aka “ReReM” (pronounced “RheuRheuM”)
On a glorious day of 2015 came to me the idea of posting online reviews of restaurants. This is to say that most reviews are to be about Hong Kong’s food scene, plus some random locations depending on my travels.
The idea emerged from the lack of trustable reviews available: Open Rice (openrice.com) is a great library of restaurants locations, menus and amateur pictures, but the reviews often lack either depth or integrity. Pretty much everyone in the industry knows that glowy reviews by so called “pro” reviewers are (almost) always sponsored by the establishment being reviewed. Conflict much? Not really: it is part of the game. Then there are the countless guides, from TimeOut to Ze Michelin, each with their hits and misses, all with a lack of personality.
As I do not agree restaurant-goers are well served in opinionated, fair and trustworthy reviews, I shall avoid those traps myself and solemnly promise follow the ReReM, that is:
- Remain anonymous: this prevents the restaurant to offer special treatment, and the reviewer to return the favor.
- Offer an indicative grade out of 20: it includes food quality, service, value for money and ambiance – in decreasing order of importance to the final grade. If this is too many numbers follow this rule: go to anything above 10, stay away from anything at 10 or below.
- Avoid being alone –just because it looks sad – and consider the partner-in-crime opinions as well. This also allows to see/taste/smell/ingurgitate/vomit/appreciate/love/discard/send back/take pictures of/etc. a larger variety of dishes in one seating.
- Document costs correctly.
- Give a chance to the restaurateurs to fix something that went wrong out of accident – trust me there is a science to this, and yes it involves a highly sophisticated bullshit detector.
- Post reviews in batches, on around the first of the month.
Voilà. Food is an ephemerous art that requires time (sic); and so do reviews.
Opinions are mine only, not pushing those into anyone’s throats.