Apologies for being MIA for the longest while! With the changing seasons resulting in a nasty flu going around, as well as people heading overseas I’ve been kept on my toes for the last month or so with Zumba covers – teaching up to five evenings a week. I pushed my body to the stage where I had to recover in the evenings with an ice pack over each ankle to prepare for the next day’s class, and with also starting a new job in the last three weeks, I have not had much time to myself in the last month to visit new places and leaf through my cookbook collection!
I was therefore quietly thrilled when I got sent two EatNow coupons to sample the service. Night Owl and I are still relatively new to the Neutral Bay area and haven’t had a chance to explore the food options as much as we would have liked. I had a scroll through the EatNow app on my iPhone (or alternatively you can access it via desktop on www.eatnow.com.au) while I was at work earlier in the day to see what I wanted to order in the evening, and I was unsurprised to see that takeaway now no longer is restricted to those just short on time. Restaurant takeaway menus are identical to their sit-down menus, and around my area there were even alcohol delivery services – perfect for if you were hosting a party and ran out of anything! There’s quite an extensive number of reviews on most of the restaurants, which greatly helps as just because a restaurant was good when you dined in, does not necessarily mean that the takeaway delivery service would be equally as good.
I decided to order from two restaurants: Sam Thai and Pizza Capers, and ordered for it to arrive at 8.00pm when I would have finally made it home for the day. You receive an SMS confirmation as soon as the restaurant accepts your order, and a receipt from EatNow near instantaneously. It’s frighteningly efficient.
At 8.00 on the dot, I was getting plates, bowls and utensils ready, when the buzzer rang for the front door. Sam Thai had arrived! I was in the middle of un-packing when a young gent from Pizza Capers arrived at ten past, trying to find his way into my unit complex. I went out to meet him and he greeted me with classic Italian charisma and charm, loading me down with pizza and cheesy garlic bread before he continued on his way.
It had been a while since I haven’t had cheap takeaway pizza – the cheap stuff usually hits the spot but gourmet pizza is in a different league entirely! Pizza Capers offers half-half pizzas, so I had selected the BBQ Bonanza Rustico and the Exotic Potato and Bacon Rustico, all on a thin large base ($21.96). Essentially a gourmet BBQ Meatlovers and a Bacon and Potato Pizza – because what’s more indulgent than carb on carb? It was one of the best pizzas I’ve had in a very long time – the potato and bacon is a must-try!
I also wanted to try their Arancini Balls ($6.95 for six plus $1.50 for dipping sauce of your choice), and selected the Pesto Aioli dipping sauce. They were a lot smaller than I had been expecting (ping pong ball-sized), but were cheesy and hot and good to nibble on. They were also quite delicious cold! I was a bit confused as the description on the website said they came “served on a bed of baby spinach and finished with Parmesan and herbs”, but they arrived with just the balls rolling around in their box. Oh well.
In a vain attempt to balance the meal somewhat, I had ordered a Caesar Salad ($6.95). It ticked the checklist for a classic Caesar: cos lettuce, bacon, croutons, Caesar sauce and Parmesan; not mind-blowing, but I guess that’s what you get for ordering a salad from a pizza joint! As a consolation prize we had a free cheesy Garlic Bread roll as the total order for Pizza Capers exceeded $50 – my forever weakness is cheesy garlic bread.
I had sneakily also ordered dessert: a 520ml pint of Cookies and Cream ice cream ($9.95): creamy vanilla ice cream with a silky chocolate ribbon, loads of chocolate cookie chunks and cookie dough pieces. We didn’t have it that evening as we had had too much food already, but saved it in the freezer for a Netflix and chill evening 😉
Let’s not forget though that I had also ordered from Sam Thai! Sam is well-known as being quite an institution in Neutral Bay, so I had quite high expectations. I have dined there once previously, having a simple Massaman and cashew stir-fry, but this time I had selected some more complex dishes so was interested to see how they would be packaged for delivery and their state on arrival.
First tick went to the entrees: the Curry Puffs ($6.50 for four) and the Moneybags ($6.50 for four). These had been packed into foil-lined paper bags with two little tubs of sweet chilli dipping sauce. On arrival they were piping hot, and the pastry still deliciously flaky and buttery.
For something lighter that we could have later in the week, I decided to try the Mushroom Tom Yum (mild) ($7.00). It’s an authentic Thai hot and spicy sour soup – and while the soup itself was nicely light and slightly spicy, it was predominantly made up of lemongrass, galangals, kaffir lime leaves and not much else so I spent most of the time eating it fishing these out.
A Pad See Ew is always a popular choice with Thai, and I went with a Vegetable and Tofu ($12.00) one which was lightly smokey and charred. Leftover Pad See Ew is always so good in work lunchboxes!
The last dish was the one I had been holding my breath for: the Roast Duck with Plum Sauce ($24.50) – a boneless roasted half duck in plum sauce, served with stir fried baby bok choy. Packaged for delivery, the duck was in a separate box container to the bok choi, and the plum sauce in another soup container, with big cinnamon quills and star anise bobbing around. I assembled it by laying out the bok choi, topping it with duck, and pouring over the delicious plum sauce.
Tender to perfection, the duck was melt-in-the-mouth and the skin still retaining some of its delicious crisp. We left no prisoners with this amazing dish, polishing it off and Night Owl even drinking the plum sauce – that a clear indication of how good it was (and how uncivilised we are in the privacy of home!).
Having takeaway is not something I ever want to get into the habit of – I do enjoy cooking too much after all! But when one has too many commitments happening it’s good to see that there is a huge variety of options to select from with such ease and efficiency.
Pizza Capers, Neutral Bay
Shop 1, 220 Military Road
Neutral Bay NSW 2089
(02) 9904 4255
Order via EatNow!