Answering the question “What do you guys feel like for lunch?” is a daily struggle at the True Run Media offices. Though we’re located in south Sanlitun, the area immediately around our building sorely lacks in food options. As a result, we order a lot from places like Annie’s, Gung-Ho, Obentos, and Biteapitta.
However, there are times when I just feel like simple, healthy, and clean Chinese food. A few weeks ago, I noticed Taodiandian (淘点点) – Taobao’s food delivery service – and decided to give it a whirl. It didn’t disappoint.
Taodiandian can be accessed through the Taobao app (available for iPhone, Android, and Windows phones) or online.
The first step is to enter your Chinese address on the homepage. Tip: Make your life 100 times easier with pop-up Chinese-English dictionary extensions like Zhong Wen (available for Chrome and Firefox).
2. Taodiandian will return a list of results based around your address. At the top, they can be filtered by cuisine type (Chinese, Western, Japanese, fruit shops, cake shops, etc.) as well as popularity, distance, sales volume, and newest. There’s also the option to see only restaurants with free delivery.
3. Pick a restaurant. You’ll see an itemized menu (usually with pictures) with the address, contact details, opening hours, delivery fee (if any), and minimum order total.
4. Once you’re ready to check out, click on 立即计算 on the right side of the screen. Many restaurants have great lunch promotions such as spend RMB 20, get RMB 10 off. One day, I had a big bowl of malatang for only 13 kuai.
5. Review the order and check out. Accepted payment methods are the same as Taobao (Alipay, online banking, and Chinese credit cards).
The process is even more straightforward on the Taobao app, which can also be used to make purchases on Tmall. Bon appétit!
Sijia Chen is a contributing editor at beijingkids and a freelance writer specializing in parenting, education, travel, environment, and culture. Her work has appeared in The Independent, Midnight Poutine, Rover Arts, and more. Follow her on Twitter at @sijiawrites or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Screenshots: Sijia Chen