Thursday, 11 September 2014

Penny's Top Ten Tips #4 How to Write a Restaurant Review

Its Thursday! You know what that means? Its time for Penny's Top Ten Tips! This week its: How to write a restaurant review! 

1. Know a little about the place your eating at-
You most likely do this already but check out and research your restaurant before you go. Do they have an interesting back story? What is the chefs inspirational story? (because all chefs have stories like that..) Keep a note of all of these things when writing up the review.

2. Book a window seat to maximise light-
Unless its really cold that is. By sitting near the window you'll be able to fully use natural light to your advantage when taking a picture with your smartphone or camera. By the way, turn the flash off. There's nothing more frustrating when you've got a snap happy dinner guest taking pictures using a flash. I want to see my food not little bright spots in my face.

3.Keep the palate arranging to a minimum-
Don't mess with the chefs work. Leave the plate as it is. Whether its picture perfect or otherwise, just leave the plate alone if you want an honest representation of your dish.

4. Take a notebook, pen and camera-
Obviously, so you can make some tasting notes...

5. Make notes as you go-
I'm not joking with this one. I've eaten a 3-course meal and stuffed it so fast I didn't put pen to paper and didn't make a single note. I wanted to write up a good review and couldn't remember the names of dishes or what I enjoyed the most about the experience.  

6. Aim for independent restaurants-
Again this is a no brainer but avoid branded chain restaurants such as Loch Fyne. There are some great places to dine out that are just down the road from you, just itching to be discovered!

7. Grab a dictionary-
Everyone is guilty of this. We all use repetitive words such as yummy, delicious, scrummy etc. It may take a couple of reviews to expand your vocabulary and really get into the swing of things. 

8. Be honest- not harsh or too fluffy
When I used to write reviews I was too nice and kind. I could be smacked in the back of my head with a plate in a restaurant, without an apology [its happened], had sub-par food and flat atmosphere AND I still tipped and written a decent review because I'm a soft spot... but on the other-hand, that doesn't mean I can a totally arse-butt about it! You can't then stream out really bad stuff because your outraged about your white wine being too cold.... 
It's best to keep yourself balanced and the review will remain balanced.  

9. Try something different-
Your going out for a meal, scanning the menu and do you often find yourself leaning to something comfortable and familiar? Well push the boat out and order something you can't make at home or don't normally have. This will then give you something interesting to write and hopefully, you can find a new foodie favourite. 

10. Enjoy the experience-
Try not to get too bogged down in the reviewing process. Enjoy the meal for what it is. Its a fun food review not an essay

Have you written a restaurant review? Share in comments!

Bake On! Penny x
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