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East Asian cuisine perceptions in New York City between 1997 and 2007

Jia Choi (O'ngo Food Communications, Seoul, Korea)
Jong‐Mee Lee (Nongshim Co. Ltd, Seoul, Korea)
Mi‐Sook Cho (Department of Nutritional Science and Food Management, College of Health Sciences, Ewha Womans University, Seoul, Korea)

British Food Journal

ISSN: 0007-070X

Article publication date: 25 October 2011




The primary aim of this paper is to reveal the changes in perception of East Asian cuisine (Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Thai, and Vietnamese) in New York City between 1997 and 2007. Through analysis of data collected from Zagat Survey food reviews, the research seeks to explore trends regarding each cuisine's social status, quality, and also to observe general comparisons between each ethnicity's cuisine. The secondary aim is to evaluate how each cuisine is currently perceived in the city that is not only beaming with culinary delights, but also deemed the “Restaurant capital of the world”.


Using the Zagat Survey New York City 1997 and 2007, quantitative analyses were performed using the scores for comparison purposes. The mean and the standard deviations are calculated in terms of food, decor, service, and price. The t‐test was used to verify whether there have been statistically meaningful changes in each cuisine for the past ten years in the Zagat Survey.


In terms of popularity, the number of Japanese restaurants has significantly increased in ten years while that of Chinese restaurants decreased about 30 percent. According to the t‐tests, Japanese showed most significant changes in almost all aspects. Thai cuisine also demonstrated remarkable improvements, especially, in decor and service. Korean and Chinese cuisine did not show a noticeable change in food, decor, and service. Only the price showed a little change for these cuisines. Vietnamese cuisine achieved a significant progress in food while no enhancement in other aspects.

Research limitations/implications

Because the scope of the research was “general” restaurants in New York City, the discussion on their price range, quality of food, decor, and service, the type of restaurant under observation was inevitably limited.

Practical implications

The research can help in marketing and development of new restaurants for it provides some insight into the characteristics of each ethnic cuisine and trend changes of restaurants.


The research presented in the paper can be applied both by practitioners and academics in the fields of food service management.



Choi, J., Lee, J. and Cho, M. (2011), "East Asian cuisine perceptions in New York City between 1997 and 2007", British Food Journal, Vol. 113 No. 11, pp. 1427-1438.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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