Sunday, October 13, 2013

FEEDING BACK - ZOMATO

ONE word that has changed the way I eat food, talk about food, and even think about food - ZOMATO! I have always been a food-lover, but Zomato made me sit up and take myself seriously as one. So when Zomato asked for public feedback, I had no hesitation in reviving my blog after a good while :-)


YUMMM!!! (Awesomeness)

1. (ALMOST) ALL YOU NEED IN ONE PLACE: Almost every thing you can know about a restaurant is available in one page! No mean task to get the menus of so many thousands of restaurants, and keep them updated as well! Can't praise enough how much time it saves to browse the menu even before getting to the restaurant! Integration with Maps and Photos make it even better! Going through a restaurant's Zomato page is like half-visiting the restaurant itself!

2. RELEVANT RATINGS: The biggest danger of a system like this would be the potential misuse by jobless jacks and even restaurant teams, by generating fake positive ratings for their restaurants and negative ratings for competitors. Zomato has a system in place to weed out spam ratings, and ensuring they do not impact the aggregate rating. They also separate the verified reviewers' reviews from that of the not-so-active members. One area of improvement here: There should be a way to remove ratings (from the aggregate) older than 1-2 years, because a restaurant's standard may have drastically improved/deteriorated, and old irrelevant ratings shouldn't contribute to the current standing of a restaurant.

3. FANTASTIC MANAGEMENT/TEAM: The UI, leaderboard system, and other features are constantly evaluated and improved upon. And now, they are seeking a public appraisal. This takes a lot of guts, and shows maniacal intention of the management/employees to be the best out there! As an active contributor to Zomato, my feebdack and reportings are always promptly acknowledged/answered which tells me the folks that work at Zomato share fantastic passion about what they do.

HMMM... (Areas of Improvement)

1. WEB/MOBILE INTERFACE AND FILTERS:
a. Not sure if this was designed so, or if it's a bug, but the 'Recent' viewed restaurants list does not sync between PC and mobile. If I have viewed a restaurant through PC, when I check my phone app later, it would be useful to see the same sync-ed with my login.


b. Change the 'Budget' filter to a draggable slider, so we can select the lower and upper limits. If my budget is Rs.1000, I currently only have the option of looking at 'Rs.500-Rs.1000'. I have to click separately for the 'Rs.250-Rs.500' range, and another for the 'Less than Rs.250' range.


c. The 'Nearby' filter in the Android app does not work properly. The distance is never displayed correctly.


d. Clicking a specific item in 'Notifications' does nothing (in both Web and Android versions). If the notification is about a comment on my review, clicking it should take me to that comment on my review page Currently, it is a pain to have to navigate manually.

e. Seeing the leaderboard rank on your display photo is a matter of pride for the active contributors. The Hall of Fame icon should also be displayed within the display photo itself, like the rank.

f. Include ambiance indicator. It is very difficult to judge the ambiance for several restaurants, due to insufficient pictures/reviews. Similar to classifying restaurants as being suitable for "a drink" or "hang out with friends", have indicators for "suitable for large groups", "suitable for families with kids", "pet-friendly", etc.

g. Highlight the top 3 dishes in each restaurant (based on user reviews). The print edition of the 2013 Connoisseur's Guide, for example, has a 'Not to be missed' section for each selected restaurant. The online version can have a similar 'Must try' section too.

2. THOSE JUICY EXTRAS: While Zomato excels because they are very focused in what they do, they have recently introduced a section for 'Catering' services. Similarly, some other value-add services can be:

a. Table Bookings: I go to Zomato to find restaurants, read about them, see pictures, locate them, see what's on their menu, and even get a number to call them. The cycle would be complete if I could click a few times and reserve a table for 4, directly through the Zomato page. The necessary contact details (such as my name and phone number) can be taken from my Zomato account, so no one can misuse this service.

b. Offers: Currently, some sponsored ads highlight discounts/promotions etc. Citibank deals are also integrated. This can be increased to consolidate all the deals/offers/festivals going on in Bangalore - such as Restaurant Week India, new restaurant promotions, etc.

