Foodiebay.com is a restaurant listing website which I would recommend foodaholics (and non-foodaholics too!) to bookmark, for its an excellent resource to the answer the question “Where shall we have lunch?” (The first two important questions being “How can we eat?” and “Why do we eat?”)
Started by IIT Delhi graduates who loved food and got fed up of having to run around too much to figure out a good place to eat, Foodiebay was initially launched as Foodlet.in before they changed to its current name because of ‘numerological concerns’. Initially, the service covered eating joints in only Delhi/NCR but the service has recently been expanded to Mumbai and Kolkata too. I can’t comment how good the coverage is for the last two cities; at least for Delhi their database is quite comprehensive.
Once you visit the site you can search either by location from the dropdown menus, or search for a particular restaurant name using the searchbox below. My experience suggests that searching for locality doesn’t work that well because it tries to match with both restaurant names and place names. Moreover, the search function is quite terrible anyway – instead of searching for whole words it tries matching within restaurant / place names too. This often ends up giving irrelvant results. My advice is – if you know the name of a restaurant, you should use the search feature to look up its details; otherwise, if you’re looking for eating joints around a particular locality then choose the dropdown option. The dropdown has quite a bit of granularity, so you can select quite specific areas.
Search results are ordered alphabetically according to restaurant name, with cuisine and address mentioned alongside. Watch out for the ‘printable discounts available’ tag available on certain restaurant listings. Icons show depict what kind of facilities are available – dine-in, delivery, bar, pure vegetarian only, cards accepted or not etc. In case you want to refine search results further, based on estimated cost for two, cuisine, facilities available et al you can do so by selecting the refinement options listed above the search results. Quick sorting according to rating (taken from HT / Times of India food guides) or estimated cost can be done by clicking on the column title.
Clicking through on a restaurant title takes you to its details page. For certain restaurants a short (around 50 word) review by a Foodiebay editor is also available. You can browse through the restaurant’s menu too, which is posted in the form of images. Most of the time these are images of the takeaway leaflet menu, so don’t judge a restaurant by its menu! I don’t know how they got the menus for restaurants which don’t do delivery orders. Maybe they sneaked them out or asked permission from management.
If the menu is long in length page-wise (menus are posted pagewise), you can have a bit of trouble reading it. Say you scroll to the end of a menu and want to flip to the next page – so you click on the next page link at tge bottom. The image changes but you’re still at the same place where you were, so you need to scroll again to the top before having to scroll down again. For menus which are a few pages long this can be quite irritating. Maybe they could place an anchor at the start of the menu which the browser would jump to when clicking on page link.
Despite those few niggles (search, menu browsing) I would say that this is an excellent website. A startup has accomplished what other bigwigs in local search such as Google, AskLaila, Justdial and others couldn’t – make a no-nonsense website which helps you reach decisions quickly.