Sunday, September 28, 2008

Diving into

In the course of strategy planning for my next trip to Shanghai, I've been digging deeply into, China's user-driven restaurant review site. If you haven't heard of it, it combines a Zagat-like scoring system with a Yelp!-like youth and enthusiasm. The full name of the organization behind it is Da Zhong Dian Ping (大众点评) which can be translated as "restaurant criticism by the masses" and massive it is, with ranked reviews of 27,777 eateries in Shanghai alone, at last count. Imaging having a ranked list of nearly 900 noodle shops reviewed by locals, or of 180 places specializing in xiao long bao (I'll try to hit them all, of course).

One difficulty with is that it is all in Chinese and my knowledge of written chinese is scant, to say the least. However, by diligently using various machine translation tools and a little imagination, I can more or less figure out who is saying what about where. One of my discoveries was that at least one person was already writing reviews in English, so I took the time to figure out how to register at the website, post reviews, and rank and categorize my eating experiences in Shanghai. I am now proud member no. 3,043,109. I've written 9 reviews so far, and uploaded a few pictures. I've even gathered a few posies from a mini-fan club, who seem to feel grateful that a foreigner has joined the picnic. You can check me out here.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Top 10 What?

In a moment of self reflection (which, of course, is nowadays done by Googling oneself), I was startled to discover that this very blog had been listed as #5 on a list of Top 10 Asian Food blogs by an organization called "Asian Food Grocer." Truthfully, I would think the very irregular nature of this blog (read "the very laziness of its author") would disqualify it, but I'm vain enough to put this laurel crown on my head.

"blog writing at its best, from fascinating subject matter to intelligent, entertaining prose.... Culture and cuisine intersect perfectly at this cozy little blogspot, so check it out!"

I couldn't have said it better myself, heh heh.