Conversation 1: “A new restaurant opened in Bandra. Do you want to go check it out?”
“Sure, what kind of place is it?”
Conversation 2: “Hey, do you know where I could get some good Thai curry in Bandra?”
You could interchange Bandra with any other suburb of Mumbai and these would be conversations you will be familiar with. The next step to what most of us would do in such a situation is to look up online reviews of the suggested restaurant. Zomato is one such website which provides foodies with menus, ratings, photos, maps and contact details for over 70,000 restaurants across 18 cities.
Recently Zomato brought out “The Connoisseur’s Guide To Eating Out In Mumbai, 2013” for those of us who prefer leafing through pages in a book vs tabs on a webpage. Restaurants have been classified under 20 categories based on cuisines and occasions. Every category features a minimum of ten restaurants, each with a rating above three on a scale of five. We quickly bookmarked places to splurge on a romantic moonlit night as well as watering holes and value-for-money restaurants. Unlike food guides that focus on reviews by food critics, the Zomato guide bases its restaurant ratings on reviews by people who go out simply to enjoy an experience with good food.
A glance at a restaurant page gives you important information like the cuisine of the restaurant, how much it’s going to empty your pockets out by and their timings while icons indicate if a restaurant serves only vegetarian food or not, availability of features like delivery, bar, WiFi, smoking areas, parking and acceptability of credit cards. Each restaurant has been personally recommended by Superfoodies or Connoisseurs in Zomato lingo with a review that summarises their overall experience and tells you what dishes not to miss at the restaurant. If this isn’t enough of a recommendation for the restaurant, look for an icon alongside the restaurant’s name to see if it has been recommended by the Zomato brand ambassadors, Rocky Singh and Mayur Sharma (hosts of “Highway On My Plate” on NDTV Good Times for those of you who don’t watch television). In our tech friendly era the guide also provides QR Codes to view menus, photos and other updated information on the restaurant.
In 2012, Zomato won the Best Culinary Travel Guide in India by “Gourmand World Cookbook Awards” for last year’s edition of “The Connoisseur’s Guide to Eating Out.”
This year’s edition is priced at Rs 499 and available for Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Pune, Bangalore and Hyderabad at bookstores and online at flipkart.com