Thursday, April 29, 2021

Which delivery app to use? DoorDash VS SkipTheDishes VS UberEats REVIEW

The pandemic has affected everyone, but delivery apps are more popular and now ubiquitous. The big question is which one deserves your business among the "big three" available in Vancouver, BC, Canada. I wrote this blog post last 2018 when the delivery apps were just starting out.

Let's look at each app and why I prefer one over the other.

DoorDash

I used to (past tense) love DoorDash. It was the app I use every week at work to order food for the whole team. The "group order" is a big deal for someone like me!

Now, I don't use it as often for two reasons:
  1. During my peak use of the app, it was reported that they do not give a tip to the dasher. That's infuriating because I order for 8-11 people (depending on how big our team was), and I tip 10-15%, which would mean that the tip did not go to the dasher. Grrr. I am still upset thinking about it.
  2. They charge a DoorDash fee to me, the consumer, and charge a different fee to the restaurant. It's upsetting that they are earning money from BOTH the customer and the restaurant.
DoorDash

We still use DoorDash when the restaurant is only available on that platform. Recently, hubby's employer gave them DoorDash gift cards, so we have to use the app.

2022 Update: I have been using DoorDash more recently because I use Ampli to earn cashback and my RBC Credit Card offered a free three months of DashPass.

SkipTheDishes

SkipTheDishes is my preferred app among the three! Why? It's a Canadian start-up! It was acquired by Just Eat, but they have a big operation in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

They also don't charge me (consumer) any SkipTheDishes fee, and they allow me to "Contribute" to the local restaurant I am ordering from. Lastly, I use it more because of SkipRewards.

Update: They started charging a $0.99 SkipTheDishes fee which is still less than the percentage DoorDash charges.

SkipTheDishes

Update April 2022: I don't use SkipTheDishes as often because we try to do less delivery and decided to just walk to restaurants and pick things up or dine in.

Uber Eats

I have the Uber app on my phone, and it's the only food delivery app I have on my mobile. My experience with Uber Eats has been great. Although, I only use it when the restaurant we want to order from is only available there.

Uber Eats

Dine-In and Take Out

When restaurants were open, I only use delivery apps when we're at my parent's place in Richmond, and I am playing Overcooked with my siblings. Ordering in makes sense. Otherwise, we love to enjoy food in the restaurant without the delivery delay.

Because of the pandemic, I relied too much on delivery apps. Starting this month, we decided to do more take-out and pick-up. It means we can only order from the many restaurants near our home. We live near South Granville, so there are a lot of options!

What's your preferred app?

Saturday, April 24, 2021

Lunch from John 3:16 Malaysian Delights

It's the first time we have Malaysian food in Canada. I moved here in 2015, and yes, this is the first time we have Malaysian cuisine.

John 3:16 Malaysian Delights is a popular restaurant in Richmond, BC, and they just opened a branch in the Fairview neighbourhood of Vancouver last April 13, 2021. They open at 11 in the morning, and I called their number to place our order for pick-up. We started walking towards the restaurant and were just in time for our order to be ready.

Malaysian Feast from John 3:16 Malaysian Delights

Appetizer

We ordered three different dishes from the appetizer section of their menu.

Curry Chicken Puff

I have a background story with Curry Chicken Puff. Last 2014, hubby and I, with friends, went to Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia, to speak at an event. In that event, they have what feels like unlimited Curry Puff for people to just grab and eat all throughout the event, and holy smokes, did I take advantage of that. It was so delicious! 

However, this Curry Chicken Puff from John 3:16 is so much better! The puff is flaky. I was holding it at the edge, and it broke off - that's how soft, fragile, and flaky it was. The inside was creamy curry.

Curry Chicken Puff from John 3:16 Malaysian Delights

Curry Chicken Puff

Roti Canai with Curry Sauce

This is my first time trying Roti Canai, and I am kicking myself for not trying it sooner! The Canai is flaky, and it absorbs the curry sauce so well. What a great start to any meal.

Roti Canai with Curry Sauce from John 3:16 Malaysian Delights

Look at how flaky and easy to pull apart that Roti is

Pull apart that Roti Chanai and dip it in that delicious curry sauce.

Satay Chicken

I don't have any experience with Satay Chicken to judge whether it's good or not, but the surprise is the peanut sauce dip it came with. I love the peanut sauce!

Satay Chicken

Main Course

We ordered three different dishes in the Main Course section of their menu.

Lor Bak

I did a Google search on Lor Bak before deciding to order it. Apparently, it's known in the Philippines as kikiam. It's a popular appetizer or street food in the Philippines, but it's the main dish in Malaysia. It's interesting to learn how Malaysia, Indonesia, and Philippine food are so closely related.

Lor Bak from John 3:16 Malaysian Delights

Lor Bak is essentially a Malaysian pork roll.

