It's writing an objective, balanced and informative review that is hard, unless of course, you don't particularly care what your readers think of your opinion... but then that defeats the purpose of writing in the first place.
Regular readers would know that I have done quite a number of reviews in this blog, mostly on food and food outlets, some reviews on books and one or two on movies. Food reviews are my favourite because I can combine my interests in photography and eating out in one go. I have a very simple grading system when it comes to decide if a particular restaurant or food stall is worth writing about. I just base it on the answer to a question I'd ask myself : Would I come back again to eat at this place? A `yes' would mean that it was a good place (and worth writing about). A `maybe' would mean an average score but possibly still worth writing about. A `no' is something I need not explain.
However, in the more than 20 food outlets I have written about over the past 4 years, none of them fall in the `no' category. This is simply because I have made a rule of not to write on something that does not meet my taste or preference. One man's meat is another man's veggie... and when it comes to food, the variety of opinions is as many as there are colours in a rainbow. I do not eat petai, so I shall not pass judgement if someone says that sambal petai is the best thing there is. I may say that mutton briyani is the best rice dish ever but I should also accept if someone else gives his vote to sushi. Sometimes I cannot understand how certain restaurants come highly recommended but I find the taste of their food to be only so-so. But that's just the way it is with food.
I am writing on this subject of food review because in the past week or so, there was an active discussion about a particular food outlet in my current favourite Facebook page called Johor Sedap. This foodstall sells seafood dinners and had been getting rave reviews from members since a few months back. Some time in December last year I went to the place to check it out. I left with mixed feelings... the food was just okay but it was not as cheap as what some members wrote. To put it simply, I do not concur with the very high ratings that previous reviews had given but I kept my views to myself.
In the weeks that followed, I spotted the first negative review. This was followed by a few more, mostly to do with very slow service. The discussion became quite heated when those who previously recommended the place said that the negative reviewer was simply unlucky to come at a busy time. This prompted other members who had similar experience of poor service to give their views.
Apparently, the stall is a victim of its own success. With the initial good recommendations, people start to come and this resulted in good business and more recommendations. But the increase in customers was not matched by an increase in staff, hence the drop in service quality. And once you have dissatisfied customers, it becomes quite difficult to win them back. Publicity in social network pages can be a double-edged sword.
Anyway, the owner of that particular foodstall is also a member of the group and has taken note of the criticisms. He has promised to improve things and I wish him success. It is good to see the discussions have resulted in a positive response.
I'll end this post with a recommendation of my own. For a few years now, the only place in JB to get a taste of decent kacang pool is at Haji Kacang Pool in Larkin. I have recently found another restaurant that sells tasty kacang pool that can rival HKP's version. The place is called Rose Kopitiam and is located at the Larkin Idaman area near the football stadium.
|Kacang pool at Rose Kopitiam in JB. RM4.50 per serving.|