Full disclosure before I actually get started – this post has been sponsored by Menulog.com.au, who recently approached me with an offer to try them out and furnishing me with a very generous $30.00 gift voucher to do so. In return, I’ve been asked to write up a review on their services. I figured this was a great opportunity to actually try and support another small, local community restaurant, so I was all for it! With that in mind, this post will encompass two different reviews: a review of the services provided by Menulog, and a review of the restaurant we decided to order from. Please don’t think that the voucher kindly given to me has swayed this review one way or another; I have always, and will always remain very (too?!) honest and true to my opinions. Now that’s out of the way, let the fooding begin!
PART 1: Menulog.com.au
Now, all that said, Menulog has been on my radar for a while now, and has been something I actually have been keen to try. If you’re not yet familiar with it, you will be soon, as it is becoming the No.1 spot for online takeaway.
So it works like this:
1. You log onto the website.
2. Type in the suburb you live in, and hit the “Let’s go!” button. What you’ll get next is a list of takeaway joints nearby that will deliver to you. For example, I live in the northern suburbs, so I just popped in a suburb close by to me and it took me to this list here.
3. Click on your chosen restaurant, add the food you want from the menu straight to your shopping cart, and follow the prompts to select your delivery date and time, and make payment.
4. Receive confirmation email and text message, and prepare to eat.
Simple. The restaurant husband and I chose was one that we’d noticed a few times as we’d driven past – Kaindia Fijian Restaurant. More on the why later.
One of the things that had me hesitating on trying Menulog out was that (as with all things related to food) there were a few unfavourable reviews relating to unreliable deliveries, food arriving cold, etc. My experience with Menulog was very different. It was quick, easy, and very positive.
The things I loved about this service (and I think others would enjoy too):
– It is ridiculously easy to use, which it needs to be to replace simply calling the local pizza joint and placing your order. Literally a few clicks and you’re done. Love it.
– You have options. A lot of options. Choose what you eat, choose how you pay, choose whether you want your food now or at a nominated time later, choose whether you want it delivered or to pick it up yourself. Hell, I even got the choice of spice levels for my lamb curry when I added it to my shopping cart!
– It’s a hell of a lot easier to compare your options and pricing all in one place online than trying to pour over 5 different printed menus you have on the fridge, or checking one website’s menu at a time. For those of us who are a little indecisive and like to make sure they’ve really checked out all their options, this is fantastic.
– A lot of places on Menulog have minimum spend requirements and/or offer discounts for your first purchase – the fact that you get a running tally of this on your screen as you add items to your order is brilliant. For those of you avid online shoppers like myself, there is NOTHING worse than getting all the way to the checkout to realise you don’t reach the minimum spend for free delivery, or that your discount was more than you thought and you in fact COULD have purchased an extra pair of shoes. Well done Menulog, well done.
My only real qualm to be honest was that a lot of menu items were not descriptive at all – “chicken noodles” doesn’t really tell you a hell of a lot about that dish. Not sure if that’s Menulog not doing their homework or restaurants just being lazy and not supplying enough information, but I’d love to see that aspect tightened up a bit.
So in terms of this review, I have to say my worries and reservations seem to have been completely unfounded; it’s a brilliant idea for those of us who want lots of choices all at once, with the ease of deciding when you want your food, and getting it all done very quickly and easily online. Consider me a fan.
PART 2: Kaindia Fijian Restaurant, Melbourne
So we decided on this place of all our options because we were intrigued. We’ve been to Fiji a few times now (husband twice, me seven times), and know that there is a strong Indian influence on their food. However, we couldn’t think of enough traditional Fijian dishes to make up an entire menu. Despite the fact that I was sick for three days the last time I had Indian food, curiosity got the better of us. We decided if we were going to do this, we may as well do it properly, and we ordered:
– Cassava & Taro Wedges – $5.95
– Bhajia (fried spinach and chickpea flour dumplings) – $5.95 for 4 pieces
– Lamb Jhura Masala (lamb cooked in Kaindia style curry sauce) – $13.95
– Coconut Crab – $15.95
– Bhoojal Bhatt (rice fried with onions, cumin and clarified butter) – $3.95
– Roti – $1.95
– and we got 2 pieces of coconut ice thrown in, too!
Let it firstly be said that they arrived almost to the minute of the time they advised us via text message. That impressed me. Now, onto the food.
Entrees first – I’m a fan of taro and cassava, so I quite liked the wedges. I’m sure they would have been a lot more hot and crispy had they been eaten in the restaurant rather than at home after a car trip, but I still liked them. The Bhajia were delicious – a little bit spicy for my liking but they still tasted really good, and husband enjoyed them too.
Mains – I really enjoyed the rice, being that it was pretty simple. The coconut crab was a huge disappointment for us – not a lot of crab meat, very watery sauce with quite a fishy taste. Pity, because I was looking forward to this. The big surprise winner though was the lamb curry – it was really good! I wasn’t expecting to like it much, because I generally don’t enjoy curry. But despite the fact it was probably just a tiny bit too spicy for me, I still went back for a second serving – the flavour of the sauce was delicious, and the lamb was melt-in-your-mouth tender. Winner.
The coconut ice was a lovely thought as well, and a particularly nice surprise for me, because it was my favourite childhood sweet! For this part of the review, I’m going to say I’m really glad we did finally try this place out, and I’d possibly be interested to try it again, dining in, to see if some of those dishes are better fresh out of the kitchen.