Have you tried Deliveroo yet? I think it’s a great service. They’ll go get food that’s available on takeout from restaurants without a delivery service.
If you use a service like JustEat you’re going to a restaurant with its own delivery driver and just using the JustEat system to make the order. Deliveroo as the ordering system, provides the driver and therefore can let you track the order once it’s picked up. As a result there’s no “free delivery” option by spending a sufficient amount at the restaurant as Deliveroo need their cut, need to pay the driver, and you’ll probably want to tip the driver as well as they look after certain areas. Nicely, you can use the system to tip your driver, handy if you don’t have cash, or in person when you answer the door.
The biggest restriction to Deliveroo is the logistics. They seem very conservative on delivery ranges. In other words your favourite restaurant might be out of range because Deliveroo aren’t confident they can get the food from there to you while it’s hot. Since they’re not the kitchen it’s the quality of the delivery they care about. That said; restaurants also limit the delivery range and they might do that to control how busy their kitchens get. Secondly, restaurants can go on or offline in Deliveroo depending to their needs. This means just because you used Deliveroo two weeks ago for your favourite café doesn’t mean you’ll be able to repeat that order this weekend.
I think there are some surprising options on Deliveroo. There’s pubs. Yes, you can get beer delivered. This review is of Wagamama (specifically the one in Ocean Terminal) and I’d describe that as a slightly odd choice for two reasons. Firstly, the sit-down experience of Wagamama is very clear – you get the food as it becomes ready, not all at once, and isn’t that entirely the opposite of the way a delivery service needs to work? Secondly, some of the dishes at Wagamama seem to be frighteningly hard to deliver – those bowls of ramen, for example, are essentially soup loaded up with a whole meal in it.
As it turns out; Deliveroo and Wagamama combine well. I ordered one of my favourite, Chicken Chilli Ramen, just to help test the service.
The first thing to note is that there is a Deliveroo-Wagamama menu. It’s large but not as flexible as the one in the restaurant. There’s no alcohol available either; sorry, no bottles of Lucky Buddha for you.
The Wagamama (OT) page on Deliveroo will tell you what the estimated delivery wait is. I’ve ordered several times and this estimate is usually accurate; more likely to be beaten than to have been too bold.
The food arrives in good state. The success is in the packaging. Wagamama-Deliveroo use large black plastic bowls. These have clip on lids and labelled clearly with what’s inside. The trick they use on challenging dishes like the ramen noodles is to use the labels as extra support to hold the lid down and on to the bowl. They also tend to put messy dishes like the ramen into an additional plastic bag.
There are some minor drawbacks to the bowl approach. It’s a little strange eating things like cheesecake from a bowl and sometimes it feels a little wasteful having just a few dumplings in a large bowl.
Normally Wagamama will put chopsticks in with the order. Sadly, you don’t get one of their lovely wooden ladle spoons to enjoy the ramen broth with.
If you’re a Wagamama fan, fancy some at home and haven’t yet given Deliveroo a try then the combination might seem daunting but you should give it a bash. It’s a great way to get Wagamama’s pan Asian treats into your home on a rainy night when going out makes no sense whatsoever.