Sunday 19 November 2017

Revealed: The takeaway dish knocking the spice bag off top spot

Chef Thang prepares a meal at the Ly Garden Chinese takeaway in Tallaght. Photo: Arthur Carron
Chef Thang prepares a meal at the Ly Garden Chinese takeaway in Tallaght. Photo: Arthur Carron
Kirsty Blake Knox

Kirsty Blake Knox

Just one year ago the spice bag was king.

There were internet listicles rating the country's top 10 spice bags, instructions on how to make a 'healthy' version, and spice bag-flavoured cocktails.

But it seems we have grown weary of the chicken, chips and chilli combo and are now hankering after the tomato-gravy richness of tikka masala.

The creamy curry dish has deposed the legendary spice bag as the nation's favourite takeaway dish, according to orders on food website Just Eat.

Read more: Ireland’s Best Takeaways revealed: Has your favourite made the cut?

But the owner of Ly Garden Chinese in Tallaght in Dublin - which last night won Just Eat best takeaway award as voted by the public - said he didn't believe the spice bag was waning in popularity.

"It can't be true. That's what people want on a Saturday night - a spice bag and 'The X Factor'," said Luong Lee.

However, the director of The Bombay Pantry in Fairview, Emma Sheahan, said tikka masala had always been a firm favourite with Irish takeaway fans.

This year, Bombay Pantry Fairview was named Ireland's Best Indian Takeaway and Emma said its tikka masala had been the kitchen's best-selling dish for 20 years.

"Tikka masala is part of our psyche - for many it is the quintessential Indian dish," she said. "People are getting a little more adventurous when it comes to spice and I wouldn't be surprised if the jalfrezi becomes as popular in the next few years." Fish and chips is the third most popular dish, pepperoni pizza came in fourth - while Mexican burritos sat at number five.

Burger joint Bunsen on Dublin's Wexford Street picked up the award for Best Takeaway American.

First-time entry Wagamama, which has four outlets in Ireland, won the Best Takeaway Japanese.

But it's not all calorie-laden grub as clean eaters have led to a dramatic increase in the number of salad takeaways.

Chopped, the Dublin salad bar chain, was voted the best healthy takeaway.

Chopped founder Brian Lee dismissed claims recently that healthy eating was a "fad". "How can looking after yourself be a fad?" he said. "People eating good food and looking after their body, that's just people getting smarter in my eyes."

The organisers of the Just Eat Awards believe salads have increased in popularity as health-conscious office workers try to opt for healthier 'al desko' dishes.

The full list of winners can be found here

Irish Independent

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