One of my main culinary irritations living here in New Zealand is that our main and only food magazine, Cuisine, consistently publishes unrealistically sunny reviews.
I have tried four places based on reviews in this magazine and in its associated web site. My disappointment has been such that I no longer trust ANY reviews in this magazine, relying only on my chowhound's sixth sense.
I think this magazine's approach comes from a well-meaning desire to boost local businesses. And it's not working. I don't want my restaurant reviewers to coddle businesses that don't deserve it.
My ideal restaurant reviewer is a cross between a Heian nobleman, a truffle pig, an undercover cop, and a compulsive writer, applying all these qualities to a Sisphyean series of meals. I salute them and their suffering duodenal tracts - as long as they tell me the unforgiving truth! They're the food tasters of the 21st century...