3. TRANSPARENCY FOR CONTRIBUTORS:
a. Hall of Fame criteria/parameters can be shared, so there aren't questions/controversies about selections.

b. It is great that we can see the best reviews in the 'Featured Reviews' section. Similarly, if we can also see the winning entries for the weekly 'Write for a Bite' contests, it will give others an idea of what a 'winning review' looks like.

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

FAVOURITE SONGS OF 2011

Was surprised that I liked more Hindi and Malayalam songs than Tamil songs in 2011. My favourite overall album of the year was 'Rockstar'.

TAMIL
01. Ayyayyo (Aadukalam)
02. Yaathe Yaathe (Aadukalam)
03. Ennamo Edho (Ko)
04. Nee Korinaal (Nootrenbadhu)
05. Imai Thoodhane (Ilaignan)
06. Mazhayil Kulitha (Ilaignan)
07. Narmada (Kandaen)
08. Maasamaa (Engeyum Eppodhum)
09. Naa Sonnadhum Mazhavandhucha (Mayakkam Enna)
10. Porkalam (Aadukalam)

HINDI
01. Jadugari (Dil To Bachha Hai Ji)
02. Phir Mohabbat (Murder 2)
03. Isq Risk (Mere Brother Ki Dulhan)
04. Tum Ko & Tum Ho (Rockstar)
05. Tere Bin (Dil To Bachha Hai Ji)
06. Sheher Mein (Rockstar)
07. Jiyein Kyun (Dum Maro Dum)
08. Choomantar (Mere Brother Ki Dulhan)
09. Rangrez (Tanu Weds Manu)
10. Der Lagi Lekin (Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara)
11. Haal e Dil (Murder 2)
12. Hey Na Na Na Shabana (Hum Tum Shabana)
13. Chammak Challo (Ra One)
14. Aa Zara (Murder 2)
15. Khaabon Ke Parinde (Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara)

MALAYALAM
01. Kaanaamullal (Salt n Pepper)
02. Ithile Varoo (The Train)
03. Arike Ninnaalum (China Town)
04. Chirakengu (The Train)
05. Madhumaasa Mounaraagam (Rathinirvedam)
06. Chembarathi (Manikyakallu)
07. Kannoram Chingaaram (Rathinirvedam)
08. Chengadhir Kayyum Veeshi (Snehaveedu)
09. Chimmi Chimmi (Urumi)
10. Ninnodenikkulla Pranayam (Doctor Love)

Monday, January 31, 2011

FAVOURITE SONGS OF 2010

Though I don't listen to as much music as I used to before, I try and keep up with the latest Tamil and Hindi film music. To remember the songs that brought me much delight in 2010, I put together a list of my favourite songs in 2010. Have always wanted to make year-end lists, so maybe this will be the beginning.

TAMIL
01. KadhaigaLai paesum vizhi aruge (Angaadi Theru)
02. Mannippaaya (ViNNaithaaNdi Varuvaayaa)
03. Maegam vandhu pogum (Mandhira Punnagai)
04. Thooral ninraalum (Chikku Bukku)
05. PookkaL pookkum tharuNam (Madharaasappattinam)
06. Enna kurayo (Mandhira Punnagai)
07. Neela vaanam (Manmadhan Ambu)
08. Un paerai sollum bodhe (Angaadi Theru)
09. Naan pogiren maele maele (NaaNayam)
10. Adada mazhada (Payyaa)
11. Usure pogudhe (RaavaNan)
12. Hosanna (ViNNaithaandi Varuvaayaa)
13. Idhuvarai illaadha uNarvidhu (Goa)
14. Kayya pudi (Mynaa)
15. Who's the hero (Manmadhan Ambu)

HINDI
01. Dil to bachha hai ji (Ishqiya)
02. Nana chi tang (Khatta Meetha)
03. Baarhaan dil mein - male and female versions(Mr Singh Mrs Mehta)
04. Dil kyun ye mera (Kites)
05. Zindagi do pal ki (Kites)
06. Ajnabi aankhein (Mr Singh Mrs Mehta)
07. Tere mast mast do nain (Dabangg)
08. Ab mujhe koi (Ishqiya)
09. Ae khuda tu kuchh to bata (Mr Singh Mrs Mehta)
10. Pee loon (Once Upon A Time In Mumbai)

Sunday, December 19, 2010

LOSING MORE

Lost my mobile phone (again) today. Feeling desolate and inconsolable.

