Thursday 29 September 2016

The review - JoBurger via Deliveroo: As good as if we'd eaten in the restaurant? Not far off

JoBurger via Deliveroo, 137 Rathmines Road Lower, Dublin 6. (01) 4913731 / deliveroo.ie

Published 04/09/2016 | 02:30

Deliveroo
Deliveroo

To be clear from the outset, I did not visit the JoBurger restaurant in Rathmines on this occasion, but ordered from it via Deliveroo. The scoring for food and value is based on my experience of the food as delivered, and the score for ambience is a 10 because I ate at home with my family and the chat and company were both excellent. (I have visited the three JoBurger restaurants on numerous occasions and they too are convivial places.)

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For those living outside Dublin, Cork, Limerick, Galway and Belfast, where the service operates, a quick explanation. Deliveroo is an online and app-based food delivery service, to which over 200 Irish restaurants have signed up. The company has created over 400 jobs in Ireland and is successful - although its employment practices, which involve its riders working on a per-delivery commission-only basis with no hourly wage, are controversial.

In essence, Deliveroo takes on the delivery function for restaurants, so that the number of eating establishments from which it is now possible to order has increased exponentially. In my area of Dublin, at the time of writing, there are 69 restaurants ready, willing and able to send over my lunch within the next hour.

In logistical terms, it works like this: the customer places an order with Deliveroo, this is communicated to the restaurant, the restaurant accepts the order and Deliveroo advises the customer when the order will arrive. The restaurant lets Deliveroo know when the food will be ready for collection and Deliveroo assigns the job of collection and delivery to one of its riders. Any delays to the advised delivery time are communicated by text to the customer.

This all sounds relatively straightforward, and indeed it is, although I have had less satisfactory experiences with Deliveroo in the past, when weather and traffic have caused delays in the delivery time, the packaging has leaked and the food that has arrived has suffered as a result. Last night, though, the Deliveroo service worked perfectly, the packaging was the best we'd seen - robust and stylish - and the food that arrived was hot. As good as if we had eaten in the restaurant? Well, perhaps not quite, but not far off.

Joe Macken's JoBurger is one of the longest-established players in the crowded Dublin burger scene and it's a testament to how well it does what it does that it continues to thrive.

The way that the menu is configured, there are a dozen or more different types of burger on offer and each of these can be ordered in either 28-day-aged Charolais beef, Lough Erne lamb, char-grilled chicken, fish or one of two different vegetarian forms. And you can choose whether you want your burger served on a Breton bun, in a tortilla wrap or nude with extra leaves.

Having written that, I'm embarrassed to say that each of the four of us ordered a beef burger on a bun and two of those were the same, which means that I need to go back to reviewing school - the only excuse that I can offer is that I let a family member take charge of the order in an attempt to limit my controlling tendencies, and that was clearly a mistake. (By way of mitigation, I have eaten the lamb and fish versions before and they have been just as good as the beef.)

Anyway, the burgers are enormous - the kind that it's hard to get your hands around, let alone your mouth - flavoursome and juicy, and they ooze generously with whatever toppings you've chosen.

The Moroka comes with bacon, brie and a tomatoey relish, while the Dobson has maasdam cheese, rocket and relish. My Molestane featured a terrific spicy peanut, chilli and coriander sauce that had more than a decent kick to it. We liked both the bush and sweet potato fries (the latter count as a health food now, right?) and the beer-battered onion rings, but the ruby coleslaw was too sweet, as were the house-made pickles.

The broccoli salad that we put on the order as an experiment underwhelmed - it was monotone, lacking crunch or texture, and badly in need of some citrus or vinegar to perk it up.

The next time I order from JoBurger, I'll stick to the burgers and try to remember that one portion of fries between two is enough. Our bill for four on this occasion came to €93.30 including the €2.50 delivery charge and a €5 tip for the rider. We ordered way too much food; it would be possible, and indeed prudent, to spend less.

The rating

7/10 food

10/10 ambience

9/10 value for money

26/30

ON A BUDGET

At lunchtime during the week, a Pure burger with either fries or lemonade is €10 eaten on the premises. Delivered by Deliveroo, two Pure burgers with a shared portion of fries will cost €25.30 plus a tip for the rider.

ON A BLOW-OUT

Ikqezi burgers (with caramelised chilli banana, bacon and goat’s cheese) and sweet potato fries for two, with pickles and a shared order of coleslaw, would come to €44.40, including the

€2.50 Deliveroo delivery charge, but excluding a tip.

THE HIGH POINT

Simply excellent burgers.

THE LOW POINT

The broccoli salad.

Whispers from the gastronomicon

On Wednesday, September 28, Rob Krawczyk is putting on a special Tuscan menu at Tankardstown House near Slane, Co Meath. Each of the five courses will be matched with different wines from the family owned Castello Banfi winery, voted best winery in Italy 11 times since 1994. Their flagship wine — the 2010 Brunello de Montalcino, awarded 92 points by Robert Parker and Wine Spectator — will feature. Dinner including wines is €65 per person with packages available for those who wish to stay over. Bookings: 041 9824621

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