Are Hyderabad food bloggers going overboard with their reviews?

Hyderabad Desk

A couple of months ago I came across a raving review of Babai Hotel in Kukatpally while doomscrolling on Instagram. Not one to usually get swayed by blogger reels on food places, I thought perhaps I should give it a chance and travelled all the way from Secunderabad to Kukatpally for breakfast.

Alas, the food was mediocre, the place was barely passable, and the overall experience was ‘meh’ at best. Nothing personal against the establishment or the food blogger who put it up, but I will not go there again probably. As a Hyderabadi, there are certain food outlets that are gospel for me, given that the city prides itself when it comes to local cuisine, both Hyderabadi and Telugu.

But I’m otherwise very sceptical when it comes to new places, or fancy outlets, because let’s face it, that’s not where the nest best food is. I’m strictly speaking in terms of good food in Hyderabad. Traditional, continental, anything and everything.

In the post-COVID-19 scenario in Hyderabad, there has been a burst on Insta in terms of food reviews. And I think it’s time we need to talk about that, because Insta food bloggers now are a dime a dozen.

It seems like Insta food bloggers in Hyderabad are running out of places to review, and are willing to rave about mediocre food and establishments just for the sake of content creation (I understand that is required for one’s online presence, but let’s keep it honest at least, shall we?).

At this point, I don’t even remember the last time I took something seriously on social media for food suggestions in Hyderabad.

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Insta Hype vs reality

Let’s also not forget that ‘reviews’ are often paid for. Most outlets also do not charge influencers for food reviews as well, but if it is an honest review then that does not matter. What actually matters is the public getting misled by blogger reels. And Insta is currently saturated with it. With Ramzan coming up, this is likely to get every worse in Hyderabad.

Like my experience with Babai Hotel, I’ve noticed that several tiny establishments that are turning up on my Insta feed are honestly very very dicey and dingy.

A couple of weeks ago I saw a review of idly dosa sold on the street near the Abids GPO that was anything but hygienic. No problem if people choose to eat it, but a review raving about it seemed rather incredulous. Similarly, a few Insta reels of hotels selling Tahari from around the Old City in Hyderabad and around Mehdipatnam have only roused my suspicions further. I have seen those places and I would not eat there to save my life due to the hygiene situation.

I have tried pretty much anything and everything when it comes to food, and it is very often that I strike something off my list if I find it to be subpar. Basically, I take my food very seriously. Anyone who loves food should do as well. Moreover, another clear sign that Insta food bloggers in Hyderabad are running out of places are reviews of catering businesses or even weddings on Instagram(?!). I mean come on guys, seriously?

Makes me wonder what the limit is when it comes to content creation. So if you find yourself watching an incredulous review of a dingy or a random food place on Insta, be wary. Or find yourself disappointed and with an upset tummy.

(The opinions expressed in this article are the author’s alone.)

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