Much like people from other nations, Filipinos love to eat. ♡ The problem strikes when one does not know how to prepare and cook food to eat. Well, this is not necessarily a problem because unless this person lives alone, there may be people in the same house who are responsible and able to make food. Otherwise, the last resort is to buy food or dine out in restaurants. The next problem, which is pretty common, if I may add, is not knowing where to eat. In this article, let’s explore how Zomato can help consumers in choosing a restaurant to eat at.

If you’re living in Metro Manila like me, turn your head around your vicinity and immediately you will see carenderias or “hawkers” and bigger restaurants which offer different menus and food specialties. Hence I think the difficulty is not having none to go to but having too many choices to choose from. Yes?

How Foodies Help Solve the “Choosing Restaurant” Dilemma

One of the reasons why I started blogging my experience and reviewing the restaurants and food I’ve tried is to share information and help readers make dine-out decisions.

As much as I can, I use words very descriptive in nature to make them feel as if they’re there. Of course, pictures aid for visual understanding as well but the core is in the textual content, as I use only iPhone camera to shoot food photos. 😀 If you think these photos are fine, please refer to this post which discusses tips on how to take better photos using smartphone cams. I also provide a food rating system to guide readers and inform them about my standards.

There are many other foodies like me who sharpen their online pens and write their food and restaurants reviews in their own blogs. But wouldn’t it be more comfortable and convenient for online visitors to judge a restaurant by reading different reviews in one channel and in one page?

Food Review Applications

I bet you are already familiar with sites like MunchPunch, Spot.ph, and OpenRice that are seen nowadays as menu search engines for food establishments and must-try dishes guide from appetizers, snacks and main courses to drinks and desserts. There are also location apps such as FoodSpotting and FourSquare which give users (next customers) valuable gems of info about the place instantly. Yup, they make our lives easier!

In Metro Manila, a new addition to this bunch is Zomato.

What About Zomato?

Originating from India, Zomato has been live in Metro Manila, Philippines for four months now. The site features restaurant locations, operating hours, menu, photos, prices of food, contact numbers and restaurant reviews contributed by users. It has a Network feature which lets users follow and be followed by other users. Once you follow User A, for instance, you will receive notifications on User A’s latest activities — favorited restaurants, new ratings and reviews. This gives a thoroughly social experience and the opportunity to foster relationships with a community while savoring delectable cuisines.

Zomato enables users to search restaurants by those who allow deliveries, dine-out and the type for nightlife. It also enables users to search by address, price, type of cuisine, type of restaurant and more ways that essentially lead to tasty chows! Below the homepage is where it lists the top trending restaurants of the week, and top the contributors of the past three months and of all time (leader board). Check it out to see what I mean.

Zomato can be used and be viewed using any web browser and its mobile app. The mobile version is compatible to be installed (for free) in Windows Phone, Blackberry, iPhone and any smartphone that runs in Android and Windows 8.

Rochkirstin on Zomato

I have signed up on Zomato three weeks ago, and I’m happy to become a “Super Foodie” quickly, after garnering 30 followers and writing 30 reviews. 😀

Also, I am honored to have Zomato feature many of my reviews so far on its homepage for Metro Manila week by week. 😛 These featured contributions turn into instant entries eligible for the weekly “Write for a Bite Contest,” where Zomato rewards the week’s best restaurant reviews with meal vouchers. I got my prize on my second week of writing. It’s a PHp 500 worth of meal voucher at Carol’s Texan 5. YAY! 😀

I took a picture holding the voucher and posted it as my profile photo on Zomato. Shortly after, I was invited to meet with their Country Manager and Operations Manager over a dinner. Another yay on this one. ^_^

Wrap Up

Zomato is easy to use, and its interface is simple, straightforward and uncluttered. It solves the problem of finding nearby restaurants. Reviews of other people are just an added bonus. There are no fees to explore the website or the mobile app. It is capable of social sharing to share a review to Facebook or Twitter.

On the other side, another good thing is that owners of restaurants can also benefit as they can now easily read the write-ups and find out whether or not they received a stamp of approval from their dining customers (socially active ones, at least).

Expect new and improved features on July 10, 2013 as Zomato celebrates its fifth year. On the same day, it will be open to more cities of countries where it’s currently available: Indian, UAE, Sri Lanka, United Kingdom, Qatar, South Africa. So I greet them an advanced congratulations now.

Kudos to the team! I’m excited to see those updates. 😀

About 

Health and technology freak. Food and lifestyle blogger with a large appetite for food and travel.

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46 Responses

  1. jenny

    you are so lucky… well I might as well try that one 🙂 i love food but I don’t really know how to make nice once. and this application is for sure a nice help for me, specially that I don’t gamble much when it comes to places to eat. I don’t go to place no one from my friends have been so I always end up going to the same place over and over again. well I guess I don’t have to worry much about that now..
    thanks for sharing 🙂

    Reply
    • Rochkirstin Santos

      Hey Jenny! Thanks and welcome! 🙂 I’m sure you can find many useful reviews at Zomato to decide if one restaurant is right for any dining occasion.

      Reply
  2. Lui B. (FilipiKnow)

    I came across Zomato before and I found it very useful. In my case, I usually read food blogs first before heading to a certain restaurant. Reviews from bloggers are really more personal and useful at the same time.

