Do you get to eat for free? ST food critic Wong Ah Yoke answers the burning question

SINGAPORE - Do you get to eat for free? That's one question The Straits Times food critic Wong Ah Yoke gets asked very often.

While many people may think that he gets the VIP treatment, the truth is that he goes to restaurants incognito and pays for his meals, said Mr Wong, who is deputy Life editor.

"A lot of people think that being a food critic means I get to be treated like a VIP and that I eat for free," he said. "The truth is that I go to restaurants incognito and I pay my bills as a normal customer."

Once in a while, however, restaurant owners may give him "a little bit of special treatment" - he gets invited to the kitchen to see the chefs at work.

Always honest with his opinions, he said that this sometimes creates problems with restaurant owners who may not be too happy when given a negative review.

He said: "I see my job as not to write for restaurants, but to write for the readers of The Straits Times."

The real problem that comes with the job? "My expanding waistline," he quipped.