Saturday, 15 November 2008

ASAP review - London cheap takeaway food


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Food doesn't come cheap when you work in the City. A decent lunch with drinks can cost up to £10-£15 pp. So unless you're an investment banker, a hotshot lawyer or holds the company's credit card, you'll bound to have the occasional takeout sandwich from Pret, E.A.T. or some dubious corner café. At £2-£3 per serving, it's defnitely more affordable.

However, that might have changed for those who work in the vicinity of Liverpool Street Station. I chanced upon ASAP, which opens up a branch at 'The Circle', a two minute skip from Liverpool Street Station. You would have thought that 'ASAP' refers to the fact that you'll be able to get your food asap. Well, you're right and wrong in that aspect.

ASAP is indeed a fast food outlet. With limited seating (40 or so), most patrons buy takeaways. While I was there having my lunch, two things became apparent - the queue is always long and it's always moving fast. The Thai dominated shop assistants were able to serve a customer with an average time of under three minutes (queue time included). Very fast indeed. The name however, is the Malay word to describe fragrant steam from enticing food.

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The procedure is simple; just grab a transparent plastic container, write your name on the lid and pass the entire container to the staff. Your order will then be packed and shoved into the microwave while you fumble with your change. Viola, you walk out of the shop a couple of minutes later a satisfied customer.

The cuisine is distinctively south east Asian or more precisely Straits Chinese. The main dishes included ginger chicken, pork with poached eggs, fried noodles and rice, beef doused in pepper gravy (just to name a few). A dish, which is invariable a meat, served with steamed rice will set you back by £5.50. It taste pretty good really, in fact it's almost as good as my Mum's cooking.

No more cold sandwiches, no more lunches that will burn a hole in your pocket. Why not pop by ASAP the next time you're near Liverpool Street Station?

Address: 31 The Circle, Broadgate, London EC2
Tel: 0207 256 5045
Nearest Tube station: Liverpool Street

Ratings (out of 5 *)
Price: below £10 pp
Taste: ***
Service: **
Ambience: **
Suitable for: a working lunch

Asap on Urbanspoon

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