Friday, November 7, 2008

Food at your doorstep - London Home Delivery

















One thing that strikes me about living in London is the variety of food available for home delivery. In Singapore, if you are too lazy to cook, you can just walk out to the nearby hawker centre, coffee shop or foodcourt to have a quick meal or buy a takeaway meal.

The usual options will be fishball noodles, chicken rice and western food (talking about Western food, this is a topic for another day) at around $3.50/ S$4 a head. A hot teh si (ceylon tea with condensed milk- we must go into details one day) will cost another $0.80/ S$1.00. If you can't be bothered to venture out of your home, your options are limited. You can only have fast food (Kentucky fried chicken, Mac Donalds or Pizza Hut) for takeaway.

I am aware of only one home delivery service which delivers local diishes such as roti prata, chicken rice, hokkien mee etc from hawker centres, coffeeshops and selected restaurants islandwide. It is "DaBao", which literally means takeaway in local lingua. I tried it on several occasions when I had cravings for roti prata late at night. You had to wait for your food though. It takes approximately 1 hour to arrive and even longer at peak times. Overwhelmed by a sense of nostalgia, I just tried to visit their website at Dabao.sg, but it doesn't seem to be in existence anymore. Could anyone pray enlighten me?

In London, the number of shops offering home delivery service is astonishing, though essentially what they are offering are kebab, Chinese food (think sweet and sour pork, chow mein) and Indian food (curries). Every other day, you will get leaflets and pamphlets from such outlets advertising their menus.

I have tried Indian takeaway once (taste quite good), but I have my reservations about Chinese takeaway food (which tends to be really sweet!). Of course, if you so fancy, you can have the good sandwich and salad for home delivery as well, but since that is my usual staple for lunch, I will have good old savoury food for dinner. Slurp...

Yours,
Twinkletoe

Read also...
ASAP - cheap takeaway Asian food in City of London

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17 comments:

My Bug Life said...

I like the food photos..making me hungry ;) Hey, my fav tea is "teh si"...and would like to hear more on your blog.

About the seafood and water cut on Crab Island..I was concerned about the food preparation when there was a no water supply....there may be a risk of food poisoning so that's why the seafood lunch had to be postponed.

Have a great weekend!

Deb said...

I supposed on a really cold winter day when u don't want to put on five layers to go out to eat, ordering food in would be a good option. But I think I'll still stick to the good ol' pizza. :)

LoneStarVintageClothing said...

That food looks really yummy!

ychu said...

Hi! Nice blog u have here!

I think delivery service has become a global thing. Even here in Malaysia, more and more 'mamak' stalls are providing sdelivering service >< with extra charge of course. hehe..

G@ttoGiallo, the Instigator said...

Good choice in Paris as well : chinese, japanese, indian, not to mention pizzas and hamburgers !
But usually I just go round the corner in rue Oberkampf to take away some vietnamese or thai dish or a sushi menu... yum !

kyh said...

Interesting! Normally I'd just cook a pack of instant noodle and add in some vegetables. I know that sounds so unhealthy! :P

EastCoastLife said...

DaBao.sg has folded, due to high operating expenses, namely petrol, gas, food.

In Singapore, it's convenient to get food even at odd hours. :)

Utah Mommy said...

Looks yummy, i want some lols! You make me hungry! I haven't eaten any breakfast yet, yum yum!

The Fitness Diva said...

Oh, boy. Now you just gave me a craving. I will be having singapore chow mei fun for lunch, with shrimp!

Good that you can get this delivered at all hours! Pretty cool! :)

cchiovitti said...

I refuse to read the entirety of this post due to extreme jealousy. I live in a rural area, no food delivery of any type - no Chinese, no pizza (the 2 mainstays of American delivery meals). Nada. I've got 4 kids and you have NO idea how often I'd KILL to be able to just have a pizza delivered.

Dutchie said...

It's been sooo long since I ate gamba's bec my hubby can't stand the aroma of seafood. I hv never touched raw seafood prior to my marriage bec my mom is a great cook n food is always on the table when I got home from work.

Home delivery to HDB estates must be quite a logistic headache ? Homes in Europe r more accessible due to the terrace formation. Our local deliveries r offered within the 2km perimeter for a token charge of 2,00 euro (ex. tips).

Heard from my niece that she has McD's delivered to her office for S$ 3,00 - her burger cost just as much. There is a foodcourt in the basement of the building n she doesnt hv to walk in the heat to get to that food heaven - lazy, lazy !

For a quick snack here, there r frozen pizza's, sausage roll, vietnamese spring rolls, etc in one's freezer or instant noodles !

C K said...

@my bug life,
Ah... the humble teh is always the hot (no pun intended) favorite when it comes to chilling with friends. If you've not already guessed, mine is teh tarik. :)


Just wondering whether there was a sign in Crab Island informing visitors that there's no water supply to ward them off the seafood. If it were me, I would have probably taken the risk. Not exactly the most hygienic person, am I?


