/ Food & Drink

Are you getting a takeaway tonight?

Takeaway Indian food

It’s Saturday, which probably means your day will be filled with chores or DIY. So have you thought about what you’re having for dinner? Will you be cooking, eating out or getting a takeaway?

Despite the forecast, I’ve set aside today to spend working on my garden – it’s a race against the clock now to try to finish my landscaping project before autumn sets in.

I’ve actually been organised and prepared a butter chicken curry to simmer away in the slow cooker for tonight. This is a money-saving move as gardens are expensive projects, and the rest of my home-renovation project has meant I’ve totted up a fair few takeaways in the past year.

In fact, if there was such a thing as a Deliveroo loyalty scheme, I’d be winning.

Saturday night takeaway

It would seem that I’m not alone in my recent over-reliance on takeaways – and restaurant delivery apps, in particular.

According to a survey carried out by the loyalty scheme Nectar, around 43% of us are eating out less as a result of apps such as the aforementioned Deliveroo, plus Just Eat and UberEATs. And nearly half of those surveyed said they’d rather order takeout from a restaurant via an app than visit it in person.

Having moved to a small commuter town last year, I’ve witnessed the explosion of these restaurant delivery services in my local area first-hand.

If I fancy a takeaway, I no longer just have the option of pizza, Chinese or Indian. Now, thanks to these apps, I can order from multiple places and have a restaurant-style meal from a local gastro pub, restaurant or favourite chain. I can even pair it with a delivery from my favourite wine bar… how fancy!

And when I’m covered in splatters of blue fence paint and not exactly in the mood to get ready to go out, these hybridised restaurant-style nights in the comfort of my own home are most appealing.

Dining out

When it comes to dining out, though, it isn’t necessarily the food that draws me to an eatery, but the experience of good service and nice food. That sentiment also rings true for 65% of those surveyed in the Nectar study.

And when you consider that, for some people, eating out isn’t always a pleasurable experience, and the fact that it all starts to tot up once you’ve paid for drinks and service, it’s not wonder that 42% of those polled said they prefer to entertain at home.

So are restaurant delivery services more appealing to you than dining out? Or do you still prefer to go out for dinner? Will you be ordering a takeaway tonight? Will that be directly from the restaurant or via an app such as Deliveroo, Just Eat or UberEATs?


Although I have a had a few in my time I am not a great lover of doner kebabs and it’s a long time since I’ve had one. I’ve had a few upset stomachs as well after eating them and I think this might have been because the meat was not properly cooked thoroughly on the spit, or because it was frequently cooling and then being re-heated so was not in satisfactory condition. I was unaware of the heart disease risk other than knowing they contained a lot of fat and salt. Eating one or two a year did not seem too risky. I seem to recall there was concern some years ago that the meat was not always what it was supposed to be and contained all sorts of different mechanically recovered animal parts and other bits that are then ground down and reformed into the large cone-shaped lump that revolves on the spit. I wasn’t too sure about the safety of the accompaniments either – lettuce and other bits of salad that might have been sitting around in uncovered bowls for some time.

Every town seems to have one or more doner kebab take-away shops, especially near any bars or night clubs, and they proliferate in holiday destinations too, so they must be quite popular. I would be glad to see the back of these smelly and grubby-looking outlets but I expect there would be widespread objection to banning this product and it makes me wonder what the vendors of doner kebabs would come up with as an alternative. It could be worse. I can appreciate the Turkish community would see this as an unfair attack on their livelihoods. Perhaps we should leave the question to the Germans to deal with – they have a lot of doner kebab shops and I never had any bad after-effects after eating them there.


Yes John when I lived in a city not all the kebab shops were up to scratch but now in a small village with a Turkish shop owner and employees its a high standard of kebab now with good salad + choice of dip +sauce , a bit dearer but worth it. The clue is the area well known for word spreading from one end of the village to the other in 3 minutes they wouldn’t dare sell rotten food . Many tried and closed down . You know German food hygiene standards -HIGH with food/hygiene inspectors with teeth- milk chocolate must be made with milk there . The same applies in the USA , when my wife lived there when she asked for an orange juice it was freshly squeezed oranges , she was told it was illegal to sell orange juice unless it was the real deal. Many drug stores /restaurants were scared of the US Food Inspectors . Here its down to the local council as to the standards APPLIED .


Shops can sell a wide range of products here so long as they are correctly and properly described. There is nothing wrong with selling orange juice from a carton, whether ‘pressed and never from concentrate’ or ‘from concentrate’ so long they don’t say it is ‘freshly squeezed’. There was a time when a lot of cafes had a glass container full of orange liquid with plastic oranges floating on the top; that had to stop, but ‘freshly squeezed’ is still open to interpretation as to whether it is done there and then on the premises or is done in a food factory, piped into cartons, and then chilled. To remain ‘freshly squeezed’ It needs to be kept refrigerated all the way through to the point of sale. Many establishments in the UK do now use whole oranges and squeeze the juice out before your very eyes. Most people who ask for an orange juice in a pub or restaurant get juice made from concentrate. There is nothing wrong with it but it will have been homogenised and have little evidence of any fibre.

I suspect selling freshly squeezed oranges in the USA is a matter of commercial choice and not a food safety requirement. With good oranges from Florida and California being ten a penny in the States there is no need to sell juice made from concentrate or out of a carton – that juice can be pressed from imperfect fruits and exported to Europe at greater profit. Or perhaps in America there are laws to protect home grown production. That’s irrelevant in this context here – we can’t grow oranges so they are going to be imported in some form or another. In the UK the food inspectors probably do not routinely examine the orange juice supplied in establishments but I hope they make a hygiene inspection of any appliances used to make ‘freshly squeezed orange juice’ on the premises. They should also be checking for correct labelling and dealing with any incorrect description at the point of sale, and should follow-up any complaints about the product.


On the orange juice, it certainly is a commercial decision, as many smaller outlets sell it straight from a chilled bottle. The other aspect of the US diet is its delight in sugar. Almost everything has sugar added, which makes breakfast rather hard to take in our case. One reason why they keep a firm hand on food inspections, however, is because of the average temperatures in much of the USA. The southern states, popular with visitors, become very hot at times, and therefore food storage and safety assumes a much higher priority than it does in places like Iceland.


America also has a rich history of shysters and was quite late on the food safety and hygiene scene.

“We estimate that foodborne diseases cause approximately 76 million illnesses, 325,000 hospitalizations, and 5,000 deaths in the United States each year. Known pathogens account for an estimated 14 million illnesses, 60,000 hospitalizations, and 1,800 deaths.” [Centers for Disease Control & Prevention 1999 – wwwnc.cdc.gov/eid/article/5/5/99-0502_article]


I used to believe Doner Kebab was a Turkish pop star… or Russian pop Tsar?


On the word “concentrate ” it means that the whole orange is used not just the inner core.


Having eaten in many an American eating establishment, I can’t say I have noticed a particularly high quality of hygiene and food standards.

We usually avoid cheap all-you-can-eat establishments but sometimes don’t have a choice especially for breakfast, and the orange stuff they serve up certainly is not pure orange juice and I don’t know how they get away with calling bits of fat – bacon. Scrambled eggs are a strange consistency so it is best to ask for a fried egg – over easy.

Then there all the faded label Heinz ketchup bottles on tables that are refilled with cheap ketchup.

And if you have been in a busy kitchen, there is more food on the floor than on plates. I have never seen rats, but plenty of cockroaches after dark. 😖