Food-delivery services aren’t new. It’s been possible to get pizza delivered forever, and Foodora, Deliveroo and UberEats have lately made a wider range of delivery options from restaurants possible, too.
The latest newcomer is Endulj (the name could use work, we know). It preps, cooks and delivers your order all from its Windsor kitchen – it doesn’t rely on any third parties. It’s not a restaurant, so you can’t dine in. And it’s partnered with some of Melbourne’s best restaurants, so you can order Tokyo Tina’s Wagyu-beef tataki, Lee Ho Fook’s white-cut chicken, and Pei Modern’s flourless chocolate cake all in one hit.
“A lot of these restaurants, especially higher-end ones, find it hard to cope with the extra pressure that comes with takeaway and delivery – it really interferes with the sequence of service,” says Endulj’s executive chef, Matt Germanchis. “I approached a few chef friends of mine and said, ‘Let me do your meals for you. I can recreate your dishes’.”
Germanchis is no slouch. His long career started with an apprenticeship with the Grossi Group, and includes long periods working at MoVida and The Fat Duck – notably as development chef at Heston Blumenthal’s Michelin-starred pub, The Hinds Head. Most recently he’s been at Pei Modern with Mark Best. He’s still at Pei, but came across to Endulj with sommelier Ainslie Lubbock (also ex-Attica; Royal Mail Hotel), who manages the delivery service’s wine list.
Both Germanchis and Lubbock’s pedigrees are why chefs such as Victor Liong (Lee Ho Fook), Frank Camorra (MoVida), Mirco Speri (Thirty Eight Chairs), Adrian Li (Saigon Sally and Tokyo Tina) and Best trust Germanchis with their recipes.
Not all dishes from each venue are available – even if MoVida’s famous anchovy-and-tomato sorbet could travel, that one would remain a closely guarded secret – and it’s still up to Germanchis to put together a menu that works as a whole.
But there’s a decent range from each restaurant, and it’s broken up into snacks, starters, mains, sides, dessert (which includes a cheese selection from Maker & Monger) and a kids menu, plus booze.
“It’s a challenge, cooking multiple cuisines with multiple flavour profiles from the one kitchen, while maintaining the essence of each restaurant,” says Germanchis. “But we really wanted to do something different, and being able to essentially order different cuisines from different restaurants in one hit – that’s the beauty of it.”