Sunday 9 February 2014

Chinese New Year Celebrations with hungryhouse

Cooking for 7 or 8 every night can be hard work, so I very much look forward to take away night. When hungryhouse offered to provide us with a Chinese New Year Celebration evening I wasn't going to turn that down!

We couldn't take part actually on Chinese New Year because 3 of our family would be out, so we decided to celebrate the following Saturday when everyone would be there. We're used to that, we have Christmas dinner on Christmas Eve every year.

Our celebration wasn't only about food - we were also sent a party pack and vouchers to cover entertainment.

We all like movies, but couldn't agree. We could only think of Kung Fu Panda and Mah Jong to 'play'. The big kids didn't want Kung Fu Panda and Mah Jong is beyond the little children. Someone mentioned Sushi and everyone got excited. Now, clearly Sushi is Japanese, but they all wanted it to be part of our day, so I let it pass on the grounds that it would be a properly fun thing to try and there are still parts of Japan following the Chinese calendar, so in Okinawa for example, Chinese New Year is celebrated rather than 1st Jan (tenuous I know).

We bought all the goodies we needed and had lots of fun through the day.

Making Chinese dragons and playing with the fans....

Decorating Treasure Boxes.....

And filling them with real treasure....

 .....and everyone had a go at making sushi!

We made cakes which we coloured red and finished off  with special Chinese Year Of The Horse cake toppers.

Because I wasn't making tea, it was lovely to spend the time in the kitchen doing fun stuff instead!

Then it was time to order....and it went a bit wrong. We started trying to order at 5.10pm and the hungryhouse website broke...

And then it really broke....

And at 6.30pm I had to give in. I fed us with something quick from the freezer.

I live with an I.T. guy, I know it's a nightmare when the website breaks, in fact my partner had spent most of Saturday at work instead of at home because HIS website had broken. We have a lot of sympathy for situations like this, and a quick look at the Facebook or Twitter feeds and it was very clear that this isn't something that we could see has ever happened before. 

On Sunday people had to go out at 6pm, but luckily hungryhouse listed a Chinese take away that opened at 4.30pm. The website was fixed, I was able to pre-order our meal early in the day and at 4.35pm I got an email to say my order had been received and would be with us at 5.20pm.

At exactly 5.20pm....

It went down a treat and was a lovely meal....hurrah!

After dinner, dessert - Fortune Cookies for everyone!

We were given £25 towards our food. We only had one suitable Chinese take away, it was a little expensive for meals, cheaper for sides, so the bill came to £50.50 for 8 of us, which is standard with all our teenagers and everyone wanting something different!

Bad points
50p surcharge for Credit/Debit cards
If the website breaks then it all goes wrong.
You have to trust that they've actually got your order, it feels strange not talking to someone live.
Your favourite take away might not be listed

Good points
Pre-ordering for a specific time
Paying by card, you don't need to have cash in the house
You can see everything really easily, what's included with your dish, what you need to add on
You can leave specific instructions - eg. Vegetarian, no tomatoes etc
Nothing should be missed off, you check your order
Everything is written down
The hungryhouse website will split your order if there are a group ordering together, so that you only pay your own bill but all the food comes together. I think this is brilliant and I'd have used it many times.
You might discover a real gem that you'd never have tried.
You can leave instructions if your house is awkward to find, and the take away can refer back to them instead of trying to remember what you said!
You can compare location, menu, reviews, prices and opening hours really quickly.
There isn't a fight over who rings up!

I will definitely use the hungryhouse website again because it is so easy and simple. The second time everything worked perfectly, I ordered in 5 minutes and it was lovely to be able to add notes to the order, and not be flustered on the phone trying to remember to mention someone doesn't want carrots....*sigh*

Disclaimer - I had told my son early on Saturday morning that he was "allowed to stay in your pyjamas because it is the weekend". Because he's literal, he then wore them all weekend. He has now been bathed and changed and is asleep in fresh pyjamas. 


  1. So glad you got your chinese feast in the end! The sushi looked fab!

    1. Thank you hon! We were really pleased with it - everyone ate some!

  2. looks like great fun, and yes my boy loves to be in PJ's all weekend! ( I make him wash with real soap!)

    1. Thank goodness it wasn't just mine! I kept saying 'everyone will see the pictures', he didn't care :D

  3. It's a great idea. Just a shame that technology sometimes doesn't work. Glad you got your dinner in the end.

  4. glad you got it in the end! I need to have a look for chinese takeaways near us. I really fancy it but never manage to find a good one

    1. I was impressed, we found a good one - it's so disappointing if you don't

  5. Looks like you had a fun day, (well except when the site was down), and I love all the crafts that were made. Glad your meal was enjoyed in the end, even if it was a day late!

  6. So glad you got fed in the end. Not a company I've heard of, but I like the idea of ordering for a specific time, splitting the bill etc. Would be ideal for my monthly get together with the girls over a curry.

    1. Oooh, I could fancy a monthly night off and a curry....what an excellent idea! :D

  7. This looked like a really fun night, and I'm glad you got your food eventually!

    1. It was great fun - even if we ended up splitting it into 2 in the end :D

  8. What a shame it broke on Saturday! Glad you got around to having your takeaway though! Sounds like a good website (when it is working!)

    1. It is! The second time was really quick and easy and I loved all the additional detail :D

  9. You did get your foid in the end then? So pleased. Love the dragons you made.

    1. Ohh yes. It was lovely too. The dragon was my youngest son's - he's very proud of it :)

  10. We've never used the site, but would if we were ever in the situation to. The one chinese in our village doesn't deliver, so unsure if it would work for us

    1. That's a shame, but hopefully someone else will. I fond some places I didn't know existed on their lists!

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