With more people thinking of exploring different restaurants, there are a number of review apps that you can get. But remember that these review boards are review by regular customers and they may not know what they are enjoying is authentic or truly traditional foods or if it taste correctly.
I had an experience when I moved to Maryland. Mind you I'm coming from NYC and so I've been exposed to authentic Chinese food all my life. I know the difference between Chinese American food, Traditional Chinese food, food that has been frozen and mass produced versus fresh.
I had every type of Chinese American dish my whole life and I know that each dish has a unique taste based on the ingredients used to make it and of course I'm Chinese too.
Well, my new friends in Maryland said I had to try this Chinese takeout place in my area. They raved about how delicious the food was and they said the YELP reviews were fantastic and highly recommended.
Not knowing that Maryland is a couple of years behind the Northeast regarding Chinese American food I thought I'd give it a shot.
One night I asked my wife let's order take out delivery. I ordered 3 dishes that were made with 3 distinctly different sauces and was pretty anxious when the delivery guy came. We had our paper plates, serving spoons and started to open the boxes. What I found was all 3 dishes had the same brown sauce. I shook my head and questioned, "This is Highly Recommended" from my friends? This is what the customers review on Yelp was.
Well, alot of companies are now diversifying their products to tap into areas slightly related to their business brand, Trip Advisor, Yelp and many other review apps are out there. If its reviewed by customers, you might think twice while other review apps reviewed by seasoned chefs might be out of the price range your looking for.
So, where do you go or do? It's a trial, let's see approach. Sometimes, the hidden places off the beaten path are the best. Sometimes rund down places are the best and go to the places where you see a majority of ethnic people there.
The style of food is important to. In the beginning, Cantonese dominated Chinese food in the 50's to early 70's, the spicy came into place with Northern and Western Chinese immigrants came to American, then the Cantonese cooks had to adapt to spicy with some success but versus the Northern Chinese, they couldn't get it exactly right.
TRUST YOUR INSTINCTS, food is highly subjective. What one place may taste great to others t might be terrible.
Even when I review a place, its my view but I like to write about my experiences.
By Chef Woo Can