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How Metro reviews restaurants

How Metro reviews restaurants

Apr 12, 2021 Restaurants

It’s a new era of Metro, which means a rethink on the way we review our restaurants. We love the dining scene in Auckland, and think that when restaurants are good, everyone should know about it. They deserve thoughtful, credible recognition. We also think that when they’re bad, or just okay, restaurant reviews have a valuable role to play in pushing them, and the collective food scene in our city, to be better.

So we’ve gone back to stars. Why? Stars are a classic — an instantly recognisable rating system which has history in restaurant reviewing globally and in Metro. We’re rating all eateries, from fine-dining places to casual joints, from one to five stars.

We want to make it clear: two or three stars is not a negative review. We imagine many restaurants (most, even) fall somewhere between two and three; it means we like the restaurant (sometimes we even like it a lot), but it’s not quite there yet, and here’s why we think so. Most two-star restaurants are places we’d happily eat at. A three-star restaurant might be somewhere we’d enthusiastically recommend to others, for example. A four-star we’re raving about and a five-star is somewhere we think is one of the absolute best restaurants in our city, country or even the world.

One star: Poor to just okay
Two stars: Good
Three stars: Very good
Four stars: Excellent, amongst the best of its kind
Five stars: The best of the best; somewhere worth travelling for that could easily stand up to the international spotlight

As always at Metro, we pay for our own meals, and, where possible, visit twice. Where possible, we book and visit restaurants anonymously. While we do get invited to (and sometimes attend) restaurants for openings and promotional purposes, these never inform our reviews.

All restaurants, regardless of whether they’re fancy or not fancy, expensive or on the more affordable side can get four or five stars. We’re more concerned with the big questions: are they achieving what they’ve set out to achieve? Are they living up to those expectations?

And, most importantly, are the end results noteworthy enough to want to spend our money there?

We hope that makes sense.

— Metro Food Writers


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