Why you should take best restaurant lists and food reviews with a pinch of salt

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Last updated on December 7th, 2023 at 06:36 am

As a food writer, why am I telling you this?

Don’t I want you to believe what I write and review?

Unless you find that we have very similar palate and appreciation towards food and people, I actually want you to take what you read anywhere – even from established Michelin and 50 Best with a pinch of salt.

Innately, everyone has a different palate, food expectations, knowledge and personal experiences with food and dining/fine dining.

It can be useful to know what others are saying (perhaps, it could save you a trip to a crappy restaurant) but what I’m saying is, don’t just rely on anyone to tell you what’s the best or not.

Eating and exploring food is a journey that is really individualistic. It is also sensory experience that is uniquely yours.

My regular dining experience might be someone’s best dining experience. Likewise, it could be the other way round.

Food like blue cheese is an acquired taste and it is something that I grew to really enjoy. Stinky tofu? I’m still learning to appreciate.

Discover and enjoy your very own food and dining journey!

7 factors that would influence your dining experience:

  • Your knowledge and past dining experiences at the same or different restaurants
  • Your overall mood and attitude towards the staff
  • Your friendship/relationship with the staff
  • The company that you’ve having the meal with
  • Consistency the food quality – The supply chain for the ingredients sourced by the restaurant, nature/season of the year, the chefs/cooks on that day
  • Consistency the service standard – Sometimes a bad day makes a bad staff attitude and changes the whole dining experience
  • The type of music that the restaurant is playing – That sets you in the mood or not.
  • Your own palate – Keep exploring and growing with it.

Out of 7 influencing factors, 5 come from YOU, yourself.

So don’t believe everything you read and see until you try them for yourself and make your own best lists!


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