Tech Time to Eat Out
Tap into technology that lets you know real time queue times at your favourite restaurant, make reservations, and even order your meals all at a single touch
Issue: Aug 2013
Technology has made dining fun and easy with apps and websites that give you a vast selection of eating places to pick, let you in on their menu, and tell you what others diners have to say
When it comes to food, perfect pairings have resulted into pretty good dining experiences. Fish and chips, eggs and bacon, pie and ice-cream, beer and pretzels, wine and cheese are just some fine examples that come to mind. But food has a new, exciting partner that has elevated eating to a whole new level – technology. Who would have thought putting the two together would result in changing the way we decide where to eat, what to eat and when to eat?
Pick a Place
Singapore is a food paradise that offers choices galore. But with so many options come the bane of actually making a decision. Thankfully, technology has stepped in to help us whittle down the choices to a manageable few.
Whether as a website or an app, OpenRice Singapore comes with information about over 22,500 restaurants, nearly 30,000 reviews and promotions aplenty. You can sort your search via keyword, cuisine, district, type of restaurant, price range and even type of dish. So, for example, if you are going to the Bugis area and are in the mood for Japanese, the app will tell you there are over 40 choices. Pick one, like Ramen Champion at Bugis+, and you can find out its price range (S$11-S$20), its signature dishes (Black Ramen, Mori Soba and Special Miso Ramen) and its opening hours. Read the reviews to then further narrow down your choices. With the app, you can even access menus and promotions and its Nearby function helps you locate eateries near you.
Fancy some Japanese? OpenRice Singapore lets you refine your search down to the cuisine, location and price range and helps you narrow down your search to places like Ramen Champion at Bugis+
Photo credit: itunes.apple.com
Can’t make up your mind? Where To Eat has a Shake-to-Suggest function which can give you random suggestions on where to dine based on your location
Photo credit: www.geekersmagazine.com
Hungrygowhere has both a website and an app as well that work in virtually the same way as OpenRice Singapore but with added advantages. Hungrygowhere allows you to reserve tables either online or via the app. The reservations function is really handy because in an instant, you can tell if Buffet Town at Raffles City has room to accommodate your family this weekend or if Pizzahut at Plaza Singapura can take a last-minute reservation. It even recommends the next available time slot should the one you want not be available, and gives you information about the restaurant in question.
Another website-app combo is Where To Eat which has reviews, promotions and food guides. The GPS-based app lets you search for restaurants near you or by location via choice taps so typing is kept to a minimum. If you cannot decide where or what to eat, simply shake your phone! The Shake-to-Suggest function will then kick in and give you random suggestions on where to dine based on your location. If you do not like their pick, shake the phone again and another choice will be offered.
Plus, its Book a Table Function has the ability to let you make special requests when you make reservations. So if you want to dine at Coriander Leaf at Clarke Quay but would like to a pork-free meal, you can indicate it in a Special Request section.
Save a Spot
You can now make reservations online with websites like Reserveit.sg as well, saving you the long wait on the telephone
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You can find out just how crowded your favourite eating place is with Ticktock’s real time queue times that tells you if the restaurant is too crowded and when tables might be available
Photo credit: www.ticktok.com.sg
Apart from helping you choose an eatery, technology can also help you make reservations at the restaurant. There are now a few websites that offer this service - Reservations.SG, Reserveit.sg and Chope. They all feature information about the restaurants and even have menus and promotions. But, reserveit.sg and Chope are easier to navigate because their restaurants are listed alphabetically.
If you want to drop by your favourite restaurant, bistro, café, coffee shop or hawker centre on the spur of the moment, Ticktok is a great time-saving app. It provides accurate and comprehensive information about queue times so you know just how crowded your favourite food place is at the moment. With more than 10,000 F&B establishments in Singapore on its list, it is also able to help cluster eateries by location so that if one place is too packed, you can pick another near you. Features such as Worth the Wait and Our Picks offer recommendations which are helpful for foodies who believe that good things are worth waiting for.
Get a Meal
Foodpanda Food Delivery & Takeout lets you order online for home deliveries
Photo credit: www.alexischeong.com
If you want to eat out while eating in, Foodpanda Food Delivery & Takeout is the way to go. Whether via their website or app, in just three easy steps – state your postal code, pick your restaurant, order - you can have anything from food to drinks to dessert delivered to you. It has over 100 restaurants on its list so it provides a one-stop option for those who want a selection of cuisines in a single meal.
On the move or online, with technology, the dining experience has become easier, more exciting and more efficient. Take the time to try it out.