You probably have a few favourite restaurants in your local area. But what about when you're trying to find somewhere to eat when you're not in your own neck of the woods? When you have no idea about the reputation of a restaurant or the quality of their food, it can be somewhat difficult to know whether you'll get a good meal. So no matter if you're looking for lunch or dinner in central Brisbane, or if you're checking out Joondalup restaurants, there are a few tricks of the trade that you can use to make an informed decision.
Are There Online Reviews?
The internet has made restaurant selection a lot easier, and it's easy to get an idea of what to expect by reading online reviews. A number of good or poor reviews will let you know what you're in for in terms of quality and value for money. This is not necessarily conclusive though, and there have been instances of customers leaving poor reviews that are not entirely honest. Consistently poor reviews can be a helpful warning though. But perhaps you are not able to check online reviews at the time, or perhaps you're not willing to trust the internet.
How Busy Is the Restaurant?
A restaurant that is almost empty during peak lunch or dinner service time can be a cause for concern. It's possible that other potential diners know something you don't. This can be handy when there are a number of restaurants located within a close proximity to each other. Why would one restaurant be full when their neighbour is not? You should also compare the prices. An empty restaurant with higher prices might offer more of a fine dining experience than their competitors. The food might be great, but it depends on whether you want something casual or formal (and are willing to pay for it).
How Large Is the Menu?
It's curious when a small or medium-sized restaurant has a mammoth menu with dozens of items. Unless they have a disproportionately large kitchen, they might not be able to make all those dishes to your standard. A restaurant that has a smaller number of options is more likely to be able to cook them to a high standard, using fresh ingredients.
Fresh or Frozen?
Speaking of fresh ingredients, do not be afraid to query this when you see it on a menu. If a restaurant is nowhere near the ocean and yet offers fresh seafood, you might want to ask about their definition of "fresh." Some chefs consider something that has been frozen to still be fresh, whereas other chefs might consider this to be a cardinal sin. It might not worry you, but it can be a deciding factor.
A bad meal can be a major disappointment, but by taking a few things into consideration, you can greatly increase your chances of finding a wonderful restaurant.