Each week we profile a different Canadian Food Blogger who is part of the FBC community. This week meet Janice and Joel, two friends from Toronto who are behind the honest restaurant review site, Blunt Food Review!
Name: Janice Leung & Joel Chiu
Blog name: Blunt Food Review
Where were you born? We were both born in Hong Kong
Where are you living now? We both live in Toronto
Why did you start your blog?
We noticed that people were taking great photos of food on social media but only ever posted positive comments about their meal. No one was providing honest opinions and concise reviews. We started our blog to give everyone true, non-watered down views of the restaurants we visit, especially the ones that are new and popular to see if they live up to the hype.
How did you decide on your blog name?
Our main issue with the food blogs at the time were that they weren’t blunt enough! We wanted our food reviews to be as short and as honest as possible, hence the name Blunt Food Review was born.
What do you blog about?
We blog and post reviews of restaurants mainly in Toronto but also abroad when we have a chance to travel.
Is your blog your business, your hobby or something in between?
Our blog is a hobby that we run on our free time.
What post on your blog most encapsulates you and why?
Our post on the grand opening of Dazzling Cafe encapsulates what we stand for in our blog. Dazzling Cafe is a large, well known chain in Asia and this was the first location to open in Toronto. As such, there was lots of buzz and excitement leading up to the opening. Unfortunately our visit and our meal was underwhelming and we made it a point to present that to our followers in this post.
Which post do you wish received more love and why?
This post was a bittersweet one as Rectory Cafe is an establishment on the Toronto Islands that was closing after being open for over 10 years. We had such a lovely, intimate meal by the lake and felt that we truly represented that in the blog and the photos.
Which post’s success surprised you and why?
Surprisingly, after a year, our post on Good Catch Boil is still one of our most visited posts on our site. I guess people love their seafood!
What’s your biggest challenge as bloggers?
Our biggest challenge as food bloggers is to be true to our blog and continue writing honest reviews, even if others may disagree with our posts, or other blogs appear to be more successful by always writing positive reviews.
What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned as bloggers?
The biggest lesson we’ve learned as bloggers is that no matter how good your content may be, it needs to be accompanied by photos that are shot just as good as well-written content, if not better!
Share a couple of your favourite food blogs to read. Why do you like them?
Janice: When I’m not eating out, I love to get ideas for home cooking and baking through Smitten Kitchen. Deb’s style of writing is approachable and humorous; reading her posts always cheers me up, inspires me to try a broad range of recipes and be creative with it!
Joel: I am a humongous fan of Mark Wiens on Youtube- he’s always capable of traveling to exotic locations while still being able to avoid the tourist traps and eat the food that the locals experience on a daily basis. His videos truly show how much he enjoys eating food, and it serves as a source of fantastic travel inspiration.
Favourite food - care to share a recipe or a restaurant destination?
The answer is almost always sushi! We are big fans of omakase style sushi, and are very interested in the recent boom of omakase style Japanese restaurants in Toronto. Some of our favorite restaurants include Shinobu Sushi and Shoushin.
What are you working on next for your blog?
We’ll continue exploring the ever-expanding list of diverse restaurants in Toronto, and catch up on posting about all the restaurants we recently visited (it’s a vicious cycle!)
What else should we know about you that may or not be in your “About Me” page?
First of all, we are not a couple 😉 But in fact we have been friends since high school!
Janice: In my spare time I love to cook, bake and experiment with different recipes at home. I’m a bit obsessive with my houseplants, am currently training for a half marathon, and have a growing collection of various flavoured KitKats. I’m nearing 100 different flavours - you can follow my collection at @KitKatFamous on Instagram!
Joel: I enjoy cooking and eating various cuts and types of steaks in different ways, whether they are medium-rare ribeyes or it’s shabu-shabu with wagyu!
What makes your blog unique?
What makes our blog unique is that we don’t just post great looking photos of food, but we strive to create meaningful content in the form of personal & honest reviews of restaurants that we’ve visited.
What part of the FBC site do you find most useful?
The weekly menu plans are a very useful part of the site - having weekly menu plans available really alleviates a lot of the stress involved in planning meals from our daily lives, while still allowing us to enjoy delicious and healthy meals, and giving us more opportunities to blog!
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