After a day’s worth of back-breaking hard work, what could Londoners want more than a tasty hassle – free meal? We all want to be met by a properly cooked meal at the end of the day but for those moments when cooking is simply incomprehensible, there is an easy, obvious solution: Takeaways.
It is no wonder that in a busy city like London, the premium takeaway business has bounced off successfully especially with the working class. (Deliveroo, Hungryhouse, Just Eat – only to name a few.) People are getting busier by the minute and millennials who cannot be bothered to cook somehow value themselves too much to thrive on packets of ramen or baked beans straight from the can. Hence the lovely booming business of takeaways, a perfect complement to the frantic life of the cranky Londoner. In this takeaway series, we’ll explore the options available to the starving city dweller one order at a time. Whether it’s fried chicken or chow mien you’re craving – rest assured that everything is one click away.
I prefer cooking my own food for practical reasons: it’s cheaper and healthier. But somehow, there will always be that one day in a week where I am simply out of time (and energy). Some of my work weeks involve three twelve-hour shifts in a row and I applaud people who still manage to cook at the end of it all. Me, on the other hand, surrender to the fact that it will simply be one of those days where I’ll need to tap into my urban survival skills. Refusing to succumb to any form of hunger induced madness, I turn to the helping hand of the internet and order my heart’s desire.
Wuli Wuli Chinese Restaurant in Camberwell is fairly near where I live and it is as simple as can be. No extra shenanigans or boisterous attempts to create an ambiance – they just sell Chinese food, have wooden tables and chairs and maybe a Chinese lantern here and there. My first encounter with them involved a decent bowl of Beef Brisket La Mien Noodle Soup and I have kept a mental note of ordering from them in case of emergency cravings. I have since ordered takeaway twice and I have no regrets so far. They season their food well I have to say, and it is not just with tons of salt and MSG. In my experience, they deliver delicious, hot, reasonably priced meals in a matter of thirty minutes or less.
I use the app Just Eat to order online from Wuli Wuli and the process is straightforward and paying is a breeze. You can call them of course, but for that you might need a copy of their takeaway menu. In the app you simply add your items to the basket and in the end you are given the option of paying via debit card or cash.
Since I was not just ordering for myself, I opted for one of the three available set meals. Set B includes an attractive spread of Chicken Sweetcorn Soup, Crispy Aromatic Duck, Sweet and Sour Chicken, Beef with Green Peppers in Black Bean Sauce, Vegetable Stir Fry and Special Fried Rice. Ordering this set for two comes to a total bill of £27.98, but the portions are very generous and there is always some left to last until next meal time. You can also order for three persons priced at £41.97, something that might be ideal for a family of three to four.
I love that the food arrives nice and hot, packed in spill proof microwave safe containers. So far, their estimated delivery time of 30 – 45 minutes is dependable and the rider is always knocking by the door on the half hour mark. They even provide chili upon request at no extra charge – and I am a fan of anything with a decent Scoville score.
The Chicken Sweetcorn Soup came in styrofoam bowls, steaming hot with small chunks of chicken breast and juicy corn kernels that burst when you bite down. Satisfying especially for those cold gloomy days.
My personal favorite and ultimate reason to reorder would be the Crispy Aromatic Duck. Delivered with small flat wraps, freshly sliced vegetables and a portion of hoisin sauce, the crispy duck wrap is a joy for me to assemble. I could tell they cut the vegetables fresh, because they were crisp and light – far from those pre-cut soggy ones usually lurking around supermarkets. The crispy duck skin was delicious, the meat underneath as tender as can be and the fat melting in your mouth is just pure joy.
I like making every bite unique – a bit of vegetable here, bit more of that duck over there. Tucked into the soft flat wrap with a final dunk of hoisin, I pop the entire thing into my mouth.
The Sweet and Sour Chicken is one of those Chinese takeaway staples, it’s indeed a familiar item to most of us. Wuli Wuli’s version comes in the usual vibrant tangy red sauce with pineapple pieces and sweet peppers. The Beef in Black Bean Sauce had a thick savory sauce with slivers of beef that are not chewy at all, just tender and almost felt like pillows in the mouth. The Vegetable Stir-fry may be an acquired taste to some due to the strong flavor of the bamboo shoots but is otherwise flavorful. They all go well with the fragrant Special Fried Rice, tinkered with vegetable and meat bits. All in all an above average meal that would satisfy any growling belly!
For those in search of a convenient, delicious meal I would surely recommend Wuli Wuli. Unlike some Chinese takeaways that are just riddled with too much salt, I actually enjoy the flavors of their cooking and it gives you a good estimate of what proper Chinese Cuisine can be. On my next takeaway night, I would like to try try their famous Sichuan Dishes and order a portion or two of their soupy Siu Loon Bao Dumplings. Until next takeaway series!