“ Address: 10 Rectory Row / Easthampstead / Bracknell RG12 7BN / Tel: 01344 862832 „
I can't believe how rude the staff are and poor the food is. Please stay away from this place. You will be hugely dissappointed. Food made us ill staff totally uncaring and rude. STAY AWAY
Obviously, one major aim in life is to eat well balanced and nutritious home cooked meals that will keep the body and mind healthy, but sometimes unforeseen events just get in the way and you are forced to purchase convenience food against your will. Microwave dinners are usually just plain "yuck" so the next best thing is a takeaway and my personal favourite local option is the Haka Chinese Takeaway located in Easthampstead, Bracknell. You have the option to order over the phone for delivery, unfortunately with the extra cost of £1.50 for within the Bracknell area or £2 outside, or you can buy directly in store.
The atmosphere within the store is pretty pleasant. The decor in the waiting area is a little dull, but is spruced up by some pictures on the wall and rather large potted plants. Whilst you are waiting for your order there is a soundless TV to garner your attention with subtitles, or some particularly out of date magazines where you can learn about the recent break up of that giant couple Bennifer (Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston for all those people that successfully avoid celebrity gossip). Despite the dullness, at least the waiting area is nice and clean and they do utilise a rather large heater for the colder 11 out of 12 months of the year (oh how I jest...just the 10 cold months of the year) so it's always warm as well. For me though I've never had to wait more than 15 minutes to receive my order even at the busiest of times, and during quiet times I usual get it within 2-5 minutes so I find the turnaround time to be extremely good.
The staff are also very polite and will take your order very efficiently, but they aren't particularly chatty so it's not really the kind of place to gain a rapport with the staff, but on the other hand you won't feel affronted by rudeness either (something I've come across when buying from my local fish and chip shop where I'm made to feel like I'm intruding in on their time). The staff do tally up your order by either mental or paper arithmetic as oppose to some kind of calculating machine so if you're feeling a little untrusting it is worth knowing how much you owe beforehand to avoid any unfortunate mistakes. You can also see through into the kitchen area if you want to and the rather frenetic shouts from within the kitchen do filter their way out, albeit in Chinese, so it's good to know they're working very hard on the orders...although they could be discussing the latest episode of Eastenders...it's a little hard to tell.
If you do opt for delivery rather than a direct purchase they are again a little abrupt but still very efficient on the phone, and in all my experiences have always hit the 30 minute deadline they tell you for your food's ETA which is good as there's nothing more annoying than sitting around waiting for something wondering how long to wait before throwing in a scathing complaint call. The food both delivered and bought in store come in insulating foil containers with cardboard lids typical to most similar takeaway outfits, and whilst not necessarily being the most environmentally friendly do an excellent job of keeping the food warm for a good 20 minutes after purchase which is handy.
So, onto the most important aspect of a takeaway place - the food itself. To be honest, there's nothing particularly new or overly original compared to other Chinese takeaway menus but there is still a terrific range of individual meals at what I consider to be very reasonable prices to choose from as well as a great selection of money saving Set Meals. Haka offer some appetisers with the usual suspects such as spring rolls, spare ribs and seaweed and a small selection of chicken soups and prawn soups of differing levels of spiciness. The main dishes are then divided up into Peking style House Specials, Sweet & Sour, Seafood, Beef, Chicken, Pork, Chop Suey, Curry, Chow Mein, Omelette and Foo Yung (Egg) dishes. 8 different types of rice side orders are available and you can get extra portions of such essentials as bean sprouts, sweet and sour sauce, curry sauce, prawn crackers etc depending on your palate.
Now obviously I haven't tried everything on the menu as if I had I'd have become just another obesity statistic and would also be dead, and to be honest I've only tried about 5 different options from the menu so I'm not really a connoisseur, but I don't really have any complaints about any of them, other than my own personal taste. After dabbling with many dishes from the menu which has now led to an aversion to Chow Mein and ginger as an edible root rather than a spice, rather tragically I now find myself as that stereotypical takeaway orderer that peruses the menu with abject attention before ordering exactly the same thing as last time - my usual choices are either Chicken with Mushroom (£3.90) or Chicken with Green Pepper & Black Bean Sauce (spicy) (£4.20). But that's only because they're so tasty and I personally see nothing wrong with sticking with what you know.... well, lack of adventure aside, at the very least I can comment on the consistency of the cooking.
It is very consistent. Elaborating further I can say that the meat is always very tender, perfectly cooked and tasty and the vegetables are always well cooked as well with just the right amount of crunch to them. I also really like the taste of their sweet and sour sauce which is obviously a feature of many of the dishes as it has a nice balance of sweetness and tanginess. The boiled rice can occasionally be a little sticky and bland, and sometimes with the egg fried rice there can be annoying clumps which ruin the texture a little but mostly the rice is pretty decent. The biggest discrepancy I've found comes with the black bean sauce which sometimes can be quite tame and other times can cause you to break into a bit of a sweat and finally give in and ruin your hardcore reputation in a desperate rush for a swig of water so you're never quite sure what you're going to get, which can actually be part of the fun. Otherwise, I find the meals I've repeatedly tried arrive always with the same quality and practically identical taste as last time, so in that respect you can feel confident with what you will get. The biggest bonus I've found with their food is it never feels too salty which is something I have found with other takeaway joints in the past, and whether or not that is connected with monosodium glutamate (MSG) levels, that can only be a good thing.
Appetisers, soups and extras have a price range of between £1.30 and £4.90. Main dishes have a price range of between £3.00 and £5.30 with the exception of the special Aromatic Crispy Duck which for a quarter is £6.30 and for a half is £12.00. Rice ranges between £1.30 and £3.40. Special deals include for 1 person the Oriental Dinner Box at £5.60 which is a selection of mixed meat and vegetables, spring rolls and egg fried rice, and then a few different combinations of appetisers, main meals and rice increasing proportionately in volume and price for 2, 3 and 4 people ranging from £13.80-£16.30 for 2 people, £21.20-£23.80 for 3 people and £28.00-32.00 for 4 people which works out pretty cheaply when going Dutch. So all in all you can easily get a meal for £10 or less depending on your greed levels so I think you can get a great array of well cooked and tasty food at excellent value for money here. So, if you're in the vicinity of Bracknell and want a cheap, quick and easy takeaway there are a lot worse places to try than the Haka.
10 Rectory Row, Easthampstead, Bracknell, Berks, RG12 7BN
Tel: 01344 862832 / 868832
Bank Holidays, Sunday - Wednesday: 5pm-10:30pm
Thursday: 12pm-1:30pm / 5pm-10:30pm
Friday - Saturday: 12pm-1:30pm / 5pm-11pm