I was invited to join the editorial team of HungryGoWhere after winning a contest on their site. Winning was unexpected for me, as I had submitted my entry for this contest very hastily.
It began with me typing a paragraph in my phone while getting off a bus, expressing my views on food bloggers and how social media can influence our dining options and eating habits. I guess I came across as keen to discuss and explore these topics further, which led to my entry being selected.
I am a culinary student but I love to eat more than I love to cook. I am constantly exploring new and affordable places to dine, keeping myself updated with the latest news and trends. I was very excited to be given this opportunity to visit the offices of HungryGoWhere, as this is the place where interesting food media and content is produced, discussed and presented. This is where I am able to meet people who are into food and social media as much as I am.
Buying gingerbreak cookies for the taste test | Photo: Ivan Chong
When I arrived at the office, I was introduced to the team and started to understand the different roles that contribute to the success of the website. I was immediately given a desk and assigned tasks to complete. I was bestowed ownership of the official HungryGoWhere Instagram account. I was humbled by such a great responsibility — photos and captions from me would be viewed by thousands of followers on their phones! I began 'work' right away and started researching new dining places that the website could feature.
Next, I was given a choice of three places to select for lunch. The editor of HungryGoWhere was taking me out for lunch (she pays for it out of her own pocket first, and we dine anonymously), and I had to write a restaurant review after our visit! I read up on the different places and chose Miska Cafe, a Mediterranean restaurant at Quayside Isle. I was interested in this place as it was quite new and did not have much social media coverage online yet. I had also heard a lot about Quayside Isle, and wanted to experience the destination myself.
As Christmas was just around the corner, the editor also wanted me to conduct a taste test and recommend my favourite gingerbread men cookie to our readers. So after lunch, we headed to VivoCity to shop for cookies. We searched high and low for cookies from different bakeries and cafes, finding cookies in different shapes, sizes and genders. It was fun bringing these back in the office; we broke off the arms and legs of the gingerbread men and shared them with the team.
At the restaurant launch of Tony's Pizza | Photo: Ivan Chong
Then, I proceeded to start my restaurant review of Miska Cafe while the lunch experience was still fresh in my mind. As a culinary student, I know that a chef has to work very hard to produce all the dishes in the menu. A simple sauce may take hours of preparation in the kitchen. So I chose my words for the review carefully — a restaurant's image and reputation might be affected based on how readers respond to my review.
In the evening, we went to the launch of a new restaurant in River Valley: Tony's Pizzas. This was very exciting for me as well, as I have not been to a restaurant launch party before. The restaurant was lively and crowded and full of personalities. The pizza chef was spinning pizzas to entertain the crowd and demonstrating the construction of the pizza from scratch. I was introduced to different people and I was genuinely happy to be there.
My day as a guest food critic was very eventful and fruitful. Being a food critic is not an easy job, and there is a lot of work that goes on behind the scenes, such as managing relationships with clients and generating content that is impartial and interesting enough to engage new readers. I am very thankful for this 'one-day internship' at HungryGoWhere, and I wish the team all the best in the coming year!