Brooklyn Beckham has partnered with Uber Eats to launch his own pop-up delivery service across London, currently available to order on the app on January 25 and 26 between 5—10pm.
The short menu offers five of Brookyln's favourite dishes: chicken tikka masala (£15); slow-cooked Bolognese (£15); pork and prawn dumplings (£10); an English Breakfast sandwich (£12); and a bowl of deep-fried buttermilk cauliflower (£10). It is a menu said to be “inspired by his global upbringing.”
The young Beckham is not cooking himself, with the Standard having been told by Uber: “It’ll be a team of chefs cooking the food on both nights.”
But is it any good? Watch the video below to find out how Standard writers Abha Shah and David Ellis got on.
The wannabe chef has teamed up with UberEats to present a world cuisine-inspired menu of his favourite plates, but despite his well-publicised online showboatery, has failed to raise so much as a silicone spatula in cooking it himself. Instead, a team of faceless and apparently skilless chefs have been left to do the hard graft in a dark kitchen somewhere.
From the menu to what turned up ran a strong theme that one can only sum up as complete and utter blandness. A middle-of-the-road (or ‘mid’ as I’ve been told) line-up that failed to ignite anything, except my fury that daylight robbery on such a scale still exists.
That the chicken tikka and spag bol cost £15 apiece is an affront to both finances and flavour. Lettuce has more panache.
The sandwich was grotesque to the extent that I couldn’t bring myself to look at it squarely, let alone touch it. Fry-ups, despite their hyper-processed components, should be eaten fresh, still sizzling from the frying pan. Layers of cold, congealed meats were so unappealing, it was enough to persuade me into veganism.
Were there any redeeming bits at all? The buffalo cauliflower tasted if not fine, then at least of something, but delivery time came at the sacrifice of texture. Still, nothing a stint in an air fryer couldn’t fix. And the dumplings, once you discounted the rubbery (not in a good way) casing, had a filling that proved to be the only flavoursome thing on the table.
It’s interesting that despite his global upbringing, Brooklyn chose the most basic bitch dishes of each cuisine. Turns out, money really can’t buy taste.
The truth is this: I like Brooklyn Beckham. We got leathered in White City together once; he was sweet, a little green, we talked dads. And so, when he's been trying on new careers for size, it's felt cruel giving them a kicking. He's not a half-bad photographer, really, if you ignore the elephant in the, er, frame. So the Cookin' With Brooklyn review was one thing, and I felt positively boorish having a go at this Uber Eats idea. Although, come on, you can't jolly well claim you're opening a pop-up restaurant when you're not even in the same country, let alone in the kitchen.
In truth, I find the partnership baffling. Cofounding. The dishes are so obvious — so dull — it feels hard to accept that this is his “ultimate takeaway menu”. When a self-proclaimed food obsessive writes a menu, you expect a little more than chicken tikka masala and Bolognese. Any five-year-old in the country could have named those two. I don't know how this menu was put together, but in my head Uber asked Brooklyn what he'd like to serve and the only direction he gave was: “food?”
Granted, there's an argument to say these are the classics and done well they are, after all, a treat. But the execution here? Middling (the dumplings) to dismal (spag bol). Look, steady on, I'm not going to say Brooklyn could definitely do it better than the dark kitchen staff — I've seen his tutorials, I know his limitations — but look, he might be able to. This is cooking at its tamest and its most subdued; Uber Eats would do to remember the existence of salt, of seasoning. The blame, I suspect, lies with them rather than Beckham — though it's not known whether he did any tasting or testing of the dishes before they went on sale.
“Was it as bad as you said?” the video team asked, once the cameras had stopped. I'd had some minutes to make up my mind. “Worse, actually,” I replied. “If they served it in a care home, you'd think it was cruel.”