    Reply
    • Rochkirstin Santos

      Yes, many people do that. Personal reviews of bloggers are not of professional food critics might sound better because they are just regular people who want to pig out and then share their experience without being too technical.

      Reply
  3. Jonas Labagala

    Oh my! Like, I have to download this app right now on my mobile since I’m always on the hunt for new restos. I do hope that Zomato can recognize Davao restos and I hope that many people will recognize this app since this is so useful for those who want some food reviews and recommended restos to try.

    We’ll be in Manila next year and Zomato will be so useful to me! 😀

    Reply
    • Rochkirstin Santos

      We actually had a talk about that. What’s next after Metro Manila, I asked. Zomato people said that they are thinking of Cebu however users might not embrace the app as much as it’s well accepted here in Metro Manila. I nominated Davao and they said they have been hearing lots of people also requesting for the same. Another one is Boracay. Hmmm tasty choices, huh. 😀

      Reply
      • Jonas Labagala

        Wow! I agree with you on this. They should include Davao in Zomato and I’m glad that you nominated Davao as the next one to introduce Zomato. Thanks a lot! 😀

      • Rochkirstin Santos

        You’re welcome, Jonas. 🙂 In the meantime, you can still read through the reviews posted at Zomato ’cause some of the rated and reviewed restaurants have branches in Davao.

  4. Franc Ramon

    Zomato looks like a very helpful app for foodies and also regular diners as it helps people with their food choices.

    Reply
    • Rochkirstin Santos

      Sure. That’s why just like I wrote there, restaurant owners must be more likely to pay attention to online reviews because of their public nature. Comment cards that are usually passed to them after the meal can be tossed out, and emails can be ignored, but online reviews are out there for everyone to see! 😛

      Reply
  5. jane

    haven’t heard this before though sounds very good for both the reviewers/consumers and the business owners as well

    Reply
    • Rochkirstin Santos

      Hi Jane! Probably you have never heard about Zomato is that it’s not yet live in Malaysia (and Singapore). 😀 They may launch Zomato in MY pretty soon as well. So just wait for it lah haha.

      Reply
  6. Wanderer Juan

    Zomato seems like a pretty cool app to have. One can easily find the restaurant they want at their budget or inclinations by following others. Pretty cool app!

    Reply
    • Rochkirstin Santos

      Yup, it’s really cool and it comes with simple interface you can explore around easily with. As for the budget, the “filter” specifically is set as budget for two, so you can take that as your point for estimate.

      Reply
  7. Teresa Martinez

    People really look at reviews nowadays especially for food and travel destinations. I’m sure your reviews have helped many food hunters in their search for the best place to go.

    Reply
    • Rochkirstin Santos

      Yes, I’m glad I am of help to them and some readers take the next level of even contacting me for gratitude. Some are asking me to review this and that restaurant so they can take a hint on the feel of the place and taste of the food before entering. Haha. This is, I think, largely because everyone can be a “critic” these. Netizens have the freedom to opine about everything from servers’ attire to the fat content of a rib-eye. 😛

      Reply
  8. joy | chemist2writer

    This is actually the first time that I’ve heard of Zomato but it sounds like a good system 🙂 I had a laugh at the drawings and the “foodie” is just a caveman haha

    Reply
  9. Mel Cole

    sounds like a very useful site for tourists in Philippines. I like to read reviews online first before going to restau too.

    Reply
    • Rochkirstin Santos

      I read online reviews, too, sometimes, and then plan on my next foodie destination. Since Zomato does not have lots of reviews yet, I hope that many other foodies would contribute their own honest reviews so we can have a better site for the online community. 😀

      Reply
  10. Pao Tolentino

    Wow, this is definitely something I need to check out. Weekends, like today, sometimes mean an hour of deciding which place to go and Zomato here, looks like it’s going to make things easier on the “Where to?” dilemma. 🙂 Thanks for this post.

    Reply
  11. lovemindanao

    wow .. that is great site where i can locate a resto that features menu or something new to offer to their patrons or for people who has no idea where to dine …

    Reply
  12. Carol

    This is very helpful. I’ve been relying on Munchpunch whenever I’m in the mood to try new places to eat. I will definitely check this one out. ^__^

    Reply
  13. Mai

    Wow! Zomato actually sounds and looks better than Looloo (you familiar with that app as well?). I actually love dining out and trying different cuisines. This would be handy, whenever I need to pick a new place that’s just within my area.

    Reply
    • Rochkirstin Santos

      Yup I have seen Looloo and sorry, I’m not a fan of it. 😀 Zomato encompasses more things and it has more features so I’d better stick with it.

      Reply
  14. papaleng

    Though I am not a foodie lover, but I must admit this Zomato stuff is something food lovers must check out.

    Reply
    • Rochkirstin Santos

      Yup, I think it’s not only for food lovers but for everyone since most of us are eaters in restaurants. If one is not a regular diner then the more he or she must research about the place to eat first to not waste a single penny out of his or her pocket — and enjoy a guaranteed great meal. 😀

      Reply
  15. Sumi Go | The Purple Doll

    I don’t have an account on Zomato yet, but it’s definitely useful since they have copies of menus! While Munchpunch is still my go-to menu finder, I always double check with Zomato since the latter usually has more updated copies of menus XD

    Reply

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