Leading local online dining guide Openrice.com is taking on an international flavour with the recent launch of an English website in addition to its Chinese platform. The move was seen as a serious challenge to the world-famous Michelin Guide, which landed in the city in late 2008, in the battle to lure gourmets who cannot read Chinese. Ray Chung, founder of Openrice.com, said the idea of a bilingual diners' guide was to meet growing demand for food recommendations from expatriates and tourists. 'Hong Kong restaurants offer a stunning array of cuisines from around the globe, and we are loyally showing the comments on Japanese, French and Italian restaurants in the eyes of the locals,' he said. 'It sets different criteria to other famous food guides like Michelin Hong Kong, which recommends mostly high-end dining places.' Launched in 1999, Openrice.com has emerged to be the most popular food guide in Hong Kong, with 1.6 million visitors every month browsing its pages. Now the online dining guide contains information on more than 20,000 restaurants, gathering up to 350,000 restaurant reviews posted by local food lovers. The new English platform was presented with a fresh outlook in December. Similar to the original Chinese platform, it categorises restaurants by cuisine, district and price range with their English reviews in the previous archives. New comments and reviews in English would be shown in both platforms. Food critic Walter Kei said Openrice.com and the Michelin Guide adopted different systems serving different audiences, so they might not compete with each other directly. But Kei complimented Openrice.com's user-friendly system of restaurant searching. 'Everyone can say what they like, and the sampling size for cheaper restaurants is much bigger online, so the judgment is more reliable,' he said. 'But people are more likely to write good things about expensive restaurants because they don't go to these restaurants all the time, and they might have saved money for a long time to dine there.' The online food guide was born bilingual but its original English mirror site was scrapped six years ago due to poor response. Chung would not predict the amount of traffic the new English site would receive, but he was optimistic given that there was a much larger audience base than before.