/ 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?

Comments
Guest
bishbut says:
5 August 2017

Are we becoming a very LAZY lot of people wanting to sit around while someone or something else does all the work for us ?

Guest
David Solomons says:
17 October 2017

This Saturday I ordered Pizzas for delivery online for 4 adults from Dominos and paid £72.18. I got a call later saying they couldn’t fill the order because they were out of gluten-free pizza bases; so I cancelled.
I made an identical order by phone to another Dominos, just as close, who insisted I collect; which I did and paid £47.46.
I calculate this is a 52% surcharge for delivery!!
When I complained to Dominos I got a polite “we try to encourage collections” email. I won’t be ordering food for delivery again!

Profile photo of wavechange
Guest

I will be spending most of the day walking in the country with a visiting walking group, showing them some of the work done by our charity. After the walk, I will be joining the group for a meal at a local pub. I have not eaten there for a couple of years but have heard good reports.

I eat out mainly when I am on holiday, though there is a local restaurant and a couple of pubs that I visit occasionally. On Sunday I will invite a friend round for a meal.

Takeaways don’t appeal to me and the environmental health officer that I met recently was not keen either.

Lauren is right in planning what you are going to eat if you are going to be busy.

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Guest

There are two ways of looking at this -#1- we are heavily influenced by commercial programmes on TV like the one where different households sit ( and get fatter ) watching TV – very popular- Gogglebox . Also advertising hits people in the face telling them how easy it is to make those quick meals . Then you have -#2- people who haven’t the time for cooking traditional meals ,single people who only need a microwave to survive as many people say- cant cook-wont cook – its domestic “slavery ” which adds to the fall of marriages or even co-habiting ( why get married my microwave does the cooking ) . Add to that those looking after somebody 24/7 who have everything to do and find it hard to cope . I make good use of our microwave and occasionally we get a delivery of curry+ Chinese from two local restaurants/take-aways , maybe not the same choice as a city but it makes a change from the local fish+chips.

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Guest

We’re thankfully immune to all this, as there isn’t a takeaway within 17 miles, so no ordering in for us.

Profile photo of John Ward
Guest

But you could have a pretend take-away, Ian.

Buy some ready meals or ‘dinner-for- two’ boxes [you can probably get them on-line and Yodel will deliver them for you], heat them up, put them in a big cardboard box, strap them to the back of a motor-bike and ride around for half an hour, fall off in your drive, then ding-dong the doorbell, and hey presto! you have a gorgeous take-away.

Not recommended on Wedding Anniversary night.

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Guest

Yodel might even save you the bother of putting them in the bin. 😭

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Guest

Wonderful! 🙂

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Guest

And thats more likely if it was Hermes -voted worst in Britain along with Yodel in survey after survey of the British public Alfa.

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Guest

I used Yodel as the example as I had read Ian’s opinion of them and knew it would get him excited.

Profile photo of wavechange
Guest

My goodness Mr Ward. That sounds like trawling – fishing for an emotional response. 🙂

Profile photo of malcolm r
Guest

We regularly have a small selection of part-prepared meals in the fridge, partly to save the hassle of cooking from scratch if we are busy, and partly because for two people they are quite good value. These days, more importantly, they are particularly good quality (depending where you buy them, of course). So Haddock Mornay (half an hour in the oven), Shepherds Pie, pizza, beef stroganoff, chicken casserole and dumplings, chinese, indian, ……oh, and the £10 meal for two with a couple of bottles of cider or soft drink if you don’t want wine. Adding some vegetables is no chore. A bit like a restaurant at home, without the larger expense, and without the worries about hygiene and quality.

When you pass through the kitchen, Lauren, after staggering in from the garden, visit the fridge, turn on the oven, and when you’ve had a well-earned shower your dinner for two will be well on its way – and you won’t be interrupted in the shower by mr deliveroo.

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Guest

It’s Mr Deliveroo and his ilk that puts us off the whole experience. We have occasionally had a take-away from a very good Indian establishment that only does take-aways because it is on an industrial estate and has no passing trade. The food has been excellent, and service and delivery by van very good – and it’s cash on delivery which is good as well. If we want fish & chips it has to be Thursday evening between 4:30 and 6:00 when the van turns up next to the church and community centre. It’s only a five minute walk but we rarely use it.

