A few weeks back my friends had twins (Hi Benny! Hi Freya!). Mum and Dad are wont to frequent restaurants and we plan on going out to one together again in – ooh, about 2021.

We have, however, already managed a night in with the baby monitor and a delivery. This was facilitated by Deliveroo, a service well established in London and which has recently launched in Leicester.  Basically it is an outsourced delivery service for independent restaurants  and others that would not normally offer it themselves. So if you want or need to eat at home, or in the office during the day, you are no longer limited to standard takeaways. We had a variety of tagines from Marrakech on Highfield Street and it all worked splendidly.

A few weeks later I met Jason Mann, Deliveroo’s man in the Midlands, who explained a bit more about the concept. Deliveroo has its own team on bikes and scooters, who position themselves strategically around the city centre. Diners go on the Deliveroo website where they can see the restaurant menus – edited to include just the deliverable items – and make an order and pay. Restaurants are notified and accept the order, then your delivery guy picks it up and delivers. You can pick a time slot if ordering ahead, or the average delivery time from ordering is 32 minutes.

There’s a minimum order of £15 and a standard delivery charge of £2.50. Currently it only operates within a radius of 2.5 kilometres of the city centre, though that might change in future.  At the moment  there are around 25 restaurants in the scheme, including Maiyango (from their daytime menu), Crafty Burger, Peter Pizzeria, Carluccio’s, Kuru Kuru Sushi, Cedars Lebanese, The Smokehouse, Yesim, Queen of Bradgate and the Slovakian bar and restaurant Tatra Eastern Corner (look out for my review in the Mercury this coming Saturday).

I was invited to try out the service on them, and again it all worked fine. The website is admirably streamlined and ordering is straightforward. The delivery came on time to the minute, and the food – old-school Chinese from the newly-relaunched Peking on Charles Street – came in good condition.

I had a few questions about how it all operated and Jason offered to talk to a couple of restaurants and  make a little film for this blog, so I emailed a few questions and they went to talk to Peter Pizzeria and Cedars Lebanese. Here’s the result!:

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Kuru Kuru Sushi

November 18, 2014

One of the great joys for a restaurant lover is to visit a tiny, unprepossessing place you’ve probably walked past before and barely noticed, and discover it is doing completely wonderful food.

californiaSo today I share with you Kuru Kuru Sushi on Welford Road in Leicester city centre. I’m no expert on sushi – and my last visit to Yo! Sushi left me with no desire to go back  – but I was pleased to take up an invitation to join Chris from Crafty Burger and Andy from St Martin’s Tea and Coffee for lunch at this tiny kitchen opposite the doomed New Walk Centre.

It’s full with five of you in there, but that means we had a ringside seat as chef Shyiam created a series of fantastic dishes. Basically we had him as our personal chef for an hour. You can order set sushi variety boxes, set menus with main courses such as salmon teriyaki, tempura prawns or Java curry, or just order individual rolls, sushi and hot dishes.  We just asked chef to keep giving us highlights from the menu, with Chris putting in a couple of specific requests.

We started off with really tasty hot pumpkin croquette, then a divine soft shell crab roll with flying fish roe and avocado, California rolls with crabstick, avocado and mayo,  superfresh salmon sashimi, eel teriyaki, salmon minced up with Japanese chilli and rolled with tempura prawn, and a remarkable roll made with crispy salmon skin. I’ve probably missed a couple  – suffice to say from the rice to the seaweed wraps to the fish it was all umami-tastic. We ran up a bill of just over £20 a head but you could lunch handsomely for under a tenner.

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crab

Soft shell crab

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Crispy salmon skin hand roll

Eel teriyaki

Eel teriyaki

Now for the bad news. Chef Shyiam is off to Sri Lanka shortly and the restaurant will be shut during December. So either get down there quick, or make it a new year resolution to give it a try. It’s open lunch times and evenings until 10pm and they will deliver to homes and offices.

With Peter Pizzeria now confirmed as opening in nearby Welford Place on Valentine’s Day (below), a promising-looking Chinese snack café on Pocklington’s Walk, and the ever reliable Shivalli just a few yards further down Welford Road, it’s good to see a range of quality independents providing an alternative to Highcross.

Spelling might not be their strong point, but as long they can make pizza...

Spelling might not be their strong point, but as long as they can make pizza…

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