Beef Rendang

I love their beef rendang. To be fair, I think I enjoy a lot of beef stew (like from Vietnam), especially when the beef is so tender and easy on the mouth. The flavour is a given. This is a must-have.

Beef Rendang from John 3:16 Malaysian Delights

Kari Chicken

If I have to guess, this is curry chicken from Malaysia. It's good, but the beef rendang is so much better than Kari Chicken taste.

Kari Chicken from John 3:16 Malaysian Delights

Rice and Noodle

Nasi Goreng

I chose mild spice level, and it was delicious fried rice. I love the anchovies.

Nasi Goreng

Char Koay Teow

This is the only dish I didn't enjoy. I found it salty, but everything may be just so amazing thus far, and my expectations are way high.

Char Koay Teow

Drinks

Cendol

Cendol is that one unforgettable drink we had in Singapore nine years ago. When we saw it in the John 3:16 Malaysian Delights menu, we just have to try it. It's creamy, milky, and there's a hint of coconut and pandan too.

Cendol

Cendol after stirring and shaking it - so yummy!

What will I order again?

  • Cendol
  • Beef Rendang
  • Roti Canai with curry sauce
  • Curry Chicken Puff
Support small local restaurants like John 3:16 Malaysian Delights. Order online at their website or give them a call for pick-up. I am doing my best to avoid using delivery apps. It means ordering only at restaurants within a kilometre of our home.

Thursday, April 15, 2021

Lunch from KFC delivered by DoorDash

Happy Thursday!

It's unusual for us to order food during weekdays, but today is an exception. Hubby's employer gave him a $30 DoorDash gift card because he's part of the team that completed an important feature in their app. Today for lunch they had a townhall of a sort where the CEO said thank-you and congratulations to everyone involved.

2x KFC Famous Chicken Sandwich Ultimate Box Meal

As for me, it's yay for free food. We decided that since we're forced to use a delivery app (DoorDash), we should only order from big chains that can most likely afford the exorbitant fees.

I love KFC from the Philippines and Malaysia, even China, but I've always said that the KFC here is subpar. I would have no idea if they changed their recipe in the last 12 months, but my last two KFC orders were unexpectedly delicious.

We both ordered KFC Famous Chicken Chicken Sandwich Ultimate Box Meal. I got the spicy version of the chicken sandwich while hubby got the regular one. I loved it! The buns are soft, the sauce was spicy, the chicken has a bit of crunch on the outside and juicy on the inside, and there are pickles to cut through the fat.

KFC Famous Chicken sandwich fillet drizzled with buttery garlic oil, three sweet pickles and double mayo.

I think there are more than three sweet pickle slices in my sandwich.

I chose poutine as a side while hubby had French fries. I also got the seasoned corn while he got macaroni salad. We both ordered Brisk Iced Tea, but got 7-Up instead, which is disappointing since we don't drink carbonated beverage.

Update: I got DoorDash Credits.
I ordered Brisk Iced Tea and received 7-Up. I sent a message to DoorDash informing them of the mistake. I wasn't expecting a lot of credits, at most, like $5.00 or something. However, I got $38.01 DoorDash credit in my account. I sent a chat to their customer support to make sure it's not a computation mistake. Below is the transcript.

Tarun r (4/15/2021, 3:20:23 PM): Hi! My name is Tarun. Give me a few seconds to pull up your account info
Me (4/15/2021, 3:20:28 PM): Thank you.
Tarun r (4/15/2021, 3:20:37 PM): Hi, thank you for contacting us! Glad that you chatted. I'll be more than happy to assist with your concern today, and apologies for any inconvenience!
Me (4/15/2021, 3:20:51 PM): I just got an email from DoorDash issuing a credit for $38.01
Me (4/15/2021, 3:21:18 PM): I don't mind getting the credit, but it seems too big
Me (4/15/2021, 3:21:39 PM): Our only "complain" was we got 7-Up instead of Iced Tea and we don't drink carbonated beverage
Me (4/15/2021, 3:21:50 PM): But I didn't expect to get such a big credit
Me (4/15/2021, 3:22:05 PM): Could you please check that the amount is correct?
Tarun r (4/15/2021, 3:22:44 PM): Yes, I can see here we have issued credits to your account in the amount of $38.01 for the inconvenience. These credits are available immediately and will automatically be applied towards your next order.
Me (4/15/2021, 3:23:04 PM): Yes, I see that and thank you. However, why is the amount so big?
Tarun r (4/15/2021, 3:24:30 PM): Our system decide that.
Tarun r (4/15/2021, 3:24:45 PM): If there's anything else I can help you with, please let me know.
Me (4/15/2021, 3:25:09 PM): No. I just want to make sure you, the Dasher, and the Merchant didn't get screwed over by a computation mistake
Tarun r (4/15/2021, 3:25:53 PM): Don't worry, Doordash will take care of it.
Me (4/15/2021, 3:26:43 PM): Okay. Sounds good. Thanks, Tarun!

