Last year when we decided to cut down our food reviews especially for stand-alone restaurants/cafes/lounge, our aim was to improve our quality and focus on writing and sharing some good stuff. Since all the cafes were primarily focusing at drinking holes and we had to write based on that; it didn’t clearly match up to our purpose as for us the food was also a priority.
I am glad and proud that we have managed to maintain the same thought process even after almost year and a half. We later got into the branding of our existence and now we have completely shifted our focus on quality writing.
Over last couple of months I have been to a lot of cafes with family for meals during weekends or otherwise; and they all turned out to be either mediocre or worse. While I was looking for a place to eat during last week I came across – Narial Café and our experience turned out to be a really bad one. Nariyal Cafe – a quirky name and some really interesting dishes prompted me to take my wife on weekday date which turned out to be mediocre. Good looking cafe, very colorful but a shady entrance.
The flavourful narial pani didn’t sound interesting to me at all so I refused. Poddi idli was the only savior. Koliwada fish was crunchy, spicy but bland and dry fish. Appam is supposed to be soft and fluffy but here it tasted more like crispy dosa. Malabar Parotta was thick and soggy. A very disappointing meal indeed.
This raises couple of questions indeed. While I was going through the menu on zomato, I read some great reviews all above 4 ratings. Next day I sat and read all the reviews of the café again
Most of the reviews were almost similar – People ate similar food and everyone had an excellent experience. I was surprised with my outcome and experience. How could it be so different from others? I was wondering if my taste buds have developed a lot over the years, or the café food is not about enjoying good food, but more about family/get together and snacking or did these reviewers wrote good things for the sake of not MISSING OUT on invites! Zomato has lost trust over the years and now it has become a platform for people for free food invites. I feel, what kind of impression we are giving to our readers who actually read them and go to a particular restaurant based on the experience of others.
Everyone enjoys free invites – well there is nothing wrong in it – what is disappointing is the integrity and honest opinion that folks compromise on. Either few quick and minimal bucks for Instagram pics or writing good things irrespective of quality and being focused on “invites” – Is that the power of pen that we are harping on? Truly we miss on basic ethical grounds and one of the reasons Zomato and its freeloaders are losing credibility. Besides this ,bloggers like us, who try to bring the best and the worst opinion in public to get generalized!
I also had another interesting thought – Would I visit Nariyal café again or would I set myself to explore other cafes? – I don’t have an answer however what got me thinking was that truly a lot of effort goes into improvising a restaurant – Does this mean we should “write-off” a restaurant based on some of the dishes we tried? I agree that my experience wasn’t good (read disappointing) – but it might possible that your experience might be different or maybe if you try some other dishes you may enjoy.