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Guest

Cooking and freezing food is a much better idea, Malcolm. Again it does take time to prep for those things, we tend to cook bigger evening meals in any case and then use the leftovers for lunch the next day.

With the garden (and when painting last year) we found we started so early and went all through the day without eating – really poor planning. The slow cooker was a handy tool on Saturday though.

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Guest

We used to do that, but then found we were not very good at inspecting the contents of our freezer, so food got overlooked until too late. We have now become more lazy.

Profile photo of alfa
Guest

We try to avoid dining out or getting a takeaway on a Saturday or Friday night. They are their busiest nights and food can be rushed and not at its best although it probably depends on the type of food. Dining out locally means a very long walk, a £20-£40 taxi or one of us doesn’t drink so we don’t dine out that often.

We get an Indian takeaway every week or two, phone up and collect 30 minutes later. We are not likely to use a delivery app as you probably can’t adjust the menu to suit your taste like you can over the phone. Can you ask for no fresh coriander on the top but it is ok cooked in the dish or you’d like that madras hot using an app?

Anyway, Saturday night is steak, jacket spud and coleslaw night with a glass or 2 of red wine.

Profile photo of malcolm r
Guest

alfa, assuming you buy the coleslaw this, like many meals, is simple and relatively quick to prepare. We cook our steak in a very hot pan, but use a mesh cover to contain the splattering, and a cooker hood to remove the fumes. Oh, and a dishwasher afterwards, otherwise washing up can detract from the experience.

Our Beef Stoganoff (delicious) last night took 10 minutes to cook but we (mrs r) did cook rice. If we’d been really lazy we could have bought a microwaveable pack.

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Guest

Never tried microwaveable rice. Seems to go against the grain…

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Guest

Sometimes we make the coleslaw but we can get a very nice dairy-free M&S coleslaw at a local garage so M&S usually wins.

A very hot pan is the trick of a good steak. We bought a table top grill when we didn’t have a kitchen and still use it for steak. A wipe with kitchen roll when it is hot then wash the griddles next day (when it has cooled down is my excuse) and the rest in the dishwasher.

Jacket spud in the microwave, then put steak and spud on rack over tin to catch drips in low oven for 20-30 minutes to brown/rest/check out the wine and yes, a tasty meal (better than any restaurant steak) with very little work involved.

We get the Tilda (steamed) microwavable rice, handy to have in the cupboard, usually £1 on special offer, lots of flavours and one pack is enough as I don’t eat a lot of rice.

Profile photo of wavechange
Guest

Coleslaw turns up in unexpected places and I hate it. I’ve been served a ‘ploughman’s lunch’ that included coleslaw. I doubt that any self-respecting ploughman ate coleslaw with his lunch.

Profile photo of VynorHill
Guest

A few happy minutes chopping, peeling and browning gets you a pot full of goodness that freezes in portions and comes out when cooking is a chore or time is short. Likewise a ‘shepherd’ or ‘cottage’ can be cooked in a large dish and divided for later. turkey and chicken can be portioned in the same way and added to fresh veg. Salmon only needs twenty minutes from frozen as do chipolatas in the air fryer with potatoes added. We are not into highly spiced food so avoid curries. Chinese can be bought locally, but not delivered. I enjoy these more when actually in a restaurant. Starter kits are available in the supermarket but I’ve never been tempted. It’s a numbers game, which amuses me. I also suppose that at our age, there isn’t such a thing as Saturday night, with the thought of the eight fifteen on Monday getting closer. I haven’t used a take-away for years and a few locally have “interesting “cooking areas and back yards. Battered fish and chips are delicious and cause indigestion. I forget the last time we had these. So, an equivocal viewpoint here, but probably not a typical one.

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Guest

Please explain “portions”, Vynor. This would be an alien concept to me. If it comes out of the oven it goes on the plate and is consumed at once. I don’t think I could cope with “portions”. It would be too distressing to see something put in the freezer. What if . . . No, I won’t go there.

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Guest

If I make a stew or cook up some mince, I always do a big batch and freeze some for further quick meals. Same with a roast, make enough gravy to freeze some roast meat in it for a quick meal.

