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Navigating The Art of Restaurant Criticism

Dining out is not just about satisfying hunger; it’s more importantly an experience that involves a blend of flavours, ambience, service, and presentation. Also, food enthusiasts often turn to restaurant reviews and critics to guide their choices. In this article, we’ll explore the art of restaurant criticism and how to navigate through it both as a restaurant owner, and a food enthusiast. Let’s get right into it.

Setting the Stage with Ambience

The ambience of a restaurant sets the tone for the entire dining experience. When crafting a restaurant critic, it’s crucial to pay attention to the ambience and describe it in a way that transports your readers. Highlighting a restaurant’s décor, lighting, and overall atmosphere contribute to the overall enjoyment of the meal. As a critic, you can weave vivid descriptions of the interior, whether it’s a cozy bistro, a chic urban eatery, or a quaint countryside restaurant. 

Unraveling the Culinary Tale

Food is, of course, the centerpiece of any dining experience. Much like most critics, you can delve into the culinary journey offered by a restaurant. Begin by discussing the menu’s diversity, exploring how the dishes reflect the cuisine’s authenticity and innovation. Don’t shy away from discussing the ingredients’ quality, presentation, and how well they harmonize to create a satisfying experience for the taste buds.

restaurant criticism mealish

Service

Exceptional service can elevate a good meal to a remarkable experience. Reflect on the attentiveness of the staff, their knowledge of the menu, and their willingness to cater to special requests. Were you welcomed with warmth and made to feel comfortable? We can’t over-emphasize the significance of service in reviews, and as a critic, you can shed light on how the staff’s demeanour contributes to the overall satisfaction of the visit.

Balancing Price and Value

Another aspect to take into account is the balance between price and value. Dining out is an investment, and readers appreciate insights into whether the meal justifies the cost. As a critic, compare the quality of the dining experience with the price point, offering readers an understanding of whether the restaurant delivers a worthy return on investment.

Honoring Dietary Preferences

Dietary preferences and restrictions are becoming more prevalent in today’s culinary landscape. Just as Mealish offers guidance on dietary preferences such as vegan, gluten-free, and other dietary options, a critic can explore how well the restaurant accommodates various needs. Describe the range and quality of alternative dishes, and discuss how inclusive the menu is for all types of diners.

Final Verdict: Wrapping Up Your Critique 

As your critique nears its end, consider encapsulating your overall experience in a concise final verdict. Your verdict should capture the essence of the restaurant’s strengths and any areas for improvement. This is where you can distill your impressions into a recommendation for readers seeking a similar dining experience. Reviewing restaurants is an art that demands keen observation, a love for food, and the skill to share your experiences engagingly. Your reviews on platforms like Mealish assist fellow food enthusiasts in making informed choices and discovering new culinary adventures. Your unique insights contribute to the diverse world of dining exploration. Let your inner critic lead you and food enthusiasts to memorable dining adventures.
Mealish offers first class restaurant dine-in recommendations that help you worry less about what to eat during your date nights, hangouts or family dinners. Download the Mealish app and explore great meal recommendations.

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4 takeaways from the Hospitality Tech Expo October 2023

The hospitality industry is ever-evolving, driven by innovation and technology that continually enhance the guest experience. This year, the Hospitality Tech Expo held at the Excel London in October 2023 brought together industry leaders, tech enthusiasts, and hospitality professionals from around the world to showcase and discuss the latest trends and innovations shaping the future of hospitality.

The Mealish Exhibitiors from Left to Right: Rob Hutchinson, Tayo Ososanya, Moyo Odeniyi-Ososanya, Carla Stemate.
Co-Founder of Mealish, Tayo Ososanya speaking with the CEO of PostTag. Rob and Moyo strike a pose.

A Glimpse into the Expo

The Excel London, a bustling hub for conferences and events, was transformed into a playground for hospitality tech enthusiasts. As I stepped into the expo, I was greeted by a palpable sense of excitement in the air. The venue was abuzz with exhibitors showcasing cutting-edge solutions, each promising to revolutionise different aspects of the industry.

Tech Solutions Galore

One of the key takeaways from the expo was the sheer diversity of tech solutions on display. From AI-powered chatbots that enhance guest interactions, to smart POS systems, to AI generated weekly meal plans and dine-in recommendations, there was no shortage of innovative ideas.
Food is an integral part of the hospitality experience, and tech is transforming the culinary landscape. From AI-driven recipe recommendations to robotic chefs, the possibilities seem endless.

Networking and Insights

Beyond the impressive tech displays, the expo was an excellent platform for networking and gaining insights. For us at Mealish, it was exciting to see the buzz around our stand F20 with everyone wanting to know more and jump on the Mealish Train. What was particularly interesting was the fact that the exhibition attracted people from all around the world including people from the Middle East, Africa and Europe. Restaurant owners wanting to be at the forefront of their industry to game changing Robot waiters. Industry experts shared their knowledge through informative seminars and panel discussions, shedding light on emerging trends and best practices.

