Can’t cook, don’t cook

Published

Louise Wilson

It’s a Wednesday night, you have the midweek blues and simply cannot face the nightly dance with the stove. But you’re a day late for Two for Tuesday, and stepping outside to pick up a micro-meal is even less desirable than that week old mince at the back of your fridge. This exact moment is what takeaways and deliveries were made for! And now, even more conveniently, you can order a delicious meal with minimal human interaction – the internet is once again our saviour.

There are multiple websites that allow you to view nearby takeaways and place your order online. I use hungryhouse.co.uk (which I have also been told has a reliable and workable app for iOS and Android, but as a Windows phone user this option is closed to me). Here is a run-down of some of my favourites.

Grillicious Mediterranean

This offers a fairly cheap alternative to the usual Chinese-Indian-pizza triangle most of us tend to bounce between (though, if you are that way inclined, pizza is available). The menu is full-to-brimming with healthy sounding meals. My flatmates and I decided on the vegetarian risotto mediterraneo, tagliatelle carboccio al forna and a chicken tikka fajita, alongside garlic bread and chips to share. We were also feeling a little greedy, so added apple crumble pie and chocolate fudge cake. All this added up to a very reasonable £26.40, including delivery.

Next came the waiting game; it took an hour between placing our order and delivery, so not great if you are ravenous, but it was absolutely worth the wait. All three mains were amazing, with the fajita offering a spicy, but not overpowering, kick. Our unanimous favourite was the tagliatelle – packed with flavour and super filling. Portion sizes were pretty big too – with a side, one main could easily be halved for two. The garlic bread was disappointing though – it was a little burnt and wasn’t quite as flavoursome as the rest.

We had mixed views on the desserts. They were clearly pre-made, and whilst this didn’t matter for the apple crumble pie (which was tasty), it tended to dry out the cake. Absolutely order dessert if you are feeling particularly peckish (the three of us were stuffed afterwards), but I seriously suggest steering clear of the cake.

Overall, it was a serious contender for the top takeaway. The flavours packed a punch, and disappointments were minimal. It also makes you feel slightly healthier than the typical takeaway option.

Swallow Cafe

From one end of the scale to the other, this gem is the epitome of the infamous Glasgow Diet. It has all the usual classics you would expect: munchie boxes, calzones, fried pizzas and mountains of cheesy chips. And then I came across something I had never heard of – the sarbeni.

A quick Google revealed this to be a kind of wrap… but the most incredibly unhealthy wrap you are likely to come across this side of the Atlantic. Very few takeaways seem to do them, so of course I had to try it. We ordered two – one chicken and mushroom, one donner and cheese. What arrived a mere 20 minutes later was a piece of fast food heaven. Dripping with fat, covered in a sauce of your choice and with nothing green in sight, I am not exaggerating the sheer delight of a sarbeni (especially when recovering from the night before). A bargain at between £3.95 – £5.50 each.

What else can I say of Swallow Cafe, other than place your order now. Nothing on the menu is healthy, so if you’re nutrition conscious you should probably give this place a miss. It also doesn’t offer anything in the way of desserts, but once you’ve finished your main, you’ll have no room for one anyway.

New Golden Bell

If you’d still rather play it safe and go for a Chinese, I’d highly recommend this one. It is perhaps a little pricier than many others, with two mains and a side adding to a little under £20, but the extra cost meant extra quality.

We ordered duck in black bean sauce, chicken with water chestnuts and bamboo shoots, and a side of spicy chicken wings. These came with the usual complimentary prawn crackers and fortune cookies (always fun). The order arrived in 30 minutes, and lacking the usual grease and oil of Chinese food. Whilst the wings were a bit dry, this was a great all-round meal which left me satisfied, but not bloated.

Also on offer are a reasonable selection of veggie dishes and the usual array of fritters for dessert. Overall, a good meal with better food than most Chinese deliveries in the area, leaving customers content without that unhealthy, sluggish feeling.

So what are you waiting for? Turn that stove off and get ordering. You know you deserve it, you’ve had such a rough week after all.