Every now and then, the only thing you want for dinner is something quick, easy and delivered to your door. In Oxford there seems to be an endless supply of average takeaway restaurants ready to throw something in a pan, then into the back of an old Fiesta, ready to dump onto a plate and into your hungry gob. For as long as I’ve lived here I’ve struggled to find consistently good quality takeout (apart from relatively new Taberu, which I never get bored of). But, with the recent launch of new restaurant delivery service, Deliveroo, my prayers may just have been answered.
Offering delivery of restaurant food, within 35 minutes in some cases, Deliveroo are opening up a whole new world of proper good food, delivered straight to your door for those “I’m not moving off the sofa” kind of nights.
Looking for some initial feedback, Deliveroo asked us to try out their service and report our findings. The acceptance of their offer came with a strict warning though, that we would be brutally honest in our findings and to be prepared for proper feedback, negative or otherwise. They decided they were up for the challenge, brave folks indeed 😉
First up was The White Rabbit, a local favourite for excellent pizza. Oxford has a decent selection of pizza delivery options, none of which were previously fairly inspiring, so the addition of The White Rabbit is a huge score. Especially when you also find out you can get Rusty Bicycle sourdough pizzas delivered via Deliveroo too. Double score.
The current selection of restaurants delivering to my East Oxford location also includes Pomegranate, Kadai & Naan, Cafe Coco, La Cucina, Mission Burrito (my husband rejoiced at this), Formosan Tea Bar, Maxwell’s, Gourmet Burger Kitchen and Noodle Nation.
To my utter delight, The White Rabbit have extended their pizza menu, with wait for it…. SIXTEEN choices of pizza available, ranging from the £7.95 Margherita to an £11.50 ‘Crudo’ (mozzarella, tomato sauce, rocket, parma ham, parmesan shavings). All pizzas are also available as organic and gluten free for an increased price (£10.20 – £13.75). Low and behold they’ve even started offering one of my favourite pizza toppings, pear and gorgonzola, AKA the ‘Zola’ – mozzarella, tomato sauce, gorgonzola, pear, Italian pancetta (£10.95).
Pizzas arrived warm, not hot, but not cool enough to raise issue. Every single morsel was snaffled away with delight. I mean really, why would you ever use the pizza chain deliveries when you can get this delivered? You wouldn’t, full stop.
A couple of weeks later we thought we’d really put them to the test by ordering from Gourmet Burger Kitchen, I couldn’t wait to see how well a burger would travel – their downfall surely?! Pretty it wasn’t, with some damage through squashing and juices seeping into lower buns, but delicious it was. And I’ll take that. The burger patties were cooked expertly, blushing beautifully within.
Placing order on the Deliveroo website is pretty easy, pop in your postcode plus the date and time of your preferred delivery, then it loads up a list of restaurants delivering to your location, along with estimated delivery times. Now I know some people have already complained that Deliveroo don’t deliver to all of Oxford, and no they don’t, but the aim is for them to grow the delivery zones over time, so those going without shouldn’t have to wait long. I am told you can sign up to be notified via their website.
Back to the order. Restaurant selected, a nice clean menu opens up for you to select your choice of food, the graphics and design alone set it up as a more upmarket version of the ‘other’ longer established delivery website. You have the ability to pre order for later that day or even the following day, then on placing the order you get clear and simple updates of order accepted/prepared/en route, so if you’re really hungry you can sit and watch the progress of your meal.
The service was also impressive, I was called on one occasion to say my delivery would be five minutes late, though in fact it appeared 5 minuted early. Under-promise, over-deliver, other delivery companies please take note! The drivers are friendly (you can choose to tip them as part of your order if you so wish) and delivery charges are £2.50 per order with a £15 minimum spend.
So the golden question, would I use Deliveroo again? Yes, I already have – a superb Nepalese curry from Kadai & Naan – and I’ll definitely be ordering again.