Andrew Wong, Eater London’s Chef of the Year 2017, has launched a new delivery-only concept, The Chinese Takeaway, in conjunction with Deliveroo Editions and White Rabbit Fund — the investment group behind Wong’s new Bloomberg Arcade opening.
The Deliveroo Editions page for the new concept describes The Chinese Takeaway as being “inspired by the much-loved restaurants of Soho’s Chinatown,” and aiming to take Chinese food “back to East London — to the home of London’s first Chinese settlers.” The menu is a concise affair of just four starters and four mains, featuring riffs on takeaway favourites like sweet and sour glazed ribs or black bean chicken and Cantonese-style crispy pork belly. A dish of crispy aromatic duck comes with the requisite cucumber and plum sauce, but swaps the usual pancakes for bao-style steamed buns.
The Chinese Takeaway is now available from Deliveroo Editions’ Whitechapel kitchen, where it operates under the umbrella of Hutch, a White Rabbit-backed operating company which has also launched Namma (a delivery-only offering from the team behind Kricket) and Island Poke from the same kitchen in recent months.
According to reports today from MCA, White Rabbit managing director Chris Miller “sees huge potential for a contemporary interpretation [of] Chinese and Indian takeaway cuisine,” and is keen to exploit the benefits of scalability and operational efficiency that come with operating Hutch as a single, cohesive entity. As such, it is expected that the trio of concepts (Namma, The Chinese Takeaway, and Island Poke) will be rolled out together at additional Deliveroo Editions sites in the future.
The delivery-only model is one that’s also proved beneficial for restaurant operators, who can develop a concept that captures the spirit of their approach, without running the risk of undermining a premium offering. Perhaps the standout is of the sector is Motu, the delivery-only offering from JKS restaurants (of Gymkhana, Hoppers, et al.), which is now eyeing a move to the high street.
Kricket co-founder Rik Campbell is quoted in the MCA report as saying that working with Hutch and White Rabbit to launch Namma presented a great opportunity to expand the brands reach, while not compromising the offering of Kricket, where “the food’s more elevated... doesn’t travel well, and we don’t have the capacity [to offer takeaway].” It’s a sentiment that’s sure to be shared by Wong, who has categorically refused to serve his famous dim sum at his new City opening, saying “we need to give more credit to dim sum than £2.80 for three pieces. It devalues the whole thing.”
- Wong launches The Chinese Takeaway [MCA/Paywall]