Zones 1-3 Delivery

Being ethical isn’t easy. I know we are meant to lie and say that it is: skipping through a field of native deciduous woodland picking violets for our home infusions, wearing cotton weaved from reclaimed sea kelp. But it’s expensive, arduous and at times unrewarding.

So why do we do it? Well, if you like me have a flickering flame of panic constantly burning inside you about the fate of the world we inhabit, then that’s why. To dose that winking bushfire of doubt.

Thankfully there are plenty of clever and caring people, posed to take your money… I mean worry…. solving each specific problem for you. First, they came for your toothbrush (yay bamboo), then your drug habit (boo cocaine), and now friends, they’ve come for your takeaway.

Yes, even the humble takeaway isn’t safe, and it makes sense when you think about it. The orgy of polystyrene, layers of plastic and bags on bags. The underpaid and under-supported delivery driver peddling furiously in the rain so you can pick at a half-warm curry and relegate it to the fridge after four mouthfuls. Hardly Shangri-la for the planet, is it?

Enter DaddaDrop, or should I say expand Daddadrop. Birthed in Hackney in 2018 their closed loop (and they really mean that, no greenwashing here) meant a slow spread across the capital. The densely populated zones 1-3 are now available, after an impressive 1000+ on the waiting list for their very own Dabbadrop-drop.

It is an anti-takeaway in so many ways. Almost halfway between a Gusto or HelloFresh box, and a standard chippy or Chinese from Deliveroo. The concept is kind, considerate, and convoluted.

Here’s the low down. A cyclist drops off the steel tiffin tins (Dabbas) at your home anytime between 10-6. Helpful if you work from home, as I would imagine many of the fans of this concept do. It is cold, wrapped in a fetching green scarf, and shoved in the fridge until you want your din dins. The tower of little silver compartments does play havoc with the ridiculous bachelor pad fridges off many zone one apartments but that’s a personal gripe.

The lead-up to this drop invites a flurry of emails so regular that it’s like the start of a relationship, I feel I know the PR team personally. Again the opposite of the faceless silence expected from restaurants on the more standard CBA-to-cook route.

A selection of vegan curries, that change weekly, some of which come from co-founders Anshu Abuja’s family recipes in Mumbai. Starting at £30 for two, the overall price is a little more than a standard Indian takeaway but not much more if you’re splashing out on a specific favorite restaurant.

We sampled the Dabbadrop dinner, two rather stiff potato and black chickpea samosas, and a chutney selection to die for (ginger jam, mango and pineapple, Tamarind, WHAT?). Within the steel stack, there is a compartment of rice, a bland tofu curry and a fluffy cuddly chickpea Dal, a highlight. This is what you get for £40.

Then on their next rotation, the jovial driver picks up the tiffin boxes everyone feels that little smidgen lighter, knowing that we have not spat in mother nature’s eye.

Now don’t get me wrong, cynicism is most likely what’s going to drive us to extinction and hopefully, I won’t be held up as a prime example. The concept is innovative, flowing from the lunchtime practice in the Indian sub-continent of dabba delivery services. The other part of the duo, Renee Williams’s experience with events and design in the restaurant world means that the branding, colours and ethos are well explained to the consumer. The range of curries from Kerala to Pakistan and the promised expansion into other cuisines is exciting and everything about this feels new and spanking fresh. The fact this vegan offering is also zero waste will tick many boxes, and rightfully so.

But like I mentioned before this is the opposite of everything you want from a takeaway. Ease, choice, and lack of effort come at the price of the planet. This is arduous, limiting (due to the small menu) and you must do the washing up yourself. But who said going green was easy? If Anshu and Renee can work on improving the quality and quantity of the food, then I can see the concept capturing the heart of the capital, as it has mine. It’s not easy, but maybe that’s what makes it right.

Order you next light-treading evening today, click here!