Asian Restaurants Exploring The Latest News and Trends
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Asian Restaurants: Exploring The Latest News and Trends 

When we think of Asian restaurants, we can’t help but think of spices, flavors, colors, and even culture. Whether you’re an aspiring or a seasoned restaurant owner, you know that all these factors go hand in hand.

But is that really all it takes to have a successful Asian restaurant?

Pushing your Asian diner to the peak of the industry definitely requires more than just the aforementioned elements. 

Indeed, they are the most essential. But to thrive in this heavily digital-based market, you’ll need reinforcements.

In this article, we’re giving you a closer look at the growth of Asian restaurants, from noteworthy recognition, global market dominance, specialties, sustainable practices, and even technological integrations like QR code menus and self-service ticketing machines to understand what it takes to be the best.

Breaking News: How Asian restaurants dominate the global market

It’s a cultural win for Asian countries to be recognized not just for breathtaking landscapes and culture but also for food. 

Here are some remarkable milestones they have over the years: 

  • In the 2019 Statista report, 89,000 Chinese restaurants are recorded in the United States, which accounts for around 9% of all food services in the country. In the same report, 22,000 Indian restaurants and 12,500 Thai restaurants were opened. 
  • The global Asian food market reached $4367,152 million in 2022 and is projected to increase by a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 7.1%, amounting to $805,080 million by 2031. 
  • As per the 2023 Statista report, Japan has recorded a total of 414 Michelin-starred restaurants, making it the second most Michelin-rated country globally.  It’s not at all surprising since Japan is also the home of the city with the most Michelin-starred restaurants in the world, Tokyo.
  • A Tian Fu Asian Bistro in Indiana showcased technological advancement as robots glided through the restaurant, delivering food to tables after servers had taken their orders. Standing at about four feet with cat ears and a digital cat face, it made its debut appearance on January 22, 2023 at the opening of the restaurant.  
  • The annual proclamation ceremony of Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants 2024 took place last March 26 in Seoul, South Korea.  Taking the top three spots are Japan’s Sézanne and Florilège and Bangkok’s Gaggan Anand, respectively. 

Asian restaurants trends
Various innovations of an Asian restaurant.

Do you want to spice up your current menu offerings and services? 

Here’s a list of trends from specialties to technological advancements you might want to explore and add to your restaurant for a diverse cultural experience for your guests. 

Asian and global taste specialties

One of the notable reasons why Asian cuisine is popular among foreign countries is because it speaks so much about the rich cultural origins and traditions of the origins. 

Most importantly, these types of dishes have distinctive flavors, making them more interesting and diverse to the palate. 

Here is a list of food trends that recently topped tastes: 

  • Plant-based Asian dishes 

Vegan and vegetarian options are increasingly becoming popular in the culinary scene. But it’s no news in Asia, as it offers healthy classic dishes and innovatively makes plant-based options for other meat-based food. 

One primary example of this is the Banchan—a vegetable-based side dish that is often served along with cooked rice in Korean cuisine. 

Kimchi, or fermented vegetables (cabbage, cucumber, radish, etc), is a popular banchan that is recognized globally. 

In fact, Polaris Market Research released a report that in 2023, the global kimchi market was valued at $4 billion and is forecasted to grow by a CAGR of 5.3%. 

Other plant-based Asian dishes that took over the market are Pad Thai and Tom Yum Soup (Thailand), Sichuan Green beans and Mapo Tofu (China), Hiyayashi Wakame Salad and Gyoza (Japan), Banh Xeo and Canh Chua (Vietnam), Gado-Gado and Nasi Goreng (Indonesia). 

  • Global fusion 

The increased accessibility of exotic ingredients from Asia has led to the rise of classic international dishes with a twist of Asian flavors. 

Getting your hands on ingredients from around the globe is now easier than ever because of the expansion of international trade, online grocery stores, and food delivery services, which are opening opportunities for both professional and home cooks to explore. 

