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Sunday, March 7, 2021

Food in UK, Part 3: Takeaway

When you can't dine out, takeaway or take-out is what we get during the lockdowns. 

Let's start with a song about this important ritual by the talented Marsh Family Singers:

The Buy-In Eats Tonight by the Marsh seeFamily Singers:

Now over here, takeaway restaurants may look a bit different from what you're used to in the USA. Many of these little family businesses are located within the home that often fronts a busy street. There is usually just a small lobby and counter, with a kitchen in the back somewhere. The owners typically lives in the house too. This model has proved to be very adaptable for the harsh lockdowns in UK as they have no inside or outside dining anyway, everything on the menu was already designed for takeaway and nobody has to travel to get to work.  Many of these little shops are called "Kebab" shops. They often have a little of everything on the menu besides great kebabs including pizza, burgers, fish & chicken. 

The shop below is one we walk past every day on our walk to see the grandkids.   We haven't eaten there (yet) but it seems typical of this "jack-of-all-trades, takeaway" genre.  
Solent Kebab takeaway

Now there are also more specialized restaurants that try to do one thing well. Fish & Chippies are one type that are very popular here. There seems to be one in every neighborhood.  Here is Mother Kelly's Fish & Chips. It's also along our daily walk and one of the few that actually has a large indoor dining area. They have always done take away, so adapting to the lockdown was less painful for them. 

Mother Kelly's Fish & Chips

Now Indian food is a big thing over here too. After all, chicken tikka-masala is the national dish of Britain now, beating out bangers and mash or fish and chips!  Some of the best Indian food we've ever had was in Oxford (on a previous trip) at 4,500 Miles from Delhi. So expectations are high for Indian takeaway. Initially we were disappointed with the local choices. The shops we tried in and around Portchester and Portsmouth seemed to be produce curries that were overly sweet and lacking the depth and complexity of spices that we've come to love. One day I saw a thread on the local community facebook group that was discussing favorite Indian take away during the lockdown. Through the recommendations of the locals we discovered this little hole-in-the-wall shop near the train station called Leith Tandori that finally fulfilled the promise of  flavorful Indian take away we've craved. We've ordered from them many times and it has always been great. 

Leith Tandori takeaway

Now a little closer to our apartment, we also have a little strip of take away shops. These are just a five minute walk from our flat and there are three excellent choices right together including the Golden Bridge (Chinese) New Shahee Tandori (Indian) and Blue Ocean (fish & chips). So even while we are remodeling our kitchen in our flat, we always have convenient and tasty take away nearby. 

Golden Bridge, New Shahee Tandori and Blue Ocean - takeaway dining

Now we're about a month away from the opening up of some new out-door dining choices, according to the promised reopening schedule by Boris Johnson. We're looking forward to the many fine dining restaurants located near our flat with large outdoor dining on the board walk over in Port Solent. Doesn't this look like a great place for patio dining? 
Port Solent harbor & boardwalk

Yet, we are still in England, in the spring time. so this might be a better perspective on what outdoor dining might be like in on April 12th:  

Click the link to see the video on Twitter. 

(Click to see the video on Twitter)


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