With the days getting colder and the evenings getting darker, sometimes cooking feels like the last thing I want to do when I get home from work. With only myself to cook for, it can seem pointless slaving over a hot stove just to dish up a warm meal for myself. It’s very tempting to dine out or order a takeaway instead as its much quicker, easier, and the latter choice means I can enjoy my food in the comfort of own home without having to brave the Winter weather.
Based in Cwmbran, South Wales, Kukd is an online takeaway ordering and table reservation service which enables you to order food, or book a table at a number of restaurants and/or takeaways in the local area. For each order placed, Kukd donate a food box, containing a full meal and a bottle of water, to a child in Bangladesh. As one of the world’s poorest countries, over half of Bangladeshis live off less than $1 per day, forcing over 7 million children to work in order to ensure that their family survives.
Available as both a desktop website and an app, Kukd is simple to use and easy to navigate, although I did encounter a few error messages when trying to order through the website directly, as opposed to via the app.
There are a variety of different cuisines listed, although the range of available restaurants is fairly limited in comparison to some other online takeaway services, and many of the outlets are closed or unavailable.
I used Kukd to order two takeaway meals recently. After entering my postcode into the search box, I was able to view a list of takeaways in my area which I could filter by cuisine, or delivery/collection. Upon placing my orders, I was conveniently able to choose the desired time of arrival (and I am pleased to say that both orders arrived on time).
My first delivery was from Chicken.Com, one of many fast food outlets on Cardiff’s City Road, serving pizzas, burgers, fried and grilled chicken, and desserts. Feeling particularly hungry, I ordered the Home Alone Deal, consisting of one medium pizza, one piece of chicken, regular fries and a canned soft drink (£6.99), accompanied by a small garlic Margherita pizza (£3.99). When the order arrived, I was very thankful when the driver informed me that I had been given a free small Hawaiian Dream pizza.
However, upon tasting the food, it became apparent that I wasn’t even going to finish a single pizza, let alone polish off the free one; the base of my Hawaiian Dream pizza resembled rigid cardboard, while the dough was tasteless and hardened within around 10 minutes. It tasted like a pre-made, shop-bought pizza base. The turkey ham and pineapple topping was minimal, the meat was of a low quality and the cheese was burnt, indicating that the pizza had been overcooked.
My second delivery from Kukd was somewhat of a different story. I ordered shredded crispy chicken in garlic butter sauce (£5.20), plain, regular chow mein (£2.40), sesame prawn toast (£4.50), and chicken and sweetcorn soup (£3.50) from the New Golden Rickshaw, also located on Cardiff’s City Road.
When my family and I ordered Chinese takeaway when I was a child, we would always order some chicken and sweetcorn soup. There’s nothing more comforting than a hot bowl of soup on a cold evening, and this one had a tasty, savoury flavour and was packed with sliced chicken.
The garlic chicken was the real star of the show (although the chicken wasn’t shredded, as the description had stated). Succulent chicken strips coated in a thick, well-seasoned batter were smothered in a more-ish, light buttery sauce flavoured with freshly chopped garlic.
The sauce went particularly well with the plain chow mein, soaking through the noodles and boosting their taste with piquant, punchy flavours.
Admittedly the sesame prawn toast was a complete letdown, consisting of what appeared to be a thick layer of prawn-flavoured jelly, wedged between two squashed, dry slices of toast covered in sesame seeds. The toast was absolutely drenched in grease and I gave up after just one slice, despite sesame prawn toast being one of my favourite Chinese dishes.
On the whole, my Kukd delivery experience was a mixed bag. The takeaway outlets were very reasonably priced, and knowing that a Bangladeshi child gets a free meal for every takeaway I order made me feel less guilty about eating junk food. However, the desktop website was buggy and as many of the restaurants were closed both times I ordered, I was pretty much limited to ordering from either a fast food, Chinese or Indian takeaway. In addition, I wasn’t blown away by the quality of the food I ordered from Chicken.com, and I couldn’t see any Cardiff restaurants on Kukd’s list that I would class as serving high quality, freshly cooked food, aside from Ichiban Japanese restaurant in Canton.
Would I order from Kukd again? It would depend what kind of food I was in the mood for. Greasy fast food? Hell, yes (although I’d steer clear of Chicken.Com). High quality, authentic food prepared using fresh ingredients? Perhaps not.
Kukd credited my account with £30 and paid me a modest fee in return for an honest review of my delivery experience.
Have you ever ordered food online? What website did you use, and how was your delivery experience?