The necessary leap of faith for the beloved takeaway | Jack Marshall's column

The takeaway is special. A treat, an indulgence. By its very nature, the takeaway can’t happen every day because of the inherent risk of a thin bank account and a thick waistline. The takeaway is an extravagance.

Monday, 23rd August 2021, 4:55 am
The beloved takeaway

Therefore, the takeaway necessitates a checklist. 1) Do you fancy the takeaway? Yes, yes you do. 2) Is it a sufficiently special occasion to justify the takeaway, i.e: a Friday or a Saturday after pints? And 3) Can you afford it? (You’ll find a way.)

Then comes the decision. Pizza, Indian, Chinese, kebab. Don’t come at me with your burgers; you can make a better burger at home. And while you could argue the same re. pizzas, the effort required is high. And I swear there’s something addictive in Domino’s.

We all have our takeaways. The go-tos. Takeaways whose name you don’t even have to say for people to know which takeaway you’re on about. *The* takeaways.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

And moving away from *the* takeaways is an extremely hard and risky thing. Hard because of the inherent risk - the dreaded risk - of a disappointing takeaway, which truly is one of the most heartbreaking occurrences in an adult’s life.

You’re psyched up for the takeaway. You’ve come to peace with the additional calories and the extra cost when you already have food in the house. You’ve stuck the mental gymnastics routine to justify the order. And then your sweet and sour chicken balls are fatty.

This is why straying from *the* takeaways is dangerous. It’s why moving to a new home means tentatively scoping out the local late-night eateries to get a feel for the lay of the culinary land.

Your old Indian did a banging bhuna, the salt and pepper chips at your old Chinese were good with curry sauce, and your kebab place didn’t skimp on the chicken tikka if you clicked the ‘no salad’ option. These are all now terrifying unknowns.

A leap of faith is necessary. Ten months into living in my new place, this leap has been made and normality reigns again. But, recently, I had to make another leap of faith. I had to order from somewhere new because the trusty local didn’t deliver to a friend’s place.

The stakes were high. And you know what? It was better. Which is worse than the takeaway being inferior to my go-to. Because now there are doubts. Did I choose badly? Did I settle? Are there better options out there?

Such is the peril of the otherwise-wondrous takeaway. And it’s a risk I’m bravely willing to take.