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Edo: Morsels of manna to show that bigger is not always better

Edo, 3 Upper Queen Street, Belfast. Tel: 028 9031 3054, www.edorestaurant.co.uk

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Matthew McIlwaine, manager of Edo

Matthew McIlwaine, manager of Edo

Matthew McIlwaine, manager of Edo

This series of reviews on Covid-imposed takeaway lunches and dinners may be approaching its conclusion. But not just yet. Restaurants are girding themselves for a reopening. What this will mean in terms of ambience, physical space restrictions and service remains to be seen (I'll be reviewing a Belfast pub which serves food next weekend).

In the meantime, now that restaurants have got used to the complexities of the takeaway proposition which includes deciding on menus that can survive transportation, part preparation of food kits, sometimes for three or four courses, packaging for every side, sauce, drizzle and sprinkling, producing written instructions (one of the hardest exercises for any writer), staffing, choice of operating days, way-signing and organising deliveries, they're running their takeaway operations more slickly than ever. I can't believe I'm writing this, but it would be a shame to lose the posh takeaway habit imposed on us by a disease.

This week a trip to Edo, the Spanish tapas restaurant, proved to be another takeaway winner. Manager Matthew McIlwaine, set up an online menu system whose ease of use took a lot of the faff out of the ordering process. It's not unlike the remote ordering systems installed at McDonald's. This is important because while top restaurants have been providing very classy take-home dishes, many of their ordering processes have given rise to rows in our house. The ordering process usually starts with a Whatsapp from me at the start of the week to the rest of the family suggesting dinner from a restaurant. There then follows a series of responses questioning why that restaurant, why does it have to be at the weekend and is there egg in this or a vegetarian option in the other. This correspondence can go on for days before some kind of consensus is reached. By this stage, the restaurant of choice will have sold out so we all have to settle for a Chinese anyway.