Zing Zing Manifesto – THE CHINESE FOOD REVOLUTION

It is our aim to create the best Chinese takeaway in the world.

Ironically the way to do this is by acting nothing like a regular Chinese takeaway.
This is because the industry has been heading down the wrong road for a number of decades. Low quality ingredients are rife, chemical additives are the core elements of most recipes (stir-fried MSG stew, anyone?) and customer service is pretty much non-existent. The worst thing is that, as consumers, not only do we tolerate this from the Chinese takeaway industry, we pretty much expect it.

However, despite these awfully low standards, Chinese food has taken the UK by storm. The dishes have become household names and we have all come to love the unique taste of oriental flavours. Chinese food has essentially become, well… British.

It’s time to shake things up. Our philosophy is simple. We believe that your favourite Chinese dishes (and a number of our own creations) should be made with care. By this we mean using the freshest possible ingredients, no added chemicals, great customer service and doing everything we can to make sure your food arrives piping hot and on time. We’re even trying to convince our delivery drivers to serenade you when they deliver the food. No luck yet…

Zing Zing is here to make some serious changes for the good to the Chinese takeaway experience. It’s time to join the revolution.

This is the Zing Zing manifesto:

The Food: QUALITY. QUALITY. QUALITY

We’ve decided to do something radical in the Chinese take away industry; produce good quality food. All our dishes are cooked to order with fresh and quality ingredients.

You will still find versions of the most popular Chinese dishes on our menu, but we have upgraded the content and made some noticeable improvements.  For example, you will find chunks of real beef in our Crispy Shredded Beef (not just batter) and a generous portion of fresh tiger prawns in our Chunky Prawn Toast (rather than a thin spread of chicken or prawn paste).

We have also been working away in the lab (basement) to create some innovative new recipes that are proving very popular indeed. Particularly recommended are the Sesame Glazed Chicken and the Nutella & Banana Spring Rolls. You may even find a sneaky Pan-Asian dish on our menu. This is Chinese takeaway food as you’ve never had it before (unless you’ve ordered from us previously).

The Chef: CAPTAIN PANGTASTIC

Meet Jeremy Pang. Jeremy is best described as a Chinese food home-cook crusader. He’s so passionate about teaching people how to cook Chinese food, he has dedicated his time and career to the ‘School of Wok’, where he spends his time…well…teaching people how to cook Chinese food. One of his major philosophies is that wok cooked dishes are made best with good quality ingredients and no added chemicals (well…duh), and he has put together our menu accordingly. Now Jeremy and his team of pixies are dedicated to producing his delicious, natural recipes on a daily basis for you.

He is the almighty leader of the Chinese takeaway revolution. We are not worthy.

Chemicals: MSG – NOT FOR ME!

We’ve all had it. That horrendous feeling for hours after you’ve tucked into a bog standard black bean mess with egg fried rubbish. At Zing Zing, we like to call it ‘The MSG Hangover’. Unfortunately, the entire Chinese takeaway industry has become addicted to stuffing products with chemicals and preservatives. These ‘flavour enhancers’ are simply a cheap way to pass off awful ingredients as semi-tasty food. Ever had unnaturally soft beef from your local Chinese? This is because it IS unnatural and has most likely been soaking in a chemical ‘meat tenderiser’ for hours on end. For us, using chemicals to ‘enhance’ food is both lazy and completely unnecessary. We trust our good quality ingredients and great natural recipes to give our dishes more depth of flavour than any sprinkling of chemicals could possibly provide. When you tuck into your next Zing Zing the only feeling you will get afterwards is one of satisfaction (and possibly a sudden physical attraction towards all of our chefs…they made me write that).

Zing Zing is a Chemical Free Zone.

Portion Size: MORE OF THE GOOD STUFF

We have a pet hate (and not the kind where we dislike household animals). Having eaten at Chinese takeaways up and down the country there is one very common trend that we’ve noticed. We call it ‘padding’.  Padding is a commonplace practice where underhand techniques are used to ‘boost’ portion size. This includes (and is not limited to) drowning the dish in way too much sauce, using a lot of very low grade meat, ‘padding’ the dish with cheaper ingredients (loads of vegetables, not much meat) and even using small food containers to make the dish look larger. We’ve seen pretty much every trick in the book.

At Zing Zing, we’ve taken a completely different approach to portion size (it is a revolution after all). Our philosophy is that, with us, you’ll get more of the good stuff. None of our dishes are drowned in sauce (we prefer glazed), no cheap ingredients in place of quality ones and generally more actual substance in each dish. If you order a sweet and sour chicken we can guarantee that your dish will contain a generous portion of sweet and sour chicken.

Sauces: LIGHTER AND TASTIER

This has already been touched on under ‘portion size’, but as a quick note, we don’t believe in sauces being ridiculously thickened by cornflour. All our sauces are slightly thinner and more natural than you would normally find at a Chinese takeaway. We prefer glazing our dishes rather than drowning them.

Chicken: WHY THIGH, WHY?