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Guest

Not exactly sure what there is to explain John. I thought a portion was an individual (or in my case two or three) meals-worth of food, separated into packages and frozen for later use. Am I missing something here?

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Guest

But…but you’re cooking Shepherds?

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Guest

I have a vivid image of you, Alfa, labouring over a huge cauldron on a vast open fire…

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Guest

Only in portions John. I was trying to hide our cannibalistic tendencies. A good shepherd takes some beating. And that’s another ambiguous statement if ever there was one. Cannibalistic with sado-masochistic tendencies. I’m doing well here. Not sure about the cottage though, unless my name happened to be Hansel.

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Guest

Thanks, Vynor. I understand the literal meaning of “portion” but I find it hard to come to terms with cooking something and not eating it all immediately. I am a gourmand, rather than a gourmet; or pig if you want the technical term for it.

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Guest

I find that, generally, a batch cook tastes better than a small cook, designed to be eaten all up. More ingredients and a better combining in the oven. Also if enjoyed straight from the pot, one can anticipate the next one from the freezer, without the effort of cooking from scratch. If one makes a mistake, however, this might be one that stays in the freezer for a while so it pays to be careful. Likewise a whole chicken may be too much to eat at once and it can be carved and frozen for use with a tasty sauce or as a pie. The carcass is then ready for soup/stock. This too can be frozen in ice cube trays and used for gravy. One would cook quantities for a dinner party too.
I’m reminded of a wacky sci-fi story by Saki I think. Food came in the form of a small tablet. When added to water it produced a delicious dinner for six. On one occasion the tablet was left unattended and the dog ate it…… I think it’s time for bed.

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Guest

Having harvested 114 cherry tomatoes yesterday morning my wife is experimenting with ways to store them so that they can be easily used before next years crop.

So she has dried a sample , with some larger tomatoes, in the oven [9hours], washed and placed them direct in the freezer, and roasted them. They will form the basis of many a meal. However the cooked ones are highly nibbleable …

Cooking larger meals and freezing some portions makes good sense. Curries, mild and creamy float my boat so we have pasandas and kormas.
” Although pasanda is usually served as a meat dish, it may also be prepared in kebab form. Reflecting the dish’s flavour and its connection with the almond, pasanda also refers to a mild curry sauce made with cream, coconut milk, and almonds.”

We could easily dine out or have takeaways as we have 6 restaurants within walking distance. Admittedly the furthest does involve a round trip of three kilometres and a significant elevation change.

However there are some nice things to be had from the supermarket including chilled pressed chicken milanaise and a vegetable mix of salsify and beans. However overall I suspect we will eat out 40 times a year, eat some shop bought mains around 50, never order take-away, and do our own cooking the remainder.

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Guest

I used to enjoy lamb pasanda in a local restaurant but it changed hands and the version produced by the new owners is pretty average. At least it is helping me to explore the many other alternatives on the menu. My own efforts at pasandas have not impressed me either.

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Guest

We’re building a kitchen garden at the moment in a raised sleeper bed, so hopefully we’ll have loads of produce from the garden for next year!

I’m not really a fan of shop bought mains- they tend to be a bit disappointing so I’d rather have a takeaway. We’ve just signed up to a Friday night curry club – we get the spices and recipe sent to us every week so that we can cook a different curry every week, this week we’re trying Sri Lankan curry 🙂

Profile photo of Patrick Steen
Guest

I think we need to be clear that there are takeaway establishments and then there are restaurants from which services like Deliveroo, JustEat and UberEats take food away from.

The way they work is the services do all of the delivery work so that restaurants, often ‘posh’ ones that service sit down meals can cook exactly the same quality food as you would sitting down but put it in a ‘doggy bag’.

I wasn’t the biggest fan of takeaway, but being able to get access to restaurant quality food (though sitting around on the back of a cyclists’ bike and in a plastic container) has somewhat transformed the experience.

The most dramatic example of this is how when UberEats came onto the market, they clearly wanted to dominate by having a £10 referral reward. Each time you got a friend to order once they would get £10 off, and you would also get £10s off. That’s £20 of ‘free’ food. One Saturday I had four friends over – we were playing boardgames – and I shared my referral code with them. Each of them ordered a meal from 4 different places for under £10 and got their dinner for free… I had £40 for next time. It’s a funny world we live in…