Today, in Canada: Acclaimed Vancouver chef/restaurateur Vikram Vij responded to a Yelper's over-the-top, one-star review by getting in touch with him in person, and somehow, the affair became a story worthy for CBC Radio's Daybreak Montreal show. During the radio segment, Montreal-based Yelper Raj Basdeo reveals why he railed into Vij's namesake Vancouver restaurant in a 847-word review that uses words like "ghastly" and "flavourless," and describes the restaurant's patrons as "yellow bellied posers." Basdeo admits he visited the restaurant four times "from 2006 to 2010," and it "just occurred to me" to write a review that was published in November. Vij then called Basdeo personally to tell him his review "was less than appreciated"; somehow, both men agreed to go on the radio together.
About four minutes into the CBC segment, Vij chimes in for the first time, saying he contacts reviewers "all the time. This is my way of being on the pulse... [I'll] contact them and say, 'What happened here? What did you not like?'" The CBC Radio host stays between the two men, who do not converse directly aside from a cursory greeting. But Vij goes more on the offensive toward the end, telling Basdeo and other online reviewers "Don't get personal, it's a 100 percent Indian restaurant." (That might reference Basdeo's line on Yelp that read: "I wholeheartedly affirm that Vij's probably at one point had a soul and was indeed a 'real boy' ... but that was once upon a time ... that was before it sold its soul (and it's [sic] ability to make good food) in a Faustian stroke of treachery in exchange for some paltry C-list notoriety.")
Basdeo tells CBC Radio that hearing from Vij directly does not affect the way he approaches his Yelp reviews. A recent review of a Montreal restaurant hammers this home: "It is horrible," Basdeo writes. "I cannot emphasise [sic] to you enough how shitty this shitty shitty place is."