes are made using the same modern cooking techniques and in-house recipes as you would find dining at the restaurant; suggesting also to add a note to not add any chilli if your kids don’t like their food too spicy. Once we had decided on our Dee Den delights, it was simple to place our order using the restaurant’s convenient online system. And if you’re a bit more organised than me, you can also place your order before the restaurant opens its doors in the early evening.

I volunteer to pick up the feast, enjoying the alone time to drive to Dee Den and wait in the luxurious lounge and soak in the buzz of the popular venue, and if I allow enough time, maybe grab a cheeky wine or cocktail. Plus I like being treated like a rockstar when I arrive home with the tantalising aroma of dinner for the hungry hordes. If thoughts of single use packaging are playing on your mind, rest assured that Dee Den only uses the best eco-friendly packaging for their takeaways.

“The paper bags, cardboard containers, and even the lids are recyclable,” Jeremy says. “We’re constantly looking for more sustainable packaging.”

Even the dipping sauce came in a tiny biodegradable container with its own lid!

Talk about guilt-free gluttony!

To honour the occasion, we laid the table, lit the candles, poured the wine and sat down to slowly enjoy our meal. Standouts for the kids were Chef Mike’s Popcorn chicken with larb powder, lemongrass dust, crispy lime leaves and Japanese mayo; and the Chicken Fried Rice with egg, onion, choy sum, pak choy and prik nam pla.

The Chicken Pad Thai with tofu, egg, crushed peanuts, garlic chives, beansprouts, dried shrimp and tamarind was also a favourite and all were devoured with great zest despite mum’s pleading to eat slowly and savour the goodness. 

My husband’s Slow-Cooked Angus Beef Cheek Massaman with sweet potato, almond flakes and toasted coconut was right up his street. His review: “The best Asian food I have ever had.” This is a massive endorsement from a man who frequently travels to Asia.

As for me, the die-hard Dee Den fan, I went with my usual Pork Belly Kailan Stir-fry with shiro miso, chilli, fried garlic and dried shallot. I can report that this delicious dish which I loved from the first time I tried it on a girls’ night out is just as good in my home as it is in the restaurant. So filling and flavourful!

Jeremy was right! Dee Den’s takeaway meals are just as good at home as they are in the restaurant. Next stop, the couch.

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