Next up in Blog Preston’s new series of reviews – Best and Worst Preston Takeaways According to Just Eat – is restaurant and takeaway Manjaros. Located on London Road just on the outskirts of Preston city centre, Manjaros says its cuisine is based on a blend of African and Caribbean flavours. It has a rating on Just Eat of 3.87 out of 6, where customers appear generally happy with their orders, but frequently complain about unacceptable delays in delivery and cold food as a result.
Looking at the Just Eat menu it all seemed on the pricier side for a takeaway. I checked online at the restaurant’s menu, and oddly it was cheaper to eat in the restaurant. The restaurant price for a king prawn starter was £4.95, but as a takeaway it was £7.95. There was another pound added on to many of the main courses, which when added to the £2.50 delivery charge, meant a Manjaros takeaway could end up costing significantly more than eating in-house.
We decided to order the whole chicken platter at £18.95. There were a few different spice combinations for the chicken, ranging from mild to hot, so we decided on the fiery option. There were also four side dishes included from a choice of about ten. We went for steak cut chips, spicy rice, fried plantain and sweet potato fritters.
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We had placed our order at 6.20pm on a Saturday night, so after reading the reviews I was expecting a very long wait. However, our food was delivered on time. The delivery driver was pleasant, but seemed a little unsure if he was giving us the right order.
It smelled amazing. I started unpacking the trays and bags, and had a heart-sinking moment when I saw a tray of sweet potato wedges and a carton of salad. No sign of the fritters. It looked like I may have been given someone else’s order.
I phoned the restaurant, and after a lot of back and forth, it was established that in Manjaros Land wedges are fritters. I had a bit of a struggle letting that one go, as I get embarrassingly excited about all things frittery. The manager sounded a little frustrated about the description, even lobbing in the dramatic, unexpected twist that McCain refer to them as Sweet Potato Rustics, which in my mundane middle-aged world was a shocker worthy of a Christmas Day Eastenders episode.
Anyway, I wasn’t keen on them as they were a carton of withered and floppy liars, and the little sneaks had conned their way into my home under false pretences.
I also mentioned that the salad looked a bit forlorn and browning at the edges, but he replied that it was freshly prepared that morning so it’s fine to eat. Perhaps it had just spent the day wearily trying to convince a parade of irritating Karens that a wedge is a fritter.
The manager offered to send two complimentary desserts when the delivery driver was next out, which was a nice gesture. We unpacked the rest of the food and portioned it out. There were just two of us, and when we had filled two plates there was still the same amount leftover.
The chips were inoffensive and the spiced rice was mild and a good accompaniment to the chicken. There was a decent portion of fried plantain, which was sweet though a little greasy.
The chicken was fantastic, with lots of seasoning and the right amount of charring. The only slight negative about it was that the steam from the chicken was trapped in the aluminum lined bag which kept it hot but caused the skin to get soggy. Not the fault of Manjaros but perhaps another reason why eating in the restaurant might be better.
The desserts arrived an hour later, in the form of a chocolate cheesecake and a strawberry cheesecake. I believe that they were the ready made type, however, they were both unexpectedly enjoyable, especially the chocolate one.
It’s unfortunate that Manjaros has a relatively poor rating on Just Eat, as the food is actually pretty tasty, especially the chicken. The delivery side is what’s letting them down and seems to be an ongoing issue, though not a problem that we experienced.
I probably wouldn’t order a takeaway from Manjaros again, but I would happily visit the restaurant. The food on the premises is cheaper, there wouldn’t be a potential problem with delivery, there’d be no washing-up and the steam wouldn’t make the chicken skin and fried accompaniments get soggy.
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Fritters, wedges or rustics? Weigh in on the crucial discussion in the comments below.