Monday, July 30, 2012

Book Review - Zomato Restaurant Guide 2012

Blogadda sent me the Zomato Restaurant Guide 2012 (Bangalore) a while back and I must start off by apologizing to the people at blogadda for posting this review so late.
Anyone who loves eating out and scouts around for reviews before deciding where to eat must be familiar with Zomato is the largest electronic restaurant guide in the country serving more than three million users every month. This guide aims to reach out to people who want an offline experience that distils the best of the website in an innovative and user-friendly form.
Here's what I think of the book:
The look : The cover looks classy and makes you want to open the book and take a look at what's in it. Glossy, good quality paper is another plus that adds to the feel-good factor of the book.
Inside : The book is divided into neat sections - the first one being a little introduction to zomato. Then there is a section on how to use the food guide. There is also a section that details the Citibank Dining Privileges that are available at over one thousand restaurants across India.
Restaurants are divided into 22 categories. Under Restaurant categories, are listed the name of the restaurants falling under that category, the type of cuisine served,  the typical cost that a person can expect to pay at each restaurant in that category, the location, and icons to indicate whether a restaurant is vegetarian or not, or whether dine-in, delivery or a bar is available or not.
To find details on any particular restaurant, you would turn to the page number that's mentioned next to the name of the restaurant. The Restaurant details include all the details that you would want to know about the restaurant(s) you have shortlisted - the address, phone number, opening hours, Citibank discounts if any, description, reviews, rating and special features. Each restaurant also has a QR code which is a smart feature that has been incorporated in the Restaurant details section. Using a smart phone, the QR code can be scanned to view the restaurant's menu on zomato's WAP portal.
Ratings are out of 5, and are based on an average of user ratings received by the restaurant on the zomato website. The user review is a short snippet of reviews posted online.
The guide is easy to use and handy while making a decision. I especially like the 'Don't Miss' section which tells you what is a must-try at a particular restaurant.
What could be better:
To me, a guide is something that is unbiased. In this guide, all the reviews printed are positive. It would have been better if a balanced view had been given. Of course, the rating tells me what I want to know, but I find it a bit of a conflict to see a rating of 3, which to me suggests average, with a review that calls the service or the food excellent and the restaurant a connoisseur's paradise.
Who should buy the book:
If you like dining out, collecting books and reading up on restaurant reviews, then this book is for you. Priced at Rs 199, it will not burn a hole in your pocket and is definitely not a bad buy.
 However, a person like me would prefer the website to the book, because, like I said before, I like detailed reviews and I like to see what different people have to say about the restaurant in order to get a balanced view of it.

This review is a part of the Book Reviews Program at Participate now to get free books!