Thoughts, etc.

Should Food Bloggers Post Negative Reviews Of Comped Meals? Thoughts On A Strange Industry

What’s a food blogger to do when a dinner goes awry?

I don’t pay for the meals I review on this website. I don’t disburse a penny and get to eat in some of the best restaurants in the world in exchange for my work.

Of course, if my website was full of negative reviews, restaurateurs wouldn’t let me through the door anymore, would they?

On the other hand, if I spend my time raving about everything equally, why would any reader spend time on my blog?

And if I show up at a restaurant and find that everything is a total disaster, then I simply avoid talking about it. It’s my mistake, after all: I have the responsibility to research where I’m going before accepting an invitation. And I don’t have to accept every single one of them.

But what if a very well-rated restaurant offers something quite unique and pursues an assertive marketing line? Let’s say, by having “Experience Taste” as their slogan?

That’s the exact reason why reviewing restaurant Tian in Munich was so difficult for me. Click to read my review.

I personally think that I have stay honest with my readers and shoulder the risk of alienating possible clients. And so that’s what I did.

Why Go in the First Place

As I said before, I don’t accept all invitations. Why should I go somewhere just to go underline every shortcoming? That’s a bit cruel, no? Well…

Tian is a vegetarian fine dining chain. There are 2 bistros in Vienna, one fine-dining restaurant in Munich and another full-service white-tablecloth place in the Austrian capital. They combine a lot of the current trends: vegetarian/vegan, fine dining, and, of course, the buzzword-to-end-all-buzzwords, organic.

I had the opportunity to visit Tian Munich during my last visit to the German city.

I have to admit that I’m a bit critical of vegetarian food in the first place, finding most of the veggie offerings quite bland and constantly victim of suboptimal preparation. That’s why I was so eager to finally visit a vegetarian fine-dining establishment. I was very curious.

Of course, vegetarians and vegans have been the target of much snark in the last few years. From Gordon Ramsay to Italian celebrity chef Gianfranco Vissani and many more in between, chefs don’t like preparing veggie food, to the point where up to 15% of them admit “to putting animal products in their vegetarian dishes”.

That’s partly caused by the “militant vegan” crowd’s self-righteous, aggressive, shrieking-in-convulsions way to shame people for enjoying a varied diet.

On top of that, stories of vegan parents refusing to give proper care to their newborn children have multiplied in recent years.

But I, personally, have nothing about vegetarian food in itself. As for any food, I enjoy eating what tastes good. Overcooked and under-seasoned food is bad, no matter how you present it. No faux-meats or Mycoprotein or “texturized vegetable protein” for me. Seriously, just the thought of TVP makes me gag.

On the other hand, I spent 6 weeks in India in 2013 eating 90% vegetarian and enjoyed every meal. Because, in the end, how’s the food? What does it taste like? I’m not a toddler. I can live without a certain group of nutrients for a little while.

And before you start sending me hate-mail for refusing to see the bigger environmental picture, spare your poor fingers. I’m way too cynical to even care.

Go ahead and take a look at my review of Tian Munich. The comments section is open.



Cedric Lizotte is a foodie travel blogger and the man behind

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