Africola’s tea sandwich and peri peri chicken will be available to order on Uber Eats from next week, in response to the coronavirus crisis. The African-ish restaurant and its east-end neighbour Golden Boy have both launched takeaway menus, which will be available for pick-up from tonight. They're the latest Adelaide venues to pivot to takeaway service, as more people begin practising social distancing.
Africola’s executive chef Duncan Welgemoed says he hasn’t seen the sharp downturn other restaurants have just yet. “It’s a bit hard to gauge, historically, because it’s post-Fringe,” he tells Broadsheet. “We’re back to our normal booking numbers, from the same time last year. So I don’t know. But we always have a five-week plan – that’s how we’ve always survived and done well. And our five-week plan currently is … ‘holy fucking shit’.
“I’ve got mates in France who had to dump their produce on the tables outside and shut their doors … I’ve got friends in New York who had to let off all of their staff. The better restaurants [here] are 50 per cent down. So it’s pretty fucked up.
“At the moment, what we will do is make sure all my staff are employed, everyone’s getting paid, my suppliers are paid.”
As more and more diners begin staying home, Welgemoed says customers have been sliding into his DMs asking for deliveries of the venue’s now-iconic tea sandwich – crisp roasted chicken skin, flat-leaf parsley and chilli-spiked mayo between crustless white bread, served with a side of hot drippings from the peri peri chook.
“If our bookings are going to drop, and we’ve got the time to do it, fuck it, let’s give the people what they want,” he says.
“If we can get a bigger reach to sustain the people who can’t come to Africola, or even for the people who have never been to Africola … And the same thing with Golden Boy. People have been hitting up [co-owner] Sondra [Deering] asking how they get the food now.”
Golden Boy’s extensive takeaway menu includes its popular Kampot pepper fried chicken; pad thai; green, yellow, jungle and massaman curries; barbequed chicken; chicken salad with coconut sambal; and more. “These dishes are the greatest hits of our menus,” says Welgemoed. “And everything is designed for takeaway.”
Beyond the tea sanga, you can also get Africola’s slow-roasted eggplant with confit garlic and flatbread; golden dal with spiced butter and fried chickpeas; falafel with tahini and pickles; kofte with dill pickle and yoghurt; and a menu throwback – boerewors, a traditional South African spiral sausage that’s served with sheba (a relish-like tomato sauce). Plus there are white bean, fattoush and beetroot salads.
Both takeaway menus are available to pick-up in-store from today – between 2pm and 5pm at Africola and 6pm and 9pm at Golden Boy. And unlike Uber Eats orders, all your money will stay with the restaurant.
For those who still want to dine out, both venues have reduced capacity so diners can sit farther apart.
“Instead of buying ready meals, buy slow food with the best ingredients and start stocking up your freezer [with food] from restaurants,” says Welgemoed. “You’ll be helping an entire industry.”
Covid-19 (coronavirus) means we’re living in unprecedented and uncertain times. Mass public gatherings are banned and minimal social contact is recommended. If you have concerns about visiting businesses or public spaces, or questions about self-isolation or coronavirus testing, check out the latest updates from SA Health.