Here’s a glimpse of merging flavors and techniques from different continents:

  • Korean BBQ tacos: Marinated Korean barbeque meets like bulgogi (Grilled or roasted meat, commonly beef) or Galbi (beef short ribs) are served on soft corn tortillas with kimchi slaw, pickled vegetables, and gochujang (Korean spicy paste) for a kick. 
  • California Sushi Rolls: Fresh California ingredients like avocado and cucumber are combined with traditional sushi rice, seafood, and nori seaweed.
  • Bahn Mi Taco: A Vietnamese twist on the classic taco. Crispy baguettes are filled with savory meats like lemongrass chicken or grilled pork, pickled vegetables, and creamy sriracha mayo. 
  • Thai Green Curry Empanadas: Empanada dough is filled with a flavorful Thai green curry mixture of vegetables, protein like chicken or tofu, and fragrant curry paste. 
  • Korean Fried Chicken with Honey Sriracha Glaze: This Korea-style double-fried chicken is coated in a sweet and spicy glaze made with honey and sriracha that offers a delightful balance of flavors. 
  • Street food-inspired menus

The major trend in Asian food culture is its way of bringing delicious delicacies to the streets—making a first-hand experience of the tradition even more exciting. 

Taking it to the next level, restaurants are bringing these flavors from the streets indoors with a sophisticated touch. 

For starters, you can add skewers sizzling hot off the grill like the classic Japanese yakitori, grilled to juicy perfection, with chicken, veggies, or even seafood. 

If you need something a little more substantial, try offering Pad Thai. Those stir-fried rice noodles with your choice of protein and tangy tamarind-peanut sauce is a flavor explosion for your guests, making it a potential best-seller.

Sustainable practices and environmentally conscious service

Reflecting on their inseparable connection to nature, restaurants from Asia have constantly observed their relationship with their environment. 

Through their sustainable practices that mitigate food waste in restaurants and other environmentally damaging actions, these businesses are effective ecological advocates. 

It is as simple as using biodegradable food packaging, a little act that definitely goes a long way.  

More than that, a research study in 2022 from hospitality technology indicated that 43% of consumers are willing to pay more to support sustainable restaurant practices. 

This means a win-win situation for restaurant owners. 

Take it from Open Farm Community restaurant in Singapore, where organic dishes are prepared in an eco-friendly setting. 

They also get their ingredients from their own on-site garden and nearby farms. Their exceptional plant-based food earned them a Michelin Plate grade from the Michelin Guide.

This restaurant also hosts tours around their garden area and teaches about the benefits of urban farming. 

Interactive and communal dining 

Asian eating customs have something to do with festive and communal dining, which greatly improves social interaction. 

A study conducted by Oxford University asserted that eating together fosters social bonds and feelings of well-being. 

This strongly supports how Asian communities are closely tied and socially bonded, which mirrors how businesses—especially restaurants—are built. 

One of the most popular communal dining today is Korean Barbeque. 

Koreatown restaurants have built-in gas or charcoal grills at the center of each table, accompanied with various cuts of meats marinated in flavorful sauces, glass noodles, and a pool of pickled vegetables and greens. 

Another fan favorite is Shabu-shabu, a Japanese hot pot dish. When ordered it comes with plates of meat and vegetables together with a casserole full of broth and a burner. 

The customers then cook the food themselves, creating an engaging dining experience. 

Technology integrations in Asian restaurants 

QR code menu ordering
A customer scanning a QR code menu.

We can’t really leave out the presence of restaurant technology just because a diner is embracing a traditional vibe. 

Even more so, the workflow should be streamlined, as restaurants in Japan or China have thousands of visitors daily—thanks to the bustling tourism industry! 

Here’s a rundown of advanced integrations you shouldn’t miss: 

  • Self-service ticketing machines

Taking self-service operations to the top, machines pioneered by Japan let customers purchase, place their food orders, and pay. 

This is most common in ramen restaurants in the country, wherein you’re welcomed with vending machines the moment guests enter. Like any vending machine, they would insert their payment,  select the items, and receive the ticket of the order. 