The Future of Hospitality

As I left the Hospitality Tech Expo, I couldn’t help but feel excited about the future of the industry. Technology is not just changing the way we eat or plan for our meals, it’s redefining the entire guest experience and their palettes. The expo served as a testament to the incredible innovations that are already here and those yet to come.

In Conclusion, the Hospitality Tech Expo at the Excel London was a glimpse into a future where hospitality is seamlessly blended with technology. It was a reminder that the industry is continually evolving, driven by passionate individuals and ground-breaking innovations. I left the expo with a sense of anticipation, eager to see how these innovations will shape the way we experience hospitality in the years to come.

Whether you’re a tech enthusiast, a hospitality professional, a restaurant owner or simply curious about the future of hospitality, the Hospitality Tech Expo is an event not to be missed. It’s a testament to the fact that the future of hospitality is already here, and it’s incredibly exciting.

If you weren’t there, you missed a lot, but that’s okay, you can watch a video below to catch a glimpse of the Hospitality Tech Expo 2023.

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9 substitutes for refined carbs

Refined carbohydrates are carbohydrates that have been processed and stripped of their natural fiber, vitamins, and minerals. They are often found in processed and sugary foods and can have several negative health effects when consumed in excess. Here are some of the dangers associated with refined carbohydrates:

  1. Rapid Blood Sugar Spikes
  2. Increased Risk of Type 2 Diabetes
  3. Weight Gain and Obesity
  4. Cardiovascular Disease
  5. Digestive Issues
  6. Nutrient Deficiency
  7. Increased Cravings
  8. Dental Problems
  9. Poor Long-Term Satiety
  10. Inflammatory Effects

To mitigate the dangers of refined carbohydrates, it’s important to limit their intake and focus on a balanced diet that includes whole grains, fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and healthy fats. These foods provide essential nutrients, fiber, and slow-digesting carbohydrates that can help stabilise blood sugar levels and support overall health.

If you’re looking for ways to reduce your intake of refined carbohydrates, such as white bread, pasta, sugar and soda, you might be wondering what are some healthy alternatives that can still satisfy your taste buds and provide you with energy. Refined carbohydrates are processed foods that have had most of their fiber, vitamins and minerals removed, leaving behind mostly starch and sugar. These foods can spike your blood sugar levels, increase your appetite, and contribute to various health problems, such as obesity, diabetes, heart disease and inflammation.

Here are 9 substitutes for refined carbohydrates that you can try:

  1. Almond flour instead of regular wheat flour
    Almond flour is made from ground blanched almonds, and it’s a high-protein, gluten-free flour that’s commonly used in cakes, bakes, brownies, falafel and more. Almond flour has a nutty flavor and a moist texture, and it can replace wheat flour in a 1:1 ratio in most recipes. Almond flour is also low in carbs and high in healthy fats, which can help you feel fuller for longer and lower your cholesterol levels.
almond flour healthy meals mealish

2. Nuts instead of bread croutons
Bread croutons are toasted pieces of bread that add crunch to salads and soups, but they’re also high in carbs and low in nutrients. A better alternative is to use nuts, such as walnuts, almonds, pecans or pistachios, which add crunch as well as healthy fats, protein, fiber and antioxidants to your dishes. Nuts can also lower your blood pressure, improve your brain function and protect your heart health.

3. Cauliflower rice instead of rice
Cauliflower rice is a simple and versatile substitute for rice that’s made by pulsing cauliflower florets in a food processor until they resemble rice grains. You can then cook cauliflower rice in the microwave or roast it in the oven for a fluffy and flavorful side dish that’s low in calories and carbs but high in fiber, vitamin C, folate and other phytochemicals that can boost your immune system and fight inflammation.

4. Courgetti instead of spaghetti
Courgetti is another name for zucchini noodles or zoodles, which are thin strands of zucchini that mimic the shape and texture of spaghetti. You can make courgetti with a spiraliser, a julienne peeler or a vegetable peeler, and then cook them briefly in boiling water or sauté them in a skillet with some oil and seasonings. Courgetti is a great way to increase your vegetable intake and reduce your carb intake, as zucchini is low in calories and carbs but high in water, fiber, vitamin A, potassium and other minerals.

5. Quinoa instead of couscous
Couscous is a type of pasta made from semolina flour, which is a refined carbohydrate that can raise your blood sugar levels and lack essential nutrients. Quinoa, on the other hand, is a whole grain that’s gluten-free, high in protein, fiber, iron, magnesium and other vitamins and minerals. Quinoa has a nutty flavor and a fluffy texture, and it can be cooked in water or broth in about 15 minutes. You can use quinoa as a base for salads, bowls, pilafs and more.