You might notice that we use quite a lot of great quality chicken thigh meat instead of the widely used chicken breast. The reason for this has come from extensive testing (and eating). Chicken thigh is just way more tender and succulent, with a much more interesting texture. And that’s why we think thigh is fly. (sorry).

Packaging: GOTTA KEEP IT HOT

When it comes to food packaging, our number one (and number two…and number three) priority is that it keeps the food in the best possible condition from wok to door. Our current packaging has been extensively tested with this in mind and is absolutely top of the range in the food delivery industry. In fact, it was developed by Nasa for use on the Space Shuttle (this last statement is not true, but if Chinese food delivery was available in space, we’re pretty sure that they’d use our packaging).

Most of our starters and main courses arrive in our ‘sealed containers’. Without doubt, this is the best packaging on the market when it comes to keeping delivery food piping hot. Your food is cooked fresh to order and immediately sealed by our front of house team (although we don’t fully seal the crispy stuff). This keeps the food air tight, not allowing any heat or stray sauce to escape. We then further wrap the dish in some greaseproof paper for further insulation and to fully make sure of no sauce leakage. And voila, the food is ready to survive the journey, intact and hot.

Environmental Thoughts: FOOD REVOLUTION NOT INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION

As a company we are hugely conscious of our environmental footprint. From a food perspective, we have little to no wastage and even make sure that our oil is picked up and recycled by a professional oil re-using guy (I think that’s his official title). This philosophy also plays a central role when it comes to our packaging decisions. Indeed, most of our containers are recyclable and come from a supplier that uses socially responsible techniques during the manufacturing process. Indeed, we’re happy to pick up and recycle any old Zing Zing packaging when we delivery you a new order (just let us know in advance).

Timings: CHINESE FOOD. DELIVERED. FAST.

We know that more often than not, when you order a takeaway you are already hungry. Therefore, the food has to get to you as quickly as humanly possible. This is one of our major aims and for that reason we try to mainly employ ex formula one racing drivers to deliver our food…(what else are they going to do after they retire?) However, it is worth noting two major points:

  1. Peak Times: We are lucky enough to be experiencing a huge amount of demand for what we do, which is flattering but provides its own difficulties. The truth of the matter is that during peak hours (Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings) we can get more orders in an hour than many restaurant get in a week. The difficulty with a delivery business is that whilst popular restaurants can let a queue form outside, we cannot do this for obvious reasons. What we can do is advise our customers of the live timings and allow them to make their own decisions. Indeed, we even have a live feature on our website that advises customers if the waiting times are longer than usual. Should you want your food extra, extra quick on the weekend we would recommend placing your order outside of the 7.30pm-9pm peak times.  Having said this, we are constantly working on improving our delivery times, and with every passing week we become more efficient.
  2. Collections: Every single order placed at Zing Zing is wok cooked freshly, from scratch. Unlike many fast food restaurants, we don’t just scoop out pre-prepared rubbish seconds after you have placed your order. Due to our ‘fresh cooking’ process, each meal does take a bit of time to prepare, so please be patient – it’s definitely worth the wait J.

Hygiene: TOTALLY TRANSPARENT

Question: If you think that the front of your local Chinese takeaway, the bit that the customers actually see, looks a bit shabby and run down, what do you think the kitchen looks like? Answer: You don’t want to know. Just thank your lucky stars that it’s hidden from view.

Well, we’ve got nothing to hide at Zing Zing. In fact, we’re so proud of our kitchen hygiene standards that we keep it completely open and transparent. If you pop down to the store, you can see everything!

Recently we were rewarded for our attention to detail with a top quality health and safety rating from the local council. Wahoo! We were also presented with the less valid but equally prestigious award for ‘Best Mopping Arm Action’ by the Zing Zing Professional Mopping Committee.

Online: ZING-ZING.CO.UK

‘The Internet is going to be really big one day’. This was the prediction of our very own CEO back in 2011 and he couldn’t have been more accurate. Due to this incredible foresight we were able to capture some developers, lock them in a basement and with some great incentives (punishment by electro-shock therapy) convince them to make the best Chinese food online ordering system known to man. This system can now be found at ‘www.zing-zing.co.uk’. It is ultra secure and much quicker than using the phone – every time you place an order online with us, it gets printed directly to our kitchen within seconds. Apparently you can get the interweb on phones now as well, so of course our website is fully mobile compatible so that you can order on the go!

Pricing: GREAT VALUE FOR GREAT FOOD

Our philosophy on this side of things is pretty simple. We want to create a good quality product that is also great value. Indeed, there are two things to note. Firstly, please don’t compare our prices to an extra cheap Chinese takeaway. If you spend £3.50 on a sweet and sour chicken, you probably aren’t the sort of person who cares what goes into your food. We use quality and natural ingredients in every single dish and therefore, our price reflects this. Secondly, you will rarely find us discounting. This is because we’ve already set good value prices. Discounting has ruined the restaurant and takeaway sector as many companies will set their prices sky high with a view to attaining business by ‘discounting’. The chances are that if you are paying half price on a Tuesday, you are probably overpaying on every other day of the week…. With Zing Zing you get great value prices every day.