What did I lose, apart from the money value of the phone...hmm..
Almost every piece of information can somehow be retrieved or stutteringly restored.

Except for the sms-es of someone who is not an active part of my daily life anymore. Looking at these sms-es were my way of injecting that person's memories (and my love for her) into my constant mental system. Even though it may not exist anymore (in the other person's heart), to see the past intensity of love (for me) that was expressed in words still used to make me feel loved.

Tonight, I stand deprived. Of even those keepsake memories, that I so dearly hung on to for several years.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

La la la

Bro: La la la
Sis: What are you humming, bro?
Bro: The song of life
Sis: La la la?
Bro: Yes, la la la. That's the lyric.
Sis: There must be more...
Bro: No, that's it. La la la.
Sis: What does that mean?
Bro: What do you think that means? Try and guess...
Sis: Mm... You're trying to call me by name, but you're stammering out of grief?
Bro: It's the song of life, sis! Think again. Think profound.
Sis: Mm... la la is lullaby. Lullabies are for babies. Babies mean the beginning. It's about birth?
Bro: Good try. What else?
Sis: La La La. At continuous intervals. Life is a periodic cycle?
Bro: Not bad. Ok. Now what do you think the tune of the song is?
Sis: Sa Ni Pa.... Ma Ga Ri.... Come on, how can i guess that? :-) Enough guessing. You tell me what it means.
Bro: Listen carefully...there is no meaning to the lyrics, just as there is none to life.
Sis: !!!
Bro: You can only try and make sense of it to the best of your knowledge. Each one's interpretation to his/her own.
Sis: I'm speechless!
Bro: Now the tune. There is no fixed tune to la la la. Anyone can sing it in any way. No one can correct you and say 'hey, that tune is wrong' because no one knows the tune themselves. It is just that some people's tunes sound better so more people follow that tune, but really - there's no one correct tune.
Sis: I'm not sure if i've wasted my time here, or if i've learned anything of value.
Bro: That must be exactly what people think... on their death beds...

Friday, July 16, 2010

CAN YOU SEE THE LOGIC?

Have seen this billboard in several locations in Bangalore; this one near Silk Board Jn (Thanks for the pic, Raju). Pray, what would the logic be? That the person who CANNOT see the image of the eye CAN READ the smaller font below it, and CAN ALSO READ the mobile number which is in smaller font? By the way, if someone can't see the eye nor the words, what the hell are they doing at the traffic signal at Silk Board Junction?!

Friday, July 09, 2010

FIFA WC 2010 FINAL - PAUL Vs MANI

I am totally tickled by the global popularity achieved by Paul the Octopus and Mani the Parakeet. While the former is an international, death-threat-receiving celebrity, the latter is a relatively less famous Singaporean 'psychic bird'. Both of them hit the headlines because of their ability to "predict" the outcomes of the FIFA 2010 World Cup matches. But the grand final promises to reveal who the real king is - Paul has chosen Spain to win FIFA WC 2010, while Mani has picked Holland!

So, will it be Paul or Mani? (more interesting for me than the outcome of the match itself!)

While we wait to find out, check out this video of yet another animal prophet, this time an amateur cocker spaniel - Leone the Psychic Dog. (My favourite part is between 1:17 and 1:28 - when the owner spins Leone around, counting from one to ten - ha ha!)



I hear the KiLi Josiyars Association of Tamil Nadu is planning to send a contingent of parrots & their owners to the 2011 Cricket World Cup.

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