THE DARK SIDE OF HONG KONG NIGHT LIFE 1

WHY HONG KONG'S OPEN RICE IS IRRELEVANT 1

The problem with online foodie blogs-and foodie bloggers- is that they’ve run their course. They’re yesterday’s news.

Foodie bloggers are finally being seen for who and what they are- opportunistic freeloaders and legends in their own lunchtimes- and dinner times whose opinions are as irrelevant as a restaurant review by the SCMP’s ubiquitous Susan Jung. We can make up our own minds, Thank You very much.

WHY HONG KONG'S OPEN RICE IS IRRELEVANT 2

Only the newbie to Hong Kong or simpleton would visit or ignore a restaurant based on the praise or criticism of some faceless entity on foodie site like Open Rice.

Last week, we were at a restaurant where a group of ladies were demanding a 10% discount as they claimed this was what was being offered on Open Rice.

We couldn’t help but listen in as the owner of the venue politely mentioned that his restaurant offers no discounts to anyone- and has no deals with the foodie blogging site.

Perhaps these ladies were trying to save themselves a few bucks with what they thought was a well-timed bluff? If so, the bluff failed.

Open Rice might have been relevant in the early days of the net, but time has proven that a bad review, or even orchestrated bad reviews, don’t make a dent on the popularity of a restaurant with a loyal following.

For example, Italian restaurant Da Domenico has, apparently, been slagged off regularly on Open Rice, but the place is packed- every day. It takes no bookings, there is no signage at its new location, and owner Alessando wouldn’t know Open Rice from open sesame.

He has a very loyal base of some of the wealthiest individuals in town who don’t need a foodie site to tell them what and where to eat.

As a respected food critic from New York told us, these consumer-driven foodie sites actually do a disservice to the image of a restaurant in that they show, in many ways, that being commented on reduces them to a “budget” eatery for those who wouldn’t know a full-bodied Opus 1 from a South African Sauvignon Blanc and the difference between Portuguese cuisine from Spanish tapas.

Sorry, but having only recently visited Open Rice to read what’s being written and said, the site is an irrelevant platform and purely for those with an axe to grind and wannabe arbiters of taste or else those other faceless entities with hidden agendas against competing restaurants. It’s a forum for those who either don’t go out much or else fall into that penny pinching and cheapskate Groupon consumer category.

WHY HONG KONG'S OPEN RICE IS IRRELEVANT 3

From where I stand, NOT being mentioned on Open Rice is what will attract me to a restaurant. That and my personal tastes and courage of my convictions.

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