Recent posts

Meet Zomato

You hate and love them. But review sites are a fact of life and are here to stay. In Melbourne, the biggest of them all is Urbanspoon, which is about to be relaunched in a few weeks as Zomato with local community managers and content creators on the ground. And the team looks to be improving some of Urbanspoon’s shortcomings by ranking trusted reviewers and changing the point scoring system. A history of review sites Yelp! was the first review […]

injunction alert!

Barry Vera wants to sue me

Here is the solicitor’s letter in full. As in my terms on this site I state that every email is for publication, I’m publishing all correspondence. Confidential – Not for Publication Dear Mr Charles Re: https://tomatom.com/2007/04/14-ways-to-tell-when-a-restaurant-will-close-down/ We are a firm of solicitors from England, acting for Mr Barry Vera. As you may be aware Mr Vera is a professional Chef who previously held the position of Head Chef at the now closed Australian Restaurant ‘VERAS’. Mr Vera now resides and […]

How Big Huey beat the trolls

I was tempted to call this post “Meet the troll wrangler”. I’m not talking about Iain Hewitson or myself but an astute watcher of social media. More about this Caped Crusader of the digital world later. Online restaurant reviews are a serious business. Bad ones cause restaurant owners anxiety and they can spend a lot of time – and money – dealing with them properly. Nobody wants a bad review to go viral by handling it badly. And some owners […]

The new venues shaping St Kilda

You’ve probably noticed that everything hip that is happening is in Fitzroy, Collingwood or the CBD. And perhaps Northcote or Yarraville. People are also doing things in St Kilda and somebody has to tell the story. St Hotel Imagine what the illegitimate love child of the Royal Saxon and The Prahran Hotel would look like. It would probably be very much like the St Hotel, the reimagined Saint nightclub in St Kilda, which is almost finished and may open very […]

Dog's Bar

What next for St Kilda and the Dog’s Bar?

Has St Kilda lost its mojo as a destination or has the rest of Melbourne caught up? As I write this the Dog’s Bar is ten minutes from re-opening (at 4pm October 2 2014) under a new manager and what was Slow Down at Harley Court is now The Nelson, a cool looking rum bar, that opens on October 17 at 4pm I see the story of St Kilda’s decline and potential for rejuvenation as the story of the Dogs […]

The big opportunity for video shorts

With Youtube the second biggest search engine in Australia, it is also a huge opportunity outside of Google search to use it to get your brand noticed. Like pictures, short videos are easy to watch and absorb. The only problem is we are all in a mindset born out of corporate videos of years gone by. And like me, you probably just yawn just thinking about corporate videos. Unless extremely entertaining or compelling, few people are going to watch a […]

A 3D view of your business

View Larger Map Google maps for business, now known as “Google My Business” is a tricky one. Not only is verification a pain in that you have to wait for a postcard that sometimes doesn’t arrive (although you can sometimes get someone on a phone to help), but it can also be difficult to get right. The difference between getting your listing right or wrong is the difference between your business showing up in local and map search or not. […]

The rules to order a Lune Croissant

Queues who needs them? I’ve learnt to accept the queues for restaurants on Flinders Lane. I’ll pick an unpopular night and/or time for a visit. Or I’ll plan a Negroni or two around the corner for the hour or so I have to wait. Lune Croissant is a different story. People are rising before dawn to queue for croissants (see pics). Not only that they are queueing in the dark and the cold but are leaving empty handed, myself included. […]

The Lobster Cave and the confusions of confusions

by Pam and Ed Imagine you were going to spend $330 on a meal for two. You could go for a four course a la carté at Vue de Monde for $150 a head (subject to the day and time of the week). You may bust your budget when you order a glass of wine each. Still, you get the full Vue De Monde experience. And the view. Or you could visit the Tuesday night Chef’s Table at Attica for […]