Or sometimes, reading one.
As a reviewer, it is much, much easier to say pleasant things about the food than to criticise, especially on Phuket where most so-called ''reviewers'' are paid promoters.
They receive free meals in exchange for puffery. If you want to find out whether a review is genuine, ask who paid for the meal.
At Phuketwan we try to tell it like it is, and the hunt is now on in earnest for the Phuketwan Restaurant of the Year 2008.
We could actually use your help.
While we have visited an assortment of restaurants this year, our selection is dictated by what we see and hear. We'd hate to think that there is a brilliant contender out there that we have somehow overlooked.
The criteria is good food at good prices. An emphasis on value actually means some of the island's fine dining establishments will never come into contention.
But perhaps they should, in a segment of their own. We are looking at changes to the 2009 competition that may well broaden the field, and the judging process.
The winner in 2007 of the Phuketwan Restaurant of the Year title was Dibuk, an establishment in the old part of Phuket City that serves French and Thai food. Consistency is what Dibuk has in abundance.
We have never had a bad meal or a bad dining experience there. One of the pleasures in living in Phuket City is to take friends to Dibuk and share the food, whether Thai or the selection of French appetisers, or a mixture of both.
And the prices make it all worthwhile.
Dibuk is not in contention for the 2008 award because we figure it is fairer to have the previous year's winner stand aside for the following year.
That way, another restaurant has the chance to pick up the 2008 accolade before we broaden the competition in 2009.
If you are a foodie without any connection to an existing restaurant and you are prepared to act as a critic in 2009, tell us how to make contact through the Comment box below.
As for 2008, we hope to sample a few more restaurants as selected by readers, then make a judgement around the end of the year.
We have had some interesting experiences, and some great meals.
More than once, we have walked out of restaurants. This is not usually a reflection on the food, but the service.
Oddly enough, the problem arises at restaurants that have too many staff, rather than too few.
We have actually been left to sit and wait, and wait, and wait . . . and been looked at by perhaps four or five wait staff.
Each, presumably, is waiting for one of the others to wait . . . until the customers cannot wait any longer, and leave.
We can only guess what has happened at these places after our departure. We hope the answer is that the problem is quickly addressed and resolved.
But somehow, we doubt it.
One recurring problem is the way trainee staff are allowed to run free. Some experiences with rookie wait staff this year have been truly appalling.
We don't think it's sensible to expect a diner to pay a hefty baht price for a meal if the service is performed by a first-nighter.
That's a point often overlooked, even by expensive restaurants.
It may be a rare treat for the couple to dine out. They may have scrimped and saved for a big occasion (and that is certainly likely to be the case in 2009).
Unless the staff treat every meal and every customer with suitable professionalism, a special occasion can easily be ruined.
We rate restaurants on: quality, value, and consistency. Taste, ambience and the general experience are all in the mix, too.
But we think many restaurants suffer from poor service, often because of a lack of training or a rookie on the loose.
If someone is being trained, the trainer should always be at their elbow, ready to help. Always.
Our worst experience, though, had nothing to do with the food.
The owner of a Thai restaurant, while carrying food from the market through the restaurant (something that also should not happen) made an offensive remark to my companion about the color of her skin.
There was no reason for it. She must just be that kind of person.
Racism in a restaurant is not acceptable, even if you do happen to be the owner. This woman clearly has no idea.
We will never go back.
Yet this particular restaurant has somehow garnered a mention in one of the less well-known tourist guide books, a point they advertise at every opportunity.
Meanwhile, if you have any suggestion about good restaurants or ways we can improve our reviews in 2009, please send a Comment through the box below.
Last year's other winners of the annual Phuketwan awards were:
Phuketwan Person of the Year 2007 Promchote Traivate, area representative for the Tourism and Sport Department
Business of the Year 2007 Destination Air
Innovation of the Year 2007 Red Mountain Golf Course