Foreigners who live in Bangkok are often quite lazy. Thailand is incredibly hot, and Bangkok has some of the worst traffic in the world so, some nights, you really don’t feel like schlepping out and going downtown to get dinner. So, I was excited a few months ago, to find out there is a service called Food by Phone. They deliver food all over Bangkok from almost 100 restaurants, and they cover every taste from Thai food to Indian, Western food to ice cream. Food by Phone has it all.
One night last year, it was hot, raining and a Friday night. A combination you don’t even want to mess with when it comes to dealing with Bangkok traffic. So, I decided tonight was the night to order from Food by Phone. A friend was over at my apartment visiting and he had also had a long day, so food by delivery seemed like manna from heaven.
We went online and checked out their website and were surprised at the vast choice. Some of my favorite restaurants were listed there and, all without the hassle of actually going there.
It took us a while to choose as we couldn’t decide between Western food and ethnic food but finally made our choices. I decided on British food from The Bull’s Head pub, and chose Chilli Con Carne and Sticky Toffee Pudding for dessert. At 375 baht for both (around $11) plus about a $2 delivery charge, I thought it was a great deal.
My friend chose food from The Dubliner, an Irish pub just across the street from The Bull’s Head. He ordered Chipolates wrapped in bacon (little sausages) for an appetizer (which he shared with me!) and Braised Shank of Lamb with potatoes. Dessert was Chocolate Sponge and Custard. The total for his order was 1,085 baht (around $33).
Now, I’ve always thought The Dubliner was overpriced and the food not great, but his choice and not mine. Besides, the cost was not the fault of Food by Phone – they just deliver what the restaurants make and charge the costs the restaurants charge.
There are three delivery zones for Food by Phone. Downtown, you only pay a delivery charge of 60 baht ($1.85) per restaurant. The second zone, which covers most of the rest of Bangkok proper is 80 baht (about $2.50). I live in the third zone, so our delivery cost was 100 baht per restaurant ($3.15) but I would have spent more than that going downtown to eat with a lot more hassle, so the charge is cheap as far as I’m concerned.
The food does take a while to arrive because they have to order it, pick it up and then deal with Bangkok traffic to get it to you. But, they are on motorbikes, so it’s a lot faster than for most of the rest of us. When it arrived, about an hour and fifteen minutes after we ordered it, it was delivered by a polite, smiling delivery guy. The food was warm, but a quick warm up in the microwave got it to the hot temperature I love, and it was lovely. We ate it with a couple of beers and a cup of coffee, and it really was the perfect meal.
Food by Phone is a wonderful service. When you order, you create an account online and they keep your past orders on file. So, if you want to reorder what you’ve ordered before, it’s a quick click of the mouse and you’re done.
Food by Phone also offers a VIP membership. For only 1,295 baht (about $35), you get 12 free deliveries (a great deal if you’re outside Zone 1), as well as 12 100 baht vouchers to be used with your next 12 orders. You also get 30% off your first three orders, and then 10% off every order you order in a month, once you’ve ordered more than five times. With the VIP membership, you quickly make up the money you spent on it, and then some.
Food by Phone delivers food from Bangkok restaurants such as Bourbon Street, Great American Rib, The Black Swan, Imperial China, Planet Bollywood, Indian Hut, Finnegans, Tawaraya, Out of Africa, Caf Swiss, Cabbages and Condoms, Tasty Thai, Uncle Ho and loads more.
They also offer a mini mart service, where you can order basic products at the same time as your food. Here you can get cigarettes, beer, DVD’s, magazines, flowers, coffee, ice cream, bread, telephone cards, fruit juices, cooking oil, bug spray, Tylenol, shampoo, even condoms. All of the mini mart items are also delivered to you at no extra charge.
Food by Phone is an amazing service. I just signed up for their VIP membership as I know I’m going to be using this service a lot. It’s staffed byfriendly people, the food they deliver is delicious, and the time frame they get it to you in is great, especially in traffic-jammed Bangkok. They also guarantee delivery under an hour within most sections of Bangkok.
You can reach Food by Phone at 02-663-4663 or on their website at Food By Phone.