People love a negative review

“People like negative stories. They just do,” said British food critic, Jay Rayner. Rayner has just released a book containing 20 of the most negative reviews that he wrote for the Observer newspaper.

I have to agree. It is a guilty pleasure that we all like to indulge in, except for the chef or restaurant that is the subject of the review.

During my time at I gained a reputation for honest reviewing so there were a number of restaurants that received a negative review. In the spirit of Rayner I thought I would share the links to three of these:

Posto Publico. Many people commented to me about this one, the majority of these comments were positive, people loved it. Some didn’t, I received an email from the PR telling me I had got it wrong, with my dining colleague on the last visit, a former food writer, receiving an even more lengthy email from the PR. One of Hong Kong’s leading food writers at the time said to me, “the review was like a knife fight in a phone box”, with my pen being the knife. Things may have improved but I have never gone back. Click here to read 

Coast. Shortly after this review was published I headed back to Australia for a month-long family catchup. After about my third amazing meal in Sydney I realised I had not been harsh enough and I have never been back. Click here to read

Shore. A mixed review, first visit it was disappointing, the second it wasn’t. The restaurant knew who I was on both occasions, as I had arranged the dinner through the PR. The difference the second time that I don’t mention is I ate with a representative from the PR company and the chef knew I was back for a second visit as the first had been so dismal. I have never been back. Click here to read more

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