The shroud of anonymity ... blogging versus reviewing

I did a review of a restaurant called Derby at Khar for Feastguru sometime back.

I am still undecided about whether I like doing organised reviews or not. I have done 4 or 5 so far at Zenzi, Tea Centre, Flags and Penne. All for Feastguru.

The biggest plus point of an organised review is that you get free food. At the risk of sounding snobbish, this would have been a big thing ten years back. Not so much now unless its a five star perhaps. Of course one does get to try out a range of dishes which you can't do if you are alone. And occasionally one gets to meet some interesting folk from the world of food such as Chef Max of Penne and Bakul who was Tea Centre earlier.

On the negative side you know that the restaurant folks are on their best behaviour. Plus you are there as a guest and tend to feel squeamish about baring all. In fact I had started food blogging as I was peeved by saying fake, saccharine filled sponsored food and travel shows on Indian television. So I have to make an effort to stay true to that.

My blogging on the other hand is straight from the gut. In most cases restaurant folks don't know who I am and I get to see them in their natural behaviour. I praise when I want to. And don't hold back any punches if I disapprove of what I see. It's a personal initiative. Like most Bloggers one is driven by passion and of course comments and feedback. It is my space and I can write without any compulsion or obligation or editorial intervention (which is rarely there in Feastguru).
Blogging has its limitations too. Its based on personal visits and you only get to read about what the blogger orders. Visits are impromptu and one might not have the camera at all times. Or take down notes without becoming a social misfit. What you get is first hand but limited report.

So how was Derby? The chicken wrapped in cabbage was healthy and had us asking for more. The grilled mushroom won the unique record of being the first vegetarian and grilled dish ever to be asked for once again by three Bengalis (I took a couple of readers cum friends along). The tangy chicken entree was nice. The food was European flavoured with Garam Masala.

Well here's the thing. Our enterprising host Chef Saif cooked up a special spread for us. These dishes are not available on the menu. So how do I tell you what to expect when you go there?

Still here's the
that I wrote for more details on Derby. Do you find a difference in my Feastguru piece versus what you usually find on Finely Chopped?

Grilled mushroom: I would be a lot trimmer if healthy food was so tasty

Chicken wrapped in cabbage... very delicate and light

Tangy chicken: Lebanon meets Lucknow

A nice dark beauty of a mousse

Our bubbly host Chef Saif and two fellow Inglourious Finely Choppers