There’s probably only one thing food blogger Albert Cho will never put in his mouth – soap.
The foul-mouthed 22-year-old Aucklander has attracted a huge following on his Instagram page, Eat Lit Food, with his brutally honest and often controversial reviews of our cafes and restaurants.
“Instagram started as a joke for my friends to laugh at. I don’t know if you’ve read my captions but they’re not serious!” he says.
He launched Eat Lit Food just last year and already has almost 40,000 followers. Now, he’s started a YouTube series on a food tour around Asia with Kiwi filmmaker Tim Lambourne.
Over two-and-a-half weeks, they visited Tokyo, Shanghai, Seoul and Hong Kong, sampling a variety of food, from delicious baked goods, to ramen made from crickets.
“We ate at 90 restaurants in 17 days.
“One time, I had eaten so much, then Tim missed the shot, so I had to eat it all over again. And when he got the shot, I threw up on the road.”
Albert was born in New Zealand, but his parents moved here from Korea in 1992. He says he was brought up a foodie.
“My Dad eats so much, my Mum loves food. My sister can down so much food, more than anyone I know. I learnt how to cook and I baked. It’s always been a family thing.”
But he quickly learned not everyone shared his taste in food.
“In primary school, I took Korean sushi called kimbap. The teacher looked at it and said is that seaweed? And I was like, ‘yeah’. And then she rounded all the kids up and said, ‘look, Albert’s eating seaweed’ and everyone made fun of me.”
Albert says those experiences led to the creation of Eat Lit Food. Those sass filled critiques aside, his blog is an education in diversity.
“I’ve been made fun of and ridiculed for the type of food I eat, which is ultimately my culture.”
The hate still persists, but that just means his work isn’t done.
“People telling me to go back to my country, to stick to reviewing noodles.”
He says food is one of the greatest social tools on earth. He hopes his blog will encourage people to be open minded about different types of food, and in turn, understand and learn from other cultures.