Zing-Zing provides a ‘Chinese revolution with no MSG’
PUBLISHED: 17:59 01 May 2014 | UPDATED: 17:59 01 May 2014
Takeaway king Josh Magidson started his first business while at university. Back in 2006, he and some friends desperate for a pizza one night, couldn’t find any takeaway numbers and asked: “Why isn’t this online?”
That was the birth of eatstudent, a site where students could order from local takeaways delivering straight to their halls of residence.
It was bought out in 2010 for £500,000 by Just Eat and Magidson worked there for two years before going it alone nearly a year ago with his latest venture Zing Zing.
The 28-year-old explains: “Eatstudent was a good initiation into the world of takeaway food.
“Going up and down the country to sign up takeaways, I sampled every kind of food in the UK. Chinese was a favourite and I ended up eating a lot of Chinese food that did the job, but was terrible quality.
“Not much care goes into the ingredients of your average Chinese takeaway, they are full of chemicals and generally low quality.
“I saw the huge demand and love for Chinese food and decided to offer a quality takeaway.”
Brought up in Hampstead Garden Suburb, now living in Muswell Hill, Magidson teamed up with executive chef Jeremy Pang, who runs Covent Garden cookery school School of Wok, to devise a menu.
With branches in Highbury and Islington and Kentish Town, Zing Zing delivers to NW1, NW5, NW3, NW8, N8 and N10 postcodes and prides itself on offering a “Chinese food revolution with no MSG”.
Served in US-style cardboard cartons, alongside old school favourites such as pork ribs, duck spring rolls, prawn toast, seaweed, sweet and sour chicken, chow mein and crispy duck, Pang has devised creative twists on Asian ingredients.
Duck and pomegranate salad in a tamarind and sweet chilli dressing, green curry with beef and lemongrass meatballs, crispy shredded beef with chilli and ginger, and tempura chilli sea bass are among the mouthwatering offerings on a menu that averages £4.50 for starters and £6.50 for mains.
Throw in pan-Asian favourites such as chicken satay, kimchi dumplings, Thai green curry and beef rendang, and it’s been a recipe for success.
“Jeremy is the creative side of things and had the same philosophy; ‘Why do so many takeaways use terrible quality food?’ The menu celebrates both authentic and traditional Asian food and the Anglo-Chinese food – broadly Cantonese and Szechuan, anglicised for western tastes that we know so well. We also put on our own twists and are open to experiment with new dishes.”
Magidson’s family have a long and proud tradition in food.
His maternal grandfather was a kosher butcher with stores in Finchley and Highgate, and his father’s dad owned East End deli Marks of the Lane that was famed for its smoked salmon.
“There is something in the blood,” says Magidson, who is looking at more sites for expansion. “I have always been pretty interested in food and there are two sides to being an entrepreneur.
“On one, you are your own boss, on the other, you never switch off.
“But I never consider myself to be working. Working with food, running my own business is for me, living the dream.”
Zing-zing.co.uk, 020 7284 4432.
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