KFC Poutine

For future me, this is what the KFC Famous Chicken Sandwich Ultimate Box Meal contains:
  • 1x Famous Chicken Sandwich Fillet drizzled with buttery garlic oil, three sweet pickles, and double mayo. (Regular or Spicy)
  • 1x Original Recipe Chicken Tender
  • 1x Individual Chicken Popcorn
  • 1x Individual Fries (you can upgrade to Mega Individual Siz Fries or Poutine)
  • 1x Individual Side (Choices are coleslaw, macaroni salad, potato salad, and seasoned corn)
  • 1x Regular Drink
  • 1x Chocolate Chip Cookie
  • 1x dip (Choices are buttermilk ranch dip, sweet n smokey BBQ dip, Carolina honey mustard dip, and southern plum dip)
Overall, it's a happy and extremely filling Thursday lunch. We're going for a walk after working hours to burn calories. Can't wait!

Saturday, April 10, 2021

Lunch from MASA Japanese Restaurant

Happy Saturday! ハッピーサタデー

It is a clear, sunny day in Vancouver. Hubby decided to take a jog around the Seawall while I run errands, and once I am done, we met up near Granville Island.

For lunch today, we have decided to order from MASA Japanese Restaurant. It's a small local business near South Granville (along West Broadway at Hemlock Street). It's on the second floor of the building, on top of the Circle K convenience store.

They offer an extensive Japanese food menu ranging from sushi, sashimi, teriyaki, Japanese curry, udon, and even ramen. I've tried different MASA dishes in the past (it's one of our go-to places for Japanese comfort food), and for today we have ordered mostly new things.

Our order from MASA Japanese Restaurant for today

If you know me by now, I almost always order the same dish from restaurants. Why take the chance of ordering a bad dish when I am sure that I'll enjoy the one I want? 😁 However, I am willing to try appetizers and desserts at random.

My usual order from MASA is the Assorted Katsu Curry. The varying texture from the tonkatsu, eby fry, and goroke make it the best curry available. The goroke is soft and sweet, while the tonkatsu is the complete opposite, while the Ebi fry is the perfect middle ground. I enjoy the dish more than I should.

Crispy Jumbo Dynamite Roll (Deep-fried jumbo prawn with a crunchy exterior and special spicy sauce)

I have been going through the "MASA Specials" section of the menu. I have tried the Knights of the Round Table and MASA Aburi Cheese Monster Roll. Today, I ordered the Crispy Jumbo Dynamite Roll. It's spicy compared to the first two we've tried! I love how the top was crunchy, the middle is creamy, and the bottom is soft rice. I can eat more of this!

Chicken Wings (Salt and pepper with sweet chilli sauce)

I am unsure what I expected when I ordered Chicken Wings from a Japanese restaurant, but this was just sad. It was dry and disappointing, to say the least. Please don't order it in the future.

Creamy Prawn (Prawn with cream cheese stuffed into deep-fried dumplings)

The Creamy Prawn is like a heart attack waiting to happen. It was so sinfully delicious. It's dumplings stuffed with prawns and cream cheese (YES, CREAM CHEESE), then it was deep-fried. My mind is still being blown by the dish.

Shio Ramen (Soy Sauce Flavoured Soup Base with Chashu and Egg)

The ramen was hubby's order, so it'll be unfair for me to describe it since I didn't try it.

Hubby looked at the receipt, and it seems like we're only their second take-out customer. I know many people are suffering from job and income loss because of the pandemic, but if you have the means, please support and order from your local restaurants (instead of the big chains that have a higher chance of survival).

Stay safe. Be kind. Be calm. Be patient.


Previous post on MASA Japanese Restaurant:

Sunday, April 4, 2021

Lunch from Suika

Finally! I haven't had my favourite Japanese curry from Suika since December of last year. I can't believe I survived the first quarter of 2021 without having a taste of that delicious dish.

We went to Suika today to order our usual dishes to-go since dine-in services are closed.

Signature Beef Curry with Tonkatsu

I can't believe how much I missed this dish. It's as good as I remember. I also ordered extra curry sauce on the side.

Double Tonkatsu Set (2 pieces of fried pork loin cutlet served with ground roasted sesame tonkatsu sauce, white rice, cabbage salad, and miso soup)

The Double Tonkatsu has become hubby's standard order, and he enjoyed that the tonkatsu sauce came mixed already. Yum!

Crispy Chicken Karaage (Deep fried chicken thigh served with Japanese salt and pepper)

Our usual side is their chicken. We didn't order desserts today and decided to grab a cake from Meinhardt during our weekly grocery run.

If you can, please support your local restaurants and small businesses. Stay safe, be kind, and be calm.