I’m one of those people who have lunch alone at their desks, and it’s always either taobao-ed from the coffee shops around our office building, or ordered in. With Chinese New Year fast approaching, I’m getting into the mood by dedicating a week’s worth of work lunches and tea time to Chinese food — and all from Deliveroo.
Why Deliveroo? I was very VERY excited to see that almost all the restaurants delivering to the NYLON office have no minimum spend! As a lone eater, that’s a huge game changer. That has effectively opened up my choices for lunch; plus, in my experience (and I order online a lot), Deliveroo delivers the fastest out of all the food delivery services (except that one time I ordered from McDonald’s Toa Payoh and it arrived exactly 5 mins after I submitted my order. Sorcery.)
It wasn’t always like this. Just a few weeks ago, for example, the minimum order from Starbucks was $12; today, there’s no minimum spend required. And I found it strange since Toa Payoh is still not in the “no minimum spend” zone. (Apparently, we’re on the edge of two zones so many restaurants now offer no minimum spend to our office!) Here’s a breakdown of the zones for easy reference:
Another thing to note, I signed up for Deliveroo Plus, which costs $10.90 a month, but gives FREE DELIVERY on every order! For someone with my food habits, it’s extremely worth it, considering delivery costs $3 each time.
Without further ado, here’s my Chinese meal plan for the past work week:
MONDAY — LUNCH — BOON TONG KEE
I started the week off with chicken rice, and it’s hard to go wrong with Boon Tong Kee. I ordered a single portion for myself and realised that there was no option to specify which part of the chicken I want; so I promptly brought up Deliveroo’s “live chat” function and this conversation ensued:
After a few minutes, Kristine told me that the store wasn’t picking up and she couldn’t guarantee my “no breast meat” preference. There was nothing I could do but wait for my food to come, and surprise….!
Breast meat. But thank goodness it was Boon Tong Kee, because somehow they manage to make even breast meat tender, plus the sauces make anything tasty.
MONDAY — TEA — BOBERTEA
It’s 4.30pm and I’m losing energy… I need tea. Bobertea delivers to the NYLON office and there’s no minimum spend or delivery fee (for me, with my Plus membership)! I could order a single cup of tea for $3.80 and they would take my order. I was so impressed I had to take a screengrab:
But because all good things must be shared, I went around the office taking Bobertea orders and this happened:
Bill from Bobertea:
TUESDAY — LUNCH — A-ONE CLAYPOT HOUSE
A-One’s claypot rice is pretty decent; it has the wok hei taste, and the hard bits of rice that should be in all Claypot rice. It could do with more lap cheong and less breast meat though.
Bill from A-One Claypot House:
TUESDAY — TEA — ORIGINAL HERBAL SHOP
Gui ling gao is one of those things mum feeds us when we have a sore throat because it’s supposed to be cooling. The original recipe of this dessert includes boiling turtle shell for many hours, but the commercial ones are made mainly of herbs. It’s supposed to be slightly bitter and sweet, with honey added in for more flavour. I usually like gui ling gao, but this one was EXTREMELY medicinal. I took one bite and couldn’t continue; and the aftertaste stayed in my mouth for what felt like forever. This one was not for me.
Bill from Original Herbal Shop:
WEDNESDAY — LUNCH — CRYSTAL JADE KITCHEN
Porridge and fried wantons make an excellent combination — soupy and fried. And it’s very hard to go wrong with anything from Crystal Jade. This meal was so good, I finished everything even though I felt super full. It was very hard to concentrate on work after this meal…
Bill from Crystal Jade Kitchen:
WEDNESDAY — TEA — YOCHA TEA & DESSERTS
Here’s another bubble tea place I discovered on Deliveroo. I like that we can choose drink size, sweetness level (Bobertea didn’t have that option and was too sweet for me!) and there’s a huge variety of add-ons. The desserts had A LOT of liao, without me adding any add-ons; I’d recommend it if you want something to bite into.
Bill from Yocha Tea & Desserts:
THURSDAY — LUNCH — BALESTIER BAK KUT TEH
The Premium Loin Ribs seem to be the thing to order (it had the star next to it). The order arrived within 15 minutes (the fastest of the week!) and the soup was piping hot. This bak kut teh is the peppery kind (as opposed to the herbal kind), and the ribs were very meaty. Each bowl has two large ribs, which was more than enough food for me, and a generous serving of soup. But there’s no variety in this dish; it’s really just meat and soup. If you want a balanced meal, add on a side of vegetables.
Bill from Balestier Bak Kut Teh:
THURSDAY — TEA — SELEGIE SOYABEAN
I LOVE tau huay! And the one from Selegie Soyabean is pretty consistent. I’ve ordered from these guys many, many times in the past, so I know exactly what I’m getting, and it won’t disappoint. Now with no minimum spend and free delivery, I actually feel bad buying just one bowl. So I bought two.
Bill from Selegie Soyabean:
FRIDAY — LUNCH — TIAN TIAN CHI MIAN FISHBALL NOODLE
This was the only restaurant on the list that had a minimum order. I convinced a colleague to have this for lunch as well, and so ordered two bowls. Although I chose the dry version, the noodles came pretty wet — though not soggy; but the liao was good and the sauce decent. I like that the fishballs are truly handmade; I can tell by their odd elongated shape. I probably wouldn’t order this again because I prefer the bak chor mee down the road from our office.
Bill from Tian Tian Chi Mian Fishball Noodle:
FRIDAY — TEA — STARBUCKS
I’m ending the week with the least “Chinese” thing on the menu: something from Starbucks. But I really do like their Chai Tea Latte!!! And life is sweeter now that there’s no minimum spend from Starbucks on Deliveroo. It wasn’t like this a few weeks ago!! Happiness. 😊
Bill from Starbucks: