Food Review Tips for “Influencers” — How to Rate Restaurants

Vikram Karve
8 min readMay 5, 2022




“Guide” to “Influencers” on “How to Rate Restaurants” by Vikram Karve





This happened 45 years ago — in the 1970’s — during my delightful Mumbai Navy Days — when I served as a young Officer — on a front-line Naval Warship.

I was sitting in our ship’s wardroom enjoying my first drink of the evening.


(Wardroom is the Officers Mess on a Navy Ship or Shore Establishment)


Some shipmates came inside the wardroom.

They asked me:

“Hey — we are thinking of going to ‘XXX’ restaurant for dinner. How is the place…?”


I thought about it.

Then — I looked at them and spoke.

“…3 Large…” I said.


My shipmates promptly downed 3 Large Pegs of Whisky each.


Then — they proceeded for dinner to ‘XXX’ restaurant in the heart of Mumbai.


I was — and — I still am — an avid “Foodie”.

During my early Navy days — I was lucky to be appointed on ships based at Mumbai

This gave me great opportunity to explore the culinary delights of the best Foodie City in India.




If you have read “Food Reviews” — you will notice that most Restaurant Reviewers rate restaurants on a scale of 1 to 5 — with 5 meaning “Excellent” — 4 (Very Good) — 3 (Good) — 2 (Average) — and — 1 (Poor).

5 — Excellent

4 — Very Good

3 — Good

2 — Average

1 — Poor


These food reviewers consider various parameters like food, service, ambience etc to rate a restaurant (and some even give sub-ratings for each parameter).

Some food reviewers use “stars” instead of numbers to rate restaurants.

But — it is basically the same rating system.




My restaurant rating system is different.

I rate restaurants on the number of Pegs of Booze (Rum/Whisky) you are advised to drink — the amount of alcohol you must imbibe — before proceeding to eat food in the restaurant.



I rate restaurants on a scale of “0” to “6” (Zero to Six) –“0” Pegs” to “6 Pegs”

Yes — Zero Pegs to 6 Pegs — to be precise.

Of course — the “Peg” referred to is a “Large Peg” — which is “60 ml” of Rum or Whisky.

So — you may call it the “Zero Large” to “6 Large” rating system too.


And yes — this rating mainly applies to Indian Cuisine.

It is my experience that alcohol does not go well with Indian Cuisine which is highly flavorsome.

Alcohol dulls the taste buds — and olfactory sensation — and encumbers the unmitigated enjoyment of good food.




Let me explain a bit about my “0” Pegs” to “6 Pegs” restaurant rating system.

As I told you earlier:

The Restaurant is Rated on the Number of Large Pegs of Booze (Rum or Whisky) you are advised to drink before proceeding to eat food in the restaurant.

At one end of the scale — you have a “0” Large — or “Zero Peg” Restaurant.

“0” Large (“Zero Peg”) Restaurant is one that serves Pristine Food.


If you are going to have an authentic Indian “Pure Vegetarian Thali Meal” prepared hygienically with pure ingredients in clean surroundings — you will ruin the eating experience if you drink alcohol before this pristine food.

This will therefore qualify for a “0” Large or “Zero Peg” rating.

It is recommended that you not drink any alcohol before proceeding to such a “Zero Large” restaurant.


At the other end of a scale — you have a “6 Large” Restaurant.

A “6 Large” Restaurant serves hard-core “Trencherman” style food — for which you need to fortified by alcohol — and you require a “cast iron stomach” to digest the food.


“6 Large” Rated Restaurants serve hard-core street-food — like oily spicy greasy mutton curry prepared in most unhygienic earthy manner and eaten in noisy, crowded, polluted, filthy surroundings.

Such “robust” food which requires a “cast iron stomach” to digest and fit only for a seasoned Trencherman — will qualify for a “6 Large” rating.

It is recommended that you drink 6 Large Pegs of Rum or Whisky before you proceed to such a restaurant.


Dear Fellow Foodies and Influencers:

You have got the drift — haven’t you…?


“Zero” Large — to — “6 Large” — Restaurant Rating Scale


One end of the scale (“Zero Large”) pertains to delicate refined pristine food to be savoured by the high-falutin Gourmand.

The other end of the scale (“6 Large”) pertains to fiery robust earthy food fit only for a tough Trencherman.


My shipmates were going to a “3 Large” Eatery for Mutton Biryani in the heart of the city.

There was a “2 Large” Eatery nearby too which served a more “refined” biryani.

And — of course — there were a few “5 Large” street-joints where you got earthy “Kababs” and “Bheja” dishes too.

In my entire life — I have rated only one eatery with the top “6 Large” rating — and I have never dared to go there again.

Of course — I have eaten in many ‘pristine’ restaurants which qualified for a “Zero Large” rating.




I have observed that the “Zero Large” to “6 Large” Food Rating Scale works for “Home Cooked Food” too.

After success with restaurants — I started applying my “Zero” Large to “6” “Large” Rating System — whenever someone called me home to dinner.


Those days — I was known to be a passionate drinker.

Yes — I was a true “drunkard”.

We had been invited to dinner at a friend’s place.

My friend was surprised when I declined his offer of my favourite “Rum-Pani” (Rum and Water) drink.

“You don’t want a drink…? What’s wrong with you…?” my friend asked me.


I said to my friend:

“Nothing is wrong with me.

Your wife is truly an excellent cook.

I visited the kitchen — I saw her cooking — and I have seen in the kitchen all the delicious dishes she has made for dinner.

So — I don’t want to spoil my eating experience by drinking alcohol which dulls the taste buds.

Your wife’s cooking has the best “Zero Large” rating…”


This is what I told my friend.

My friend’s wife had overheard our conversation.

“What do you mean by “Zero Large” rating…?” my friend’s wife asked me.


I explained my “Zero” Large Pegs to “6” Large Pegs” restaurant rating system to my friend’s wife.

Then — I said to her:

“Ma’am — I saw you cooking food in the kitchen.

You cook so well — that your food deserves the topmost “Zero” Large Peg rating.

So — I don’t want to ruin my eating experience by drinking Rum and dulling my taste buds…”


She glowed with pride and happiness.

Another friend’s wife overheard our conversation.

She gave me an angry look.

She had called us for Dinner a few days ago — and I had downed “5 Large” Pegs of Rum at her place before daring to sample her cooking.

In fact — after tasting her “mutton curry” — I had insisted on “one more drink” — to facilitate swallowing the terrible food down my gullet (esophagus).

Ha Ha — she was a horrible cook — and — it was truly a mutton curry worthy of a “6 Large” rating


“0” PEGS” to “6 PEGS” — aka — “Zero LARGE” to “6 LARGE” FOOD RATING SCALE


So — Dear Foodie:

The next time I ask you to rate a restaurant — please don’t give me numbers.

Just say anything from “Zero Large” to “6 Large” — say — “3 Large” — or — “4 Large” — etc.

And — I will know how many Large Pegs of Rum or Whisky to imbibe before I go to eat in that restaurant.

If you are going to eat “hard-core fiery “Trencherman” style” food — you must be “primed up” with enough alcohol before partaking the same.

On the other hand — it is best not to drink alcohol if you are going to eat delicate refined pristine food — so that your taste buds are fully sensitive to enjoy the fine delicacies.




You may ask me:

“Why do you limit the restaurant/food rating to “6 Large”…?

Why have an upper limit of “6 Large” Pegs of Booze…?”


My answer is simple.

“6 Large” pegs is nearly half a bottle of Rum or Whisky (750 ml Standard Bottle of Liquor)

If you drink more than “6 Large” pegs of Rum or Whisky — after drinking so much alcohol — your senses will be totally dulled — and — the taste buds on your tongue will hardly be able to discern the taste of the food you are eating.


Dear Foodie Friends:

Happy Eating.

And — “Hic” “Hic” “Hic” …!!!

Make sure you imbibe the appropriate number of pegs of booze as per the “restaurant rating” — before you proceed for eating out in a restaurant — or ordering food from there — and you may follow this concept for home cooked food too.



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  1. This article is a spoof, satire, pure fiction, just for fun and humor, no offence is meant to anyone, so take it with a pinch of salt and have a laugh.
  2. All stories in this blog area work of fiction. Events, Places, Settings and Incidents narrated in the stories are a figment of my imagination. The characters do not exist and are purely imaginary. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.
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Vikram Karve

A creative person with a zest for life, alumnus IIT Delhi, Lawrence School Lovedale, Vikram Karve is a retired Navy Officer turned full time Writer and Blogger