Staying home because of restrictions has given us the opportunity to try takeout more than we ever have in our lives. While we don’t want to conduct full reviews of these spots without having the in-restaurant experience, we thought we’d share our quick thoughts of some of the Nanaimo takeout and delivery options available for you. If you have any suggestions for us to try next, be sure to leave a comment below!
Big Wheel Burger
These guys arrived from Victoria (we think) sometime in the Fall. Plenty of people, including us, were really excited to try out their flame broiled burgers and fries which they say are made from local ingredients and served with minimal landfill waste. Cool.
All of the food was well cooked and tasty. The cheeseburger was flame-broiled and tasted like it came from your uncle’s barbeque. The veggie burger was crispy and had a bit of spicy kick, which we loved. The fries and poutine were also excellent – particularly the bare fries – though the poutine should have been hotter. You can read how the poutine compares to others in our poutine project. We really love this food and want to eat it again.
Don’t let Big Wheel’s claim of being fast food trick you. You need to order in advance and your food won’t be ready for at least 15 minutes.
The bigger issue is the price. This may be premium fast food, but the price is still high. We paid $36 for the food you see above – dinner for two. A basic cheeseburger combo is $14 before tax. That’s a big ask for a takeout burger joint in the middle of Harewood. Furthermore, there is a mandatory 12% tip added to all orders. This sticks in our craw a bit as all you can do is pick up your food at the counter. There isn’t really any service per se. Do you tip at McDonalds too?
We love this food and will order it again, but man do we need to grit our teeth when it’s time to swipe the old credit card, and that limits how often we’ll visit.
Flavours of India
There’s never been a restaurant people have recommended to us more. Joke’s on you guys – we’ve been many times already! It’s a small restaurant in a tough location (Franklyn Street) but it’s well suited for takeout and we’re pretty sure they sell a lot of food these days.
We love Indian food. Flavours of India has a lot of variety on their menu and no dish yet has disappointed on taste. When Flavours first opened, we were amazed at the value we received for our money. Now that we’re deep into Covid, the prices have increased a bit (no more free naan with entree, for example) but we still think the prices are attractive. The staff are also very courteous and sweet.
For some, the location will be a turnoff as it’s right close to a dilapidated downtown block with a lot of homeless folks camping in the area. For us, the only issue we routinely have is that the dishes all tend to be a bit soupy. See the fish curry picture above? Yeah, like that. This doesn’t detract from the taste, but it makes handling the dished a bit tricky and any spills will be disastrous.
Flavours of India is a great option for takeout if you don’t mind the neighbourhood. You’ll get great food at good prices. Definitely try the Chili Chicken.
Now here is something you don’t see every day. Korean-style fried chicken. Word of mouth has been FIRE for Nanda Chicken and we were really excited to try it for the second time.
This chicken is something incredibly special. On our first visit we tried the crispy chicken and were surprised to find it was actually skinless. That’s fine with us as we don’t want to get too fat eating food like this. This chicken was generously coated with a lightly-flavoured batter and was delightfully juicy. On our second visit we tried the yangneom-style chicken. This is the same crispy fried chicken, but soaked in a Korean sweet chili sauce. THIS CHICKEN IS A REVELATION. You know those boneless chicken bites Pizza Hut sells – the ones you’ve guiltily eaten an entire order of because they’re so good? They’re those, but cranked up to maximum flavour.
The wedges were forgettable. That’s really it.
Taste alone would be enough for us to come back to Nanda, but we’re happy to report that service and price are perfectly good too. The meal you see above was $35, including a small tip at pickup. This makes Nanda Chicken an unique and exciting addition to downtown eating and one of our top choices for takeout starting now!