I’m most definitely not the first person to point out that the internet has changed the way we interact with our real world. In most cases, being better informed is a very good thing, like knowing if a foreign taxi is taking you on the scenic route or not (thank you google maps). On the flip side, it’s opened up a huge can of opinionated worms who use the formidable magic of the internet to get their way, sometimes at the cost of other defenceless worms who keep their opinions to themselves. With knowledge comes power, but has the internet’s weird and wonderful power fed our egos in weird ways?


I’m keen to find out about how this strange power has affected our relationship with the humble restaurant, a bond that has been historic through the leaves of time. In my research, I have gathered discerning data that weights my theory with proof. The more restauranteurs and chefs I talk to, the more it seems like your average joe has now graduated the inter-school of food critiquing, and dishes that were once just plain delicious, are now broken down into the most basic of elements like salty, sweet, yadda yadda yadda (you get the picture). On one hand, it’s exciting to see people who once steered clear of these mysterious waters now venturing about their unmarked territory, exploring their sensory world as new. This is good, and I hope people continue to taste, feel, and smell the wonderful details of food. On the other hand, that sense of power that comes with the internet can drive our fancies for VIP therapy, perhaps this desire is just pure human nature. Some of us have turned to the dark side, using things like TripAdvisor as weapons to threaten their way into getting more than they pay for. I would say that taking advantage of others is fowl play but somehow seemingly justified with the internet. I say, can’t we all be happy with the wonderful things we’re already given? Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mean to say that I’ve never put my foot down when presented with substandard dining practice, but to threaten someone with a bad review on TripAdvisor to get what you want, not only sounds very silly but is an ill use of the tool.


Thankfully, some of us don’t take this silly business lightly. On a recent visit to my favourite Italian joint in Bangkok (locals, I give you one guess), I was told that patrons who threaten their way to extra goodness are politely told to stop eating and leave. Yes, these people are probably going to tell their friends about how embarrassed they were made to feel but from my own experience, internet haters are best left completely untouched, never to be fed more food to fuel the big fiery ball of hate-gas that our world occasionally comes into orbit of. I would give the same instruction to my nieces or nephew if they were ever bullied in the school yard, because it’s the same thing really.


In conclusion, I suppose there will always be haters, as my friend Jess Barnes (Captain of Opposite Mess Hall) put it nicely, “everyone is an expert these days. I just think we should be more grateful because all this will be gone in 100 years”. Agreed.

Meanwhile, here is some food porn from Appia – my pick for the best Roman style cuisine in South East Asia, I would advise you to leave your smartphones behind and just get lost in the finger-licking experience. They have excellent rotisserie meat to sink your fangs into, as well as a very delicious Italian farro beer by the bottle that tastes like honey and smells like a quaint bouquet of blossoms, the perfect partner to a hearty dish of trippa alla Romana, my favourite. I also urge you to leave your nay-sayer impressions of offal at the door and jump into new territory of much deliciousness.

P.S. Here is a blog I found about weird and wonderful TripAdvisor reviews. It gave me much entertainment.


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