When it comes to dining, the gourmet with a deep pocket doesn’t mind splurging for the best of the best. For special occasions, though fine dining establishments are preferred, a memorable meal can be enjoyed if the food, drinks, service and value for money all complement each other and satisfy all the cravings of the diner. This can certainly beat or “best” the recommended restaurant of any guide.
To classify an establishment as “best” is something that can spark a debate amongst critics, diners, the media and the restaurant. This can be the case if the institution conferring awards or promoting establishments is doing so based on solicitations and advertising rather than professional assessments by qualified reviewers.
Established publications such as the Michelin Guide, Time Out, Gourmet Traveller release their much awaited listings on a yearly basis to account for new players. That keeps restaurants on their toes and innovate their menu offerings to ensure that they don’t get dropped from the list.
With the advent of social networking, particularly personal websites and blogs of self-confessed foodies, pretty much anyone can post a review of a personal experience in a restaurant and claim that when he/she ate was the best in the city, country or even the world. It is up to the consumer to discern the accuracy of the blogger though oftentimes these are just the personal opinion of one individual. If the blog or site has a lot of followers, then perhaps the suggestions can be considered with some level of credibility.
For those who want more authoritative recommendations, go for those released by respected publications. An example of this is The World's 50 Best Restaurants by British magazine Restaurant which makes a poll of international chefs, restaurateurs, restaurant critics from the World’s 50 Best Restaurants Academy boasting about 30 panels established divided into regions. Each is overseen by an appointed chairperson that has respected knowledge in that particular area. This gives an assurance that the ratings and commendations are made by qualified connoisseurs and not just any Tom, Dick and Harry.
In reading such publications, one cannot help but wonder how on earth the hundreds of thousands of restaurants in the world can be summed up in such a short list. View these simply as a guide but complement this by your own research. Ask the local crowd which restaurant offers the best dish you are looking for. Note that the hotel concierge will usually recommend you to an establishment where they get a commission for every referral made.