@deb,
There's a couple of good pizza places where I live. A 12 inch thin crusted one would peddled for around £6-8. It's big enough for three light eaters. But after awhile, it's easy to get sick of the cheesy taste.


@lonstarvintageclothing,
Oh yah, they taste even better.


@ychu,
Thanks for stopping by!

Is there a minimum number of order for takeaways from those 'mamak' stalls? I wonder how much is the delivery charge.


@g@ttagiallo, the instigator,
So what's your favorite takeaway Thai and Viet dishes? Would they be a bit cold and mushy by the time you consume them? But then again, that's the same for most food, other than sushi of course.


@kyh,
Me too actually. I'll skip the msg packet that comes with the instant noodles and add some laksa paste to spice up the soup and bit. A drumstick or two and viola! Laksa chicken noodles! lol


@eastcoastlife,
There's this takeaway service over at my workplace as well. There's a central place that you have to go collect. Will be writing about it soon.

Yep, that's true about S'pore but only if you have a car, don't you think so?


@utah mommy,
Glad you love the pictures. What do they offer for takeaway in Utah?


@fitness diva,
Is that 'Singapore chow mei fun' a noodle or rice dish? Sounds really good (with the shrimp of course).


@cchiovitti,
LOL. With 4 hungry kids, I don't think one pizza is enough. Well, though they're convenient, takeaways are not exactly the healthiest of meal. I'm sure you can conjure up something much healthier. :)


@dutchie,
'gamba'? Sounds like a malay term to me... may I what's that? Dad and I used to polish off raw clams until the hepatitis scare put a stop to that.

On the contrary, due to the high population density of housing flats, it's actually easier to do takeaway with lifts. I'm surprised, when I left S'pore, MacD was offering free delivery services with no minimum order. Perhaps they terminated that due to abuses. Lol, I think S'poreans are really spoilt when it comes to food options. I heard that Hongkongers have it good as well.

Ah... welcome to the instant noodle gang. :)

Haruyoshi said...

Oh, another dish of delicious food!

Dutchie said...

CK .. gamba´s r king prawns lah ! The smaller size u call shrimp lor !

Raw clams ? Hmm .. when we were kids my mom used to treat us to cockles (quick blanching with hot water) in the weekend. We just dipped it in lemon/chilli sauce. Very shiok then. Can´t remember why we suddenly didn´t want to eat it anymore by the time we were teens.

Mussels r popular in NL n the Flanders (Belgium) - at home n in Pubs n restaurants. It´s like the gathering similar to our steam boat dinners. Unfortunately I never get to taste it bec my hubby doesnt eat seafood after watching a documentary abt how polluted our oceans r in the 1970´s.

My late dutch grandma has a fondness for Alikruiken - it has a spiral shell n looked like snails to me. A quick boil in water n the meat is extracted out n dipped in garlic mayonnaise sauce.

I suppose u r a fan of fried oyster omelet (au-chien ?). My mom was saying that it´s hard to find a stall selling it these days as it is one of her favourites.

C K said...

@Dutchie,
I was actually referring to cockles when I said 'clams'. We used to call them 'harm' (Mandarin). As I was saying, I think the hepatitis scare put us off cockles eventually.

Are you kidding? 'au-chien' is my favorite! I can easily polish off a plate in minutes... it taste heavenly with the correct chilli sauce.

However, I was quite disappointed with the Taiwanese version when I was at Taipei sometime back. It tasted too sweet and mushy. But then again, that's where it originates, isn't it?

Anonymous said...

Nice post!
Here in Albuquerque, New Mexico we can get pizza delivery from a handful of different companies (usually within 30-45 minutes even during peak hours). We used to get delivery from Kentucky Fried Chicken but they stopped back in 2004 due to lack of profit. Now, there is a new company that will go to pick your food up from a selection of restaurants and they will bring it to you. However, they charge a delivery fee on top of the price of the food and that doesn't include the tip for the driver. This new service isn't too well known yet ( I have a relative that works for the delivery company). It can take anywhere from 30-120 minutes to get your food depending on how far the driver has to travel and how long it takes the restaurant to fill your order. It's better than nothing, but I can call my order in and pick it up myself cheaper and faster. I guess it depends on if you think it's worth paying that extra money to stay home. You can almost always get a pizza wherever you go in the U.S., but other types of delivery simply isn't so popular over here.

Maybe I've just missed it so far here, but have you thought about doing a post on how and when to give a tip? I'm planning to visit London in a few years :)

C K said...

@Anon,
Thanks for stopping by. Will be posting on "When to tip in London" soon. Meanwhile, please don't hesitate to let me know if you have got any questions for your upcoming London trip!