6. Oatmeal instead of cereal
Cereal is a popular breakfast choice, but many cereals are loaded with added sugar, artificial colors and flavors, and refined grains that can spike your blood sugar levels and leave you hungry soon after. Oatmeal is a much healthier option, as oats are whole grains that are rich in fiber, protein, beta-glucan and other phytochemicals that can lower your cholesterol levels, regulate your blood sugar levels, and improve your gut health. You can make oatmeal with water or milk, and add toppings such as fruits, nuts, seeds, honey or cinnamon for extra flavor and nutrition.

7. Sweet potato instead of white potato
White potatoes are starchy vegetables that are high in carbs and have a high glycemic index, which means they can cause a rapid rise and fall in blood sugar levels. Sweet potatoes are lower in carbs and have a lower glycemic index than white potatoes, which means they provide a more steady source of energy. Sweet potatoes are also richer in beta-carotene, vitamin C, potassium and other antioxidants that can protect your eyesight, skin health and immune system. You can bake, roast, mash or fry sweet potatoes for a delicious and nutritious meal.

8. Greek yogurt instead of ice cream
Ice cream is a tempting treat, but it’s also high in calories, fat, sugar and additives that can harm your health and waistline. Greek yogurt is a creamy and tangy alternative that’s low in calories, high in protein, calcium and probiotics that can support your bone health and digestive health. You can enjoy Greek yogurt plain or with some fresh or frozen fruits, honey or granola for a satisfying snack or dessert.

9. Lettuce wraps instead of bread wraps
Bread wraps are convenient and versatile, but they’re also high in carbs and low in fiber and nutrients. Lettuce wraps are a fresh and crunchy alternative that’s low in calories and carbs but high in water, vitamin K, folate and other phytochemicals that can help you stay hydrated and prevent blood clots. You can use lettuce leaves to wrap any filling you like, such as chicken salad, tuna salad, hummus and veggies, or egg salad.

Source:

  1. Editor Scoops – Food Ideas That Help You Lower Your Blood Pressure – Editor Scoops
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Meal plans: What’s the fuss about?

In the world of family dynamics and culinary endeavors, the art of meal planning takes center stage, offering both budgetary and time-saving benefits that can revolutionize the way households approach food. According to a comprehensive survey conducted by the esteemed Office for National Statistics (ONS) in the United Kingdom, the numbers behind family grocery budgets and the time spent on meal preparation unveil intriguing insights into our daily lives.

Let’s begin with the financial aspect. The ONS survey[1] reveals that an average family of four, including two children, allocates approximately £61.90 per week to sustain themselves with food and non-alcoholic beverages. The amount of time invested in this routine activity can fluctuate significantly based on unique circumstances. Factors such as the frequency of grocery shopping, proximity to the store, and the advent of convenient online delivery services all play pivotal roles. As a testament to these variables, The Sun [2] reports that the average British family spends an estimated 1 hour and 15 minutes per week on grocery shopping. However, this may vary depending on individual circumstances and shopping habits.

The journey from the grocery store to the dining table unfolds another layer of variability. The amount of time dedicated to transforming these groceries into delectable meals hinges on a multitude of factors. Consider the size of the family, the frequency of home-cooked meals, and the complexity of culinary creations. All these factors have a say in how much time families allocate to meal preparation.

Now, let’s delve into the heart of the matter—the time spent in the kitchen crafting those daily feasts. According to the Independent [3], a poll of 2000 people found that modern adults spends an average of 61 minutes making their three meals a day, as well as any snacks they may eat between meals. A lack of time was considered the biggest barrier to cooking more often for 31 per cent of adults, along with a lack of knowledge (24 per cent) and working too late to cook fresh meals (15 per cent). When stretched across the entire week, this culinary commitment accumulates to approximately 7 hours.

However, it’s vital to recognize that these numbers are not set in stone but rather malleable, molded by individual circumstances and preferences. Families with a penchant for elaborate, gourmet-style meals or dietary restrictions may find themselves investing more time in meal preparation. On the flip side, those who lean on the convenience of pre-packaged or ready-to-eat meals may significantly reduce their culinary hours. Let’s not forget those who opt for meal delivery services or frequent dining out, whose meal preparation times lean towards the shorter end of the spectrum.

In conclusion, meal planning is a dynamic and adaptable process, influenced by factors ranging from budget constraints to personal preferences. The numbers presented here are a mere snapshot of the diverse culinary journeys undertaken by families, where the art of nourishment is as unique as the households themselves. So, whether you’re a culinary virtuoso or an advocate of convenience, the path to a well-fed family is a personal one, guided by your tastes, priorities, and lifestyle choices.

Sources:
1. ONS Survey – https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/personalandhouseholdfinances/expenditure/articles/familyspendingexplorer/2020-03-26
2. The Sun – https://www.thesun.co.uk/money/17325634/brits-spend-eight-and-a-half-months-in-supermarkets/
3. The Independent – https://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/home-cooking-meal-time-kitchen-microwave-parents-a9361236.html