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Halo Hummus
The weather outside is frightful, and neither hunting nor gathering are viable options. Skip the waimai and connect straight with Beijing’s entrepreneurial vendors for these (mostly) homemade bounties

Rukis Estonian Rye Bread

Rukis Estonian Rye Bread

Another passion project from an expat missing home comforts, Rukis launched as a delivery service more than a year ago and now has a physical location at 27 Dashibei Hutong, Xicheng. The oven-to-door operation remains, though, offering rye and sourdough loaves for 55RMB each (or 35RMB for half a loaf).

Both the varieties have a pleasingly sour tang and the rye is enjoyably chewy, unlike anything similar we’ve got our teeth into in Beijing before. Important to note: if you’re after a fluffy loaf, you might be a little surprised by the spongy crust and overall moisture within. But for some truly Estonian carbs, Rukis is the ticket.

Delivery cost 20-50RMB.
Delivery time Varies – contact Rukis for baking times.
Add WeChat ID RuKis_Beijing for your starchy satisfaction.

Salsicceria Italiana

Salsicceria Italiana

'The Italian Butchers' is a recently launched project run by two Italian expats in Beijing. Ordering via WeChat doesn’t quite give you the local butcher’s experience, but the quality of the sausages that arrive on your table makes up for that amply. With no additives or preservatives, these meaty misters come in fresh, cuddled up with ice packs for ASAP cooking and devouring.

For bangers this gourmet, Salsicceria Italiana is ridiculously good value. You can order either pork (traditional, fennel or chilli) or chicken (traditional, rosemary, curried) sausages, and if that wasn’t enough, lamb snags have just entered production. All the flavours come in at 100RMB per kilo, which equals about eight big boys.

Delivery cost From 14RMB (less for bigger orders).
Delivery time New batches of sausages are made on Wednesdays or Thursdays, orders made before 7pm the previous day will normally arrive the morning after production day. See WeChat group for more info.
Add WeChat ID spasella for bangers worth banging on about.

Halo Hummus

Halo Hummus

In possibly the biggest news of this year, homemade hummus is now available straight to your door. Halo Hummus is the project of Nicole Bonnah, a journalist who launched the hummus havoc in late October and currently whips up four flavours from her kitchen. For 75RMB, you can get a thumper (490g) of traditional Moroccan- style hummus, topped with sundried tomatoes, green olives and other heavenly things delivered directly to your mouth (if you ask the delivery guy nicely enough). We also tried the Jamaican spice variety (85RMB), which is either a hummus-heavy jerk chicken salad, or a chicken-heavy pot o' hum', but either way it’s got a lot of two things we love, with an added sweetness from a caramelised onion garnish.

It’s fair to say that people are going nuts for this stuff – Bonnah has just launched a subscription service, as well as a range of smaller sizes (and prices). At the time of writing, she had put a freeze on orders for the week; delays are the price you sometimes pay for the homemade magic. In the meantime, there’s a popping WeChat group that's full of enticing pictures of hummus.

Delivery cost From 16RMB; free for bulk deliveries of 20 pots or more.
Delivery time 2-3 days.
Add WeChat ID NicoleBonnah for your hummus hit.

Gail's Caribbean Cuisine

Gail's Caribbean Cuisine

Long a cult institution in the craft delivery scene, Gail’s went bigtime last year when Hatchery hosted her Caribbean cuisine as one of its pop-ups. A set meal of jerk chicken with rice, beans and coleslaw will set you back 60RMB plus delivery. We’ve searched high and low and don’t know where else you can get that Caribbean spice in Beijing, especially in food that’s clearly made with love.

Being a hot meal rather than a delivery service of ingredients, turnaround time is at the lengthier end of the spectrum. But Gail’s is definitely worth the wait. And besides, home cooking takes time, perhaps a fact that we could all do well to be reminded of every now and then.

Delivery cost Varies.
Delivery time Around five hours.
Add WeChat ID GailRamroop for your Caribbean cruisin'.

Elvira's Nuts

Elvira's Nuts

The most classic of homemade luxury goods, it’s no surprise that there’s someone out there making gourmet granola for a gourmet price. Elvira started making cereals when she arrived in Beijing last year, after noticing that the store-bought options were high in price and low in quality. She now makes a range of additive- and preservative-free cereals, such as vegan granola (40RMB for 250g) and healthy cocoa pops, made with organic maple syrup (35RMB for 200g). Her morning grains are packed with the good stuff: oats, seeds, goji berries, raisins and more.

Delivery cost 15RMB.
Delivery time Within 24 hours.
Add WeChat ID asteroidelvira for your morning glory.

Cheese Republic

Cheese Republic

Cheese! In China! This isn’t actually such a crazy concept, but hot off the back of the 'China to ban cheese?' palaver a couple of months ago, it’s reassuring to know that a) China hasn’t banned cheese and b) you can order the good stuff – nay, the French stuff – direct from the e-shop of the Governor of Cheese Republic.

This sh*t don’t come cheap – we paid 62RMB for 100g of Roquefort Papillon, but it was creamy and salty in all the right places, and far better than anything we’ve tried for a similar price from an international supermarket. For 200g of decent Parmesan you’re looking at 72RMB, which may exceed the total cost of the pasta it will top, but true fiends de fromage won’t regret paying the price. The e-shop also has charcuterie and wine sections, so pretty much everything you need for a wintry cheese ‘n’ wine party.

Delivery cost 30RMB, or free on orders over 299RMB.
Delivery time 24 hours (closed on Sundays).
Add WeChat ID CheeseGouvernor for your Comté cravings.

Tiffin Lunchbox

Tiffin Lunchbox

Tiffin Lunchbox is a Wudaokou (#neverforget) Pakistani restaurant, which specialises in very affordable meal deals and free delivery across most of Beijing. Take for example the Biryani Express, which comes with 1kg of curry, 1kg of tandoori chicken, one chana masala (chickpea curry), one bondi raita (yoghurt sauce), one salad and one 1.25L bottle of Coca Cola, all for 128RMB. This is approaching the weight of one human new-born in food – ponder on that as you surrender to the food baby coma. The food itself is okay – the curry we tried was a bit too sweet, and there are a few incongruous menu items such as fish and chips (32RMB) and beef burgers (42RMB), which we don’t think started life in Lahore. Compared to other Indian takeaways in Beijing, Tiffin just about hits the mark, but really you must dive in for the most delightfully enthusiastic marketing campaign we’ve seen in a long time.

Delivery cost Free.
Delivery time Around one hour.
Add WeChat ID Tiffin101 for your biryani business.

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