Posted by Jiggy Gaton | Edit Post
I like to eat - even more than I like ordering stuff online. So when I found Foodmandu.com, I was really excited and really hungry for it. Always the thought of going outside my hut and into the streets of Jhamel to forage amongst dozens of new restaurants seems insurmountable. After all, I just want to eat, and not be part of a social show.
So finding an online ordering system right at my fingertips, with me dressed in a bathrobe, seemed like pure heaven – especially over the holidays when didi is off, and food in the house is in meager supply. (How long can one survive on peanut butter & crackers I wonder?).
So over the course of several months, I’ve used Foodmandu.com many times, with varied results.
The website itself is exceptional. Easy to use and to find meals that look yummy. There are lots of instructions in the sidebars, not that I ever read them, and you won’t need to either. It’s really straightforward – you search for a restaurant, view the menu, and if you like something offered, click “Add.” Your shopping cart totals up the damage, and when you are ready to order, it’s just a matter of telling Foodmandu where you live and what your phone number is.
Moments after completing the order and after receiving an instant email confirmation, someone from Foodmandu rings you up to confirm your order again. It’s a simple and effective system that has worked for us a dozen times now.
However, it’s what happens next that has left me scratching my head and hungry on several occasions. Like the time we ordered two burgers from Mike’s Breakfast, one with cheese, lettuce and tomato and the other with bacon lettuce and tomato. There was even a comment box on the site where I specified: well done please, with extra ketchup.
But what arrived had my wife bursting with laughter as I peeled back my bun to find a slice of cheese and tomato, with a bit of lettuce but no meat. She was rolling in yuks until she discovered that her burger was filled with bacon bits, tomato, and a bit of lettuce – and no meat either.
A call to Foodmandu and Mike’s resulted in proper burgers being delivered free of charge, albeit the next day. This user experience is not one that Mike, God rest his soul, could have imagined. But never the less, the food from Mike’s is super, no matter how you go about getting it, online or otherwise. However, that can’t be said for many of the other restaurants listed on Foodmandu. Now to be honest, I don’t know if food ordered online is worse than the food in situ for some of the restaurants we tried (perhaps being packed in tin foil and cheap cardboard taints the flavor) but with Mike’s being the exception, even our dog would refuse to eat what was sometimes delivered. And he usually eats anything.
I won’t name names (to be frank, I can’t remember most) but meals costing over Nrs. 1000 were often worse than what could have been had at the corner momo shop. Not to belittle my corner momo shop, as it’s great at what it does, but Samir’s Quality MoMo is not one of the 69 foo-foo restaurants currently listed on Foodmandu.
Fair criticism for this website is that they need to do a bit of quality control regarding the selection of restaurants. There is a rating system on the site (most all blank) and a user review section that does not seem to work. If there were more ratings and some reviews, we could decide for ourselves which restaurant would be a good bet – as all the pictures provided on the site, albeit small, make all the dishes look edible and ever so appealing.
So just like Harilo.com for ordering goods from abroad, Foodmandu.com has it’s quirks when it comes to delivering. I give Foodmandu high marks for service and delivery (heck, it’s almost free and always fast) and lower marks for final execution, i.e. the meals that actually get delivered. But at least they have Mike’s Breakfast online, and if they got Lazy Gringo from Jawalakhel on board, I would be in ordering heaven for most any occasion.
Who the heck is he?
- Jiggy Gaton
- lives in Kathmandu and is an aging technologist - has been since the days of Woodstock - so in the words of Roland The Gunslinger "he is from a world now gone by." However, Jigs is extremely up-to-date on all things tech and is also available for hire.