Alternative to Sherpas

August 5, 2012
Shanghai, China

Recently, I embarked on a mission to learn how to navigate my way into these endless online shopping websites in China. Thanks to Google Translate and Bing Translator, I have managed to successfully accomplish this, ending up spending my entire days glued to the computer.

I would confidently blame the food delivery services in Shanghai, specifically Sherpas, Mealbay, McDonalds and KFC, for making me lazy. Although, I always miss home-cooked meals courtesy of Lola and Mother, I have to survive living without them. I love cooking, however, it consumes too much time and effort to prepare a dish that is good for one or two people. Hence, food delivery, it is.

McDonalds is undeniably the most dependable food service, for non-healthy deep fried chicken wings, chicken nuggets and double cheeseburgers. It is cheap and convenient (they have 24 hour delivery service) but it is not healthy. Then there’s Sherpas. Sherpas is every expat’s food delivery fantasy. It probably has more than 200 restaurants to choose from, mostly marked-up dishes from restaurants that cater to expat communities, specifically those who do not speak Chinese.

Now, I present to you, 壹外卖 or Yī wàimài, a better healthy alternative to McDonald’s and a much affordable choice than Sherpas.  Yī wàimài means one take away (according to Google Translate).

The following pages are translated from google translate, through Google Chrome browser. To start with, you need to register an account.

Second, choose how you want to register. I registered using my mobile phone number. You can also register using your QQ or 163 email accounts.
Third, fill out the registration information as required below. Follow steps 1-4 from the illustration and you should get yourself successfully registered.

Fourth, once you are registered, you can now enter your address or select your location from the map. 
For this example, I have selected an apartment complex along Nandan Road corner North Caoxi Road. It will show you the number of restaurants available around your location that offers food delivery service. 

Translated version

When you select a restaurant, it will redirect you to the restaurant’s page and will show you their menu. From there, you can start choosing what you want to order.

Here are some examples of English-translated menu.

Lemon Grass Thai Restaurant
Yeli Xiali

And Saizereya
Let us say, you wanted to order delivery from this restaurant. The delivery fee is 8RMB, you should order at least 30RMB worth of food, it will take 60 minutes to arrive and it is about 442 meters away from your location.
Select your dishes then click the check button to place your order.
I immediately received a call (from Yiwaimai or from the restaurant, I am not quite sure) after I placed my order. The call was in Chinese. My spoken Chinese is really embarrassing but I managed to understand that they want me to confirm my 地址 Dìzhǐ or address. I confirmed it with my incomprehensible Chinese speaking skills. The guy hung up. Within 45 minutes, my order arrived. Not from Saizeriya but from Yeli Xiali. Xinjiang Food was my test restaurant.
Oh, happiness! You guys should try it.

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