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04 June 2006

Shooting stars

I've been mulling over my Urasawa post and have decided that my rating system for restaurants doesn't have any value.  How can I rate Kalendar alongside Urasawa?  Many would argue that it is similarly misleading to put Pétrus up there with Urasawa, and I would agree with them, if only because of the profound effect Urasawa has had on me, whereas Pétrus was a fantastic meal but was in no way transcendental.

It should be fairly obvious from the tone of the post whether I like a restaurant or not.  It should be similarly clear what type of restaurant I'm talking about, whether it's a quick Tuesday night local or, a shprawntzy fur coat no knickers footballer's wives establishment or, a gastronomic delight.  Most importantly, it should be clear whether it is the type of place I'd want to eat at again, why I'd want to eat there and the type of food I'd hope to be eating.

I am going to keep my stars up there for existing posts because I think it would be confusing to remove them.  I hope that in future posts, I can make the comparative merits of restaurants clear in the text, without resorting to starry shorthand.


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If for any reason I edit a comment, I explicitly say so. I only edit comments if they are rude, abusive etc. I reserve the right to delete comments if I think they're unduly offensive or constitute spam.

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Very thought provoking. Your decision is a particularly interesting one for me, given that, as you saw, I've just implemented a system similar to the one you're discarding. :) You've gotten to the crux of the issue with the question of whether a casual place should ever be rated on the same scale or level with a very formal place. The answer depends, I suppose, on what you value about a meal. Though I started to write out a longer response here, it's clear I need to do some more thinking and writing on the subject. Thanks for the inspired questions!

I think the key issue is what you value about a meal. The problem is, I think that can change from night to night, restaurant to restaurant, depending on company, location, mood, intention and so on. Anyway all the best for your ratings. The look good and should work - I'll read with interest. For other readers interested, check out http://www.teich.net/blog/2006/07/16/ratings/.

Thanks Silverbrow! You're spot on. We can only hope when we write about a place that we have at least enough self-awareness to recognize the effect of what we're bringing to the meal.

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