What qualifies someone to review a restaurant? Well, in my opinion anyone who eats at an establishment and pays for the meal can review the experience. This review would therefore be totally independent. There are many places that restaurants are reviewed and I often read TripAdvisor when looking for a restaurant. I know that the reviews can be skewed but I take an overall impression to see whether we should eat there or not. I also read based on my expectations, and not the expectations of the person eating there. For example, a person might complain that a restaurant does not cater for children, but for us that is a plus.
I love sharing my experiences through my blog and I am sure my reviews are more than qualified. I spent eight years working professionally in restaurants and I have self published a recipe book. Further I consider myself an accomplished cook and I have high expectations. I know what tastes good (to me) and I know what works and what does not. I can understand how service should be and what to expect from timing in a restaurant.
But what I think most qualifies me to share my experiences is the fact that I have eaten at top restaurants since I was a young child. I have been exposed to top chefs and top restaurants all over the world. My earliest memory is eating at Gatrilles in Johannesburg and I have relocated my passion for their food by eating often at 96 Winery Road. I love the restaurant at Waterkloof and I am prepared to pay the premium to eat at a decent restaurant.
I prefer to review here on my blog and found the experience of reviewing for a magazine quite challenging. Your words are restricted and there is always the possibility of editorial conflict. A restaurant I rate highly may not be the favourite of the editor, and a restaurant I did not enjoy might have too high a ranking to receive a negative review.
When blogging about a restaurant one of the most important issues is to let your reader know if you were an invited guest. If you were, you might have received extra ordinary service and attention. I also feel that the review should be based on your own personal experience of the restaurant. List the good with the bad and be fair and honest in your review.
Let your readers know how they can contact the restaurant and give them as much information as possible to make a realistic choice as to whether they should eat there or not. My style of reviewing is constantly evolving. I leave reviews up even if the restaurant has closed or changed hands, and I try and update the reviews when I can if we have been back to a restaurant.
What to you is the most important facet of reading a restaurant review that influences your decision to eat there or not?
What I blogged:
- one year ago – Chocolate Bavarois With Deconstructed Pear Crumble
- two years ago – Saffron Buns
- four years ago – Pasta with Bacon, Chorizo, Tomatoes, Cream And Parmesan