Escape from the crowd
This blog believes that there are many mediocre restaurants out there which are just too crowded. Through laziness, lack of knowledge, or just plain bad taste people flock to the same old places – pushed along like sheep by guidebooks which don’t really have their finger on the culinary pulses of the cities that they write about.
Find the hidden
We want to remedy that by offering recommendations for places which are outside of the mainstream, which offer hidden delights. And at the same time we want to give people the tools and the inspiration to seek out such places for themselves. While ‘crowded’ refers to the hordes putting up with average food, it also captures the limitless potential out there in cities crowded with new restaurants and food stalls just waiting to be discovered, waiting to be put on the map.
Authentic and rooted
One tenet of this site is authenticity. Culture is the great latent force out of which good food is generated and it is normally an act of violence to rip a food from its cultural soil and try to create something new. We like foods which taste of places, which have their roots firmly buried in the traditions of a place or a people. If you’re in the UK and eating Chinese food, then that food should still taste of China and not of some plutonic mix of sweeteners and additives.
Okay, sometimes changes to food can make it better. The extra herbs in San Francisco’s Vietnamese Pho can enhance the dish’s freshness further. And then there’s fusion food, which though usually bad can sometimes be a delight. But if you’re eating food that’s been altered, or which is a fusion of different styles, then we believe the important thing is to know what you’re eating and to apply different criteria to it. Don’t blunder blindly along, eating sugary sweet-and-sour or pineapple pizza and believing you are getting the real cultural deal.
Not all and not for all
The idea of this site isn’t to send crowds flocking to new places instead of old. Its aim is to share with people who are really passionate about food a few special locations we have discovered. If you’ve taken the time to find this site, then we assume you’re already the type of person who’s hungrily looking for hidden culinary adventures, who already spends some time digging around to see what’s out there that hasn’t been tracked.
Also worth noting is that this site doesn’t intend to be comprehensive. Presented here are just a small section of the great restaurants in a few different cities. For most of these restaurants, we’ve also only so far tried a few of the dishes on the menus and given our opinions based only on these. If you go there and have a different experience, then please don’t blame us, but leave a comment to let us know how you feel. Equally, if you go and try different things that you’re impressed by then comment on those as well. And if you want to send in your own review then do that too.