As a food blogger, going out for dinner comes with the territory.
However, once in a while, especially as the temperatures remain low outside, Mr. K and I quite like to have the odd night in and order some takeaway. There is something quite satisfying about curling up on the sofa, watching some Netflix whilst licking our curry-laden bowls. With food delivery services like Just Eat, good food is just a few clicks away, without even getting out of our pyjamas.
One dark and rainy Friday evening, we decided to do just that. Our local Indian restaurant The Chutney, which is tucked away in a quiet residential area in Wandsworth, has the option of ordering delivered food via Just Eat. We have ordered from The Chutney countless times and it has become our once-a-fortnight ritual.
On this occasion, we ordered the Seekh Kebab Kongri (£4.95) and the Tandoori Chicken (£7.95) to begin with. From the mains, I ordered the Lamb Biryani (£9.50) which comes with a special Biryani sauce. Mr. K ordered the Handi Gosht (£7.95) with some Pilau Rice (£2.95). We also ordered a bunch of sides including our favourite Tarka Dal (£4.50), Aloo Gobi (£4.50) and Saag Paneer (£4.50).
The instructions for ordering on the Just Eat website were fairly straightforward and the whole process took less than five minutes. There is an option to add a special message, such as what floor you are on and where to find the door bell. The website also gives you an indication of the actual delivery time, which gives you ample time to prepare the dinner table, light a candle, download a movie and create the perfect dinner ambience – all in the comfort of your own home!
The food arrives in neat little foil containers which makes it great for reheating any leftovers the next day.
The Seekh Kebab Kongri from the Chutney is really good and I say that on the basis that I am a seekh kebab connoisseur. This has been my all-time favourite kebab ever since childhood, when I drooled over the roadside kebab stalls in Delhi. Chutney’s version is super-soft, with warmly-spiced minced meat rolled into dense cylindrical shapes, with flecks of chilli and coriander. I would happily eat that as a main, with a fresh green salad or a buttered roomali (wafer-thin) roti.
This was the first time I tried their Tandoori Chicken and it did not disappoint. Though less fiery than what I prefer, the colours and spice on the flame-blistered skin was just right. The chicken itself was not dry and arrived bone-in for full flavour experience.
Moving on to the mains, Mr. K’s Handi Gosht was a real revelation. It had a thick, creamy, coconut-based sauce with chunks of lamb. There was a nice sensation of spice at the back of the throat, the meat was cooked to the perfect texture and the sauce didn’t feel heavy or oily.
My Lamb Biryani was nicely spiced and the meat had a good flavour but on this occasion I found the texture of the lamb to be slightly chewy. The Biryani is generally one of my favourite dishes of the restaurant; however, I found that it’s better cooked on a weeknight rather than a weekend. It is one of those slow cooked dishes that needs time and it sometimes falls slightly below par on the busier days of the week.
The Pilau rice was a lovely fragrant side dish – a great accompaniment to all that fiery curry.
The Saag Paneer however was a bit disappointing . The Saag Paneer that I am used to has lovely chunks of paneer, wrapped in silken spinach and mildly spiced with fragrant herbs. However, this one was overly creamy and sweet. Personally, I would probably not order this again.
The Aloo Gobi, in direct contrast, was delicious – a gutsy, fresh dish with a savoury tomato base. The cauliflower and the potatoes were cooked just right with a bit of bite still left, which is how I prefer.
Saving the best for the last, we eagerly tucked into the Yellow Tarka Dal. Chutney’s version is very close to a homemade version and I am willing to put my money on it to be a winner. It is fresh, lightly tempered, an absolutely nourishing and super-comforting bowl of lentils. This is true soul food.
The restaurant added some complimentary poppadoms and chutneys to our order which was hugely appreciated.
The portion sizes are fairly substantial and there were plenty of leftovers for a meal next day. All the food was freshly prepared. My only recommendation would be to order between a Sunday and Thursday, as Friday/Saturday tends to be quite busy so the overall quality of food sometimes feels a bit lacking.
There were no tube delays, queues, drunken weekend crowds, bad service or huge mark-ups on wine to worry about; takeaways truly take away those little annoyances when you dine out. It is simply delicious food in the comfort of our own home with the best company.
Overall, I would rate my takeaway experience at 4.5/5.
Value for money *****
N.B. Our takeaway meal was complimentary from Just Eat but all photos and views expressed in this blog are my own.