To make a living writing about food has to be one of the best jobs in the world. You get paid to indulge in one of life’s necessities and you are quite often party to lavish meals that most people would have to pay through the nose for. On top of this, all you have to do is mutter your occupation at the door of a restaurant and you are instantly given the type of treatment typically reserved for rock stars and royalty. It is for this reason that I pursued food journalism as a career, but soon learned that it is a tough market to crack into, simply because everybody wants to do it. Little did I suspect that being the editor of an iPhone website would lead me back to my oft wished for subject area of food reviews!
The Deliverance iPhone app is an extension of the Deliverance website which was established a couple of years ago with the intention of bringing top quality food made with the freshest of ingredients directly to a Londoner’s door. Their USP is that you can choose from a wide array of dishes featuring meals from cultures as diverse as Thai, American Grill, Indian, Italian and Chinese, all within the same order. You could start with an onion bhaji while your friend has crispy seaweed, then tuck into a quarter of aromatic duck while your buddy enjoys a vegetable and barley stew and polish it all off with a sticky toffee pudding or cheese and biscuits.
So, I couldn’t wait to see what they had in store for me, so I entered my post code into the catchment area checker to see if they delivered to my house, (Kennington, SE1). Unfortunately I live just out of their delivery area, despite being nearly in Zone 1; fair enough, I thought, I wouldn’t want to send a delivery boy on a bike through Elephant and Castle at night, armed only with a (delicious) breadstick to protect himself. So I enlisted the help of a Camden-located friend and we browsed the menu round at his flat.
The app itself is incredibly user-friendly and very quick to load, recommending starter, mains and desserts from various cuisines and their own personal favourites, with fun and engaging descriptions of each dish. You can even put your name on each packet so your friend’s don’t get ‘food envy’! We were tempted by the Thai Curries and Noodle dishes, but in the end our hunger prevailed over our sense of adventure and we opted for Barbeque Riblets (£5.70) and Tom Yum Soup (£3.70) to start, then a Pancetta & Farmhouse Cheddar Burger (£10.50) and a Deliverance Barbeque Burger (£10.70) with Chunky Chips With Ketchup (£2.70). Now, these prices are far above the average takeaway fare, but they promise that they only use the freshest ingredients and even check to see whether fresh ingredients are in stock before they confirm your order, which I thought was a nice touch.
The app then offers you a choice of delivery times in 15 minute windows, starting from 45 minutes ahead of the time that you place your order, which could be really useful for starting your order in the pub then timing it to arrive as you stagger home with the beer-induced case of the munchies. There is a delivery of charge of £2.50 for orders under £15, which is fair enough, however it offers the option of a gratuity on the app, which is a bit much considering you usually only tip a delivery person when the food has been delivered on time.
We opted for the earliest delivery time of 21:45-22:00, and on the stroke of ten O’Clock the buzzer rang over the rumbling of our stomachs and our meal was here! It came neatly packaged in cardboard boxes and the heat of the kitchen could still be felt emanating from each individually named parcel. The ribs were exactly what you want from a starter portion; just enough meat to satisfy you, whilst not too much to fill you up and ruin your main course. The Tom Yum soup was also very tasty, with a real kick provided by the red chilies floating amongst the baby prawns and fresh vegetables. The burgers were equally satisfying, although the moisture from the box had slightly dampened the bun, which I suppose is par for the course with a hand-delivered burger. Given the standard of the other food, the chips could have been a bit more adventurous, (not to mention warmer), but with the rest of the food being as tasty as it was, this was of little concern. Saving the best until last, the chocolate truffles were truly indulgent, a perfect balance between a firm texture and a rich flavour; by the end of the meal we were stuffed and satisfied.
With a bill for a full meal clocking in at around £35 without drinks, (they also offer a range drinks, but it was a school night!) this would have to be a treat for a penniless writer like me, however there are set meals that can reduce the overall cost of the meal. I enjoy the whole process of going out for a meal, however, if you are lucky enough to be bored of restaurants or have enough cash to justify a fairly pricey takeaway, then Deliverance can bring a whole variety of cuisines straight to your living room.
To read more iPhone food related features, click here!