When food and love come together, the possibilities are endless. Esther and Matt Tung met while studying at Harvard and soon realized that they shared a passion for food, and quickly accumulated a cache of photos that needed a place to flourish — and thus @TheBiteSite was born. This dynamic duo documents all of their taste adventures on their feed with up-close-and-personal shots, strong noodle pulls and donuts for days. Get the skinny on their pic tips, see who they follow for inspiration, and hear about their favorite new bubble tea joint.
Tell us a little about yourself. How’d you end up in Boston, and what inspired you to create your Instagram account?
We met each other while college students at Harvard in the same Christian fellowship. Through a medical degree/residency and psychology PhD we’ve been here ever since! Finding and eating all kinds of food has always been a crucial part of our relationship and marriage. Food photography has long been a love of Esther’s (she takes pictures of our food on all of our dates), and Matt has come to see the light as well. Years of photography had built up a library of hundreds of delicious looking photos, so at some point Esther felt that it made sense to put all of those pictures somewhere, and thus our @TheBiteSite Insta was born!
Name the top five dishes on your Boston food bucket list.
This is a mix of some of our personal favorite experiences/food to eat in Boston + some experiences you just have to have while in Boston:
- Lobster roll at Neptune Oyster.
- Karaage and regional sushi from Pabu (though they are temporarily closed during COVID).
- Family/communal-style Italian dinner at Table in the North End.
- Extra pork ramen from Yume Wo Katare.
- Cap steak from Grill 23 & Bar (with their brussels sprouts – if they’re in season).
What do you think is on the horizon for restaurants?
It’s always hard to say for sure what the next big trend is going to be. One of the most fun parts about being a foodie in Boston has been watching the explosive growth that has transformed the food scene here over the last decade. One pattern that seems to be picking up (at least, pre-COVID) is the movement toward food take-out counters, whether as stand alone institutions or as part of food halls. Letting chefs pay for top-notch ingredients and kitchen space rather than a place for their customers to sit and eat makes a lot of sense, and allows for customers to try out a little bit of something from a restaurant that they wouldn’t necessarily get an entire meal from. We hope that this is able to continue after COVID.
Which chefs are your favorite to follow on Instagram and why?
@jenroyle is just an amazing chef and person. She is an Emmy-winning MLB reporter and made TABLE happen out of sheer force of will. She’s always so real and funny on her Insta, and her dogs are the cutest.
Sisters @princessgloriafeasts and @emilyychin have done an incredible job designing so many delicious and beautiful Asian fusion dishes for Double Chin Restaurant and Bao Bao Bakery! Everything is tasty and everything photographs well!
Beyond chefs, what are your top three favorite food Instagram accounts to follow?
Jennifer @bostonfoodbae is an amazing photographer, and all her pictures are beautiful. She’s super real, and we love talking about Asian food when we’re together.
Madison and Riley @nomstoppable. Their captions are always funny, and they have ALL the great carbs pictures. Also, just super fun people to hang out with!
Emily @bostonfoodgram also takes amazing photos, and she is always at all the new places, so it’s cool to see what’s opening.
Describe Boston’s food scene in three words.
Always something new.
Which restaurants haven’t you been to but you’re eager to try?
Omakase at O Ya – we’re hoping to get there for an anniversary soon!
Brunch at Lincoln Tavern & Restaurant – we’ve been seeing pictures for years but it’s hard to get a table with shorter notice.
Giulia – ALL THE PASTA PLEASE!
Tasting Counter – we’ve heard so many great things.
What’s your food photography philosophy, and can you share your top tips for taking awesome food photos?
People tend to like pictures of desserts and carbs. So we try to get as many of those on our account as possible. We like close up shots where you’re right in the food and active shots like noodle and cheese pulls, syrup pours, donut stacks, etc. We also really like brighter/warmer and eye-catching colors! So basically our food photography philosophy and tips can be summarized as:
- Portrait mode and close-up right in the food.
- Be active and play with your food (e.g., noodle pulls).
- Color catches eyes!
Favorite brunch spot: Dim sum at China Pearl.
Favorite place for outdoor dining: Stephanie’s on Newbury
Favorite BBQ joint: Sweet Cheeks Q in Fenway
Favorite neighborhood for food: Back Bay. During COVID, we’ve loved hitting multiple dessert stops on Newbury Street in one afternoon.
Favorite new restaurant: Cha Feo. Technically a bubble tea stop, but it has INCREDIBLE tea and drinks! (And boba is food).
Favorite pandemic takeout: Korean Fried Chicken from BBQ Chicken in Allston.
Favorite new restaurant innovation: Food Halls
Meet The Tastemakers is a monthly column that shares the stories of those contributing to the conversation on Boston’s food scene.