Thursday, March 14, 2019

Food Blogging – How to Rate a Restaurant



“Guide to Food Reviewers on How to Rate Restaurants 

A Foodie Spoof

This happened around 42 years ago  in the 1970’s – during my delightful Mumbai Navy Days  when I served as a young Officer – on a frontline Naval Warship. 

We were sitting in our ship’s wardroom enjoying our first drink of the evening – when some shipmates peeped in and asked me: 

“Hey – we are thinking of going to ‘XXX’ restaurant for dinner. How is the place…?”

“…3 Large…” I said.

My shipmates promptly downed 3 Large Pegs of Whisky each.

Then – they proceeded for dinner to ‘XXX’ restaurant in the heart of Mumbai.

I was – and – I still am – an avid Foodie.

During my early Navy days – I was lucky to be appointed on ships based at Mumbai

This gave me great opportunity to explore the culinary delights of the best Foodie City in India. 


If you have read Food Reviews – you will notice that most Restaurant Reviewers rate restaurants on a scale of 1 to 5 – with 5 meaning Excellent – 4 (Very Good) – 3 (Good) – 2 (Average) – and – 1 (Poor)

– Very Good
– Good
– Average
– Poor

These food reviewers consider various parameters like food, service, ambience etc to rate a restaurant (and some even give sub-ratings for each parameter).

Some food reviewers use stars instead of numbers to rate restaurants – but it is basically the same rating system. 


My restaurant rating system is different. 

I rate restaurants on the number of Pegs of Booze (Rum/Whisky) you are advised to drink – the amount of alcohol you must imbibe  before proceeding to eat food in the restaurant.


I rate restaurants on a scale of 0 to 6 (Zero to Six)  0 Pegs to 6 Pegs – Zero Pegs to 6 Pegs – to be precise.

Of course – the Peg referred to is a Large Peg – which is 60 ml of Rum/Whisky.

And yes – this rating mainly applies to Indian Cuisine.

It is my experience that alcohol does not go well with Indian Cuisine which is highly flavorsome.

Alcohol dulls the taste buds  and olfactory sensation  and encumbers the unmitigated enjoyment of good food. 


Let me explain a bit about my 0 Pegs to 6 Pegs restaurant rating system. 

As I told you earlier: 

The Restaurant is Rated on the Number of Large Pegs of Booze (Rum/Whisky) you are advised to drink before proceeding to eat food in the restaurant.

At one end of the scale – you have a 0 Large – or Zero Peg Restaurant.

0 Large (Zero Peg) Restaurant is one that serves Pristine Food.

If you are going to have an authentic Indian Pure Vegetarian Thali Meal prepared hygienically with pure ingredients in clean surroundings – you will ruin the eating experience if you drink alcohol before this pristine food.    

This will therefore qualify for a 0 Large or Zero Peg rating. 

It is recommended that you not drink any alcohol before proceeding to such a Zero Largerestaurant.

At the other end of a scale – you have a Large Restaurant.

6 Large Restaurant serves hard-core “Trencherman style food – for which you need to fortified by alcohol – and you require a cast iron stomach to digest the food.

6 Large Rated Restaurants serve hard-core street-food – like oily spicy greasy mutton curry prepared in most unhygienic earthy manner and eaten in noisy, crowded, polluted, filthy surroundings.

Such robust food which requires a cast iron stomach to digest and fit only for a seasoned Trencherman – will qualify for a 6 Large rating. 

It is recommended that you drink 6 Large Pegs of Rum/Whisky before you proceed to such a restaurant.

You have got the drift – haven’t you...? 

Zero Large to 6 Large Restaurant Rating Scale

One end of the scale (Zero Large) pertains to delicate refined pristine food to be savoured by the high-falutin Gourmand.

The other end of the scale (6 Large) pertains to fiery robust earthy food fit only for a tough Trencherman.

My shipmates were going to a 3 Large Eatery for Mutton Biryani in the heart of the city.

There was a 2 Large Eatery nearby too which served a more “refined” biryani.

And – of course – there were a few 5 Large street-joints where you got earthy “Kababs” and “Bheja” dishes too.

In my entire life – I have rated only one eatery with the top 6 Large rating  and I have never dared to go there again.

Of course – I have eaten in many ‘pristine’ restaurants which qualified for a Zero Large rating.


I have observed that the “Zero Large to 6 Large Food Rating Scale works for Home Cooked Food too.

After success with restaurants – I started applying my “Zero Large to 6 “Large” Rating System – whenever someone called me home to dinner.

Those days – I was known to be a passionate drinker. 

Yes – I was a true “drunkard”.

We had been invited to dinner at a friend’s place.

My friend was surprised when I declined his offer of my favourite Rum-Pani drink.

“You don’t want a drink…? What’s wrong with you…?” my friend asked me. 

I said to my friend:

“Nothing is wrong with me. 

Your wife is truly an excellent cook. 

I visited the kitchen  and I have seen in the kitchen all the delicious dishes she has made for dinner. 

So – I don’t want to spoil my eating experience by drinking alcohol which dulls the taste buds. 

Your wife’s cooking has the best Zero Large rating... 

This is what I told my friend. 

My friend’s wife had overheard our conversation. 

What do you mean by Zero Large rating...?” my friend’s wife asked.

I explained my “Zero Large Pegs to 6 Large Pegs restaurant rating system – and I said to her: 

Ma’am – I saw you cooking food in the kitchen and – you seem to cook so well – that your food deserves the topmost Zero Large Peg rating. So I don’t want to ruin my eating experience by drinking Rum and dulling my taste buds…”

She glowed with pride and happiness.

Another friend’s wife overheard our conversation.

She gave me an angry look.

She had called us for Dinner a few days ago – and I had downed 5 Large Pegs of Rum at her place before daring to sample her cooking.

In fact – after tasting her mutton curry – I had insisted on one more drink – to facilitate swallowing the terrible food down my gullet (esophagus).

Ha Ha – it was truly a mutton curry worthy of a 6 Large rating

So – Dear Foodie: 
The next time I ask you to rate a restaurant – please don’t give me numbers – just say anything from Zero Large to 6 Large – say – 3 Large – or – 4 Large” – and I will know how many Large Pegs of Rum/Whisky to imbibe before I go to eat in that restaurant.

Moot Question:

You may ask me: 

“Why do you limit the restaurant/food rating to 6 Large...? Why have an upper limit of 6 Large Pegs of Booze...?

My answer is simple.

6 Large pegs is nearly half a bottle of Rum/Whisky.

If you drink more than 6 Large pegs of Rum or Whisky – after drinking so much alcohol – your senses will be totally dulled – and the taste buds on your tongue will hardly be able to discern the taste of the food you are eating. 

Dear Foodie Friends: Happy Eating – and – Hic – make sure you imbibe the appropriate number of pegs of booze as per the restaurant rating – before you proceed for eating out in a restaurant...

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