  • QR code menus 

Contactless dining shot to fame during the global health crisis and even after it, making its way to offer touch-proof ordering for restaurants. 

There’s no need for guests to skim through pages of paper that may contain germs and other bacteria after being passed down from one customer to another. All they need to do is scan this QR code menu using their smartphones to access the offerings. 

  • Tabletop tablets 

This technology integration has been used by restaurants to allow guests to explore their online menus. 

These often feature entertainment options such as games, trivia, news, or social media access, providing leisure to customers while waiting for their food to arrive. 

  • Kitchen Display Systems (KDS)

This gives real-time visibility into incoming orders, making it easier for staff to prioritize and manage orders effectively. 

Considering the number of restaurant-goers, orders can vary in complexity and volume, having this real-time order management can save the day by streamlining the workflow. 

Influencer marketing 

Collaborating with influencers can be a game-changer for Asian restaurants. 

Imagine having drool-worthy pictures of steaming ramen or colorful bento boxes flooding everyone’s favorite food influencer’s feed. 

That alone gains traction and engagement with their followers, making it easier to promote food items effectively. 

According to the 2022 HubSpot Influencer Marketing report, 92% of marketers believed this was an effective form of marketing. 

That’s why, Mukbang shows take front and center across most social media platforms, as they not only influence viewers with food but entice them with the appetizing sound the hosts make. 

Social media engagements for Asian restaurants 

Speaking of social media, it has always been a great avenue to reach people from miles away and connect with them through engaging content. 

Whether it’s a sneak peek of your melodramatic ambiance or an exhibition of your best specialties, social media can guarantee an edge in this industry. 

Some customers (especially tourists) share their dining experiences through their own digital spaces, making it easier for the business to be discoverable through analytics. 

Other compelling reasons are shorts of their favorite drama scenes, which encourage viewers to try the food themselves.

Online presence through websites  

Of course, alongside social networks, there is the use of websites. 

These serve as digital storefronts that showcase the restaurant’s offerings, ambiance, and unique selling point. 

Customers can have a sneak peek at the business before going to physical locations. That being said, it will also be easier for tourists to plan where to eat when visiting places around Asia. 

They’ll be able to decide whether a delicacy suits their budget and preferences, allowing them to come up with informed decisions. 

Restaurants, on the other hand,  are given the chance to adorn their websites with incomparable visual displays of their menu offerings and eye-catching designs that reflect the personality and vibe. 

Top 5 best vegan Asian restaurants in the United States

MANEATINGPLANT, Canoga Park, California 

Started as a school bus food truck until it opened its first brick-and-mortar, this promising plant-based restaurant has the desire to share authentic flavors of the roots of its owners. 

Spanning from Taiwan and Japan to Hong Kong and Malaysia, they offer unique plant-based delicacies in the halls of Canoga Park. 

Their most popular dishes are Sichuan steamies (dumplings filled with mushrooms), garlic noodles, and fried shrooms. 

Pow Pow, Washington, DC

Another top list is an all-vegan, fast-casual eatery that offers Chinese, Japanese, and Korean flavors. 

Located in the Near Northeast neighborhood of Washington, this serves mouthwatering gigantic pineapple kimchi-chicken egg rolls and sweet-and-sour Natalie Porkman Bowl. 

Spicy Moon, New York, New York 

Bright, bold, instagrammable meals are setting the scene at this popular vegan  Szechuan restaurant in New York, which has outlets in the East and West Village (and soon, the Bowery). 

While more modern gourmands are drawn to creative treats like crispy mountain yam puffs loaded with vegan cheese and fried pickles with Szechuan sauce, traditionalists gravitate toward classic dishes like dan noodles, spicy mapo tofu, and veggie fried rice. 

Kenshō Vegan Sushi, Westminster, California

Fans of Kenshō from Southern  California are thrilled that it has brought this vegan sushi. 

The restaurant’s tempura squash blossoms, ramen, and dim sum have been the crowd’s favorites. 

Hangawi, New York, New York 

A native of Seoul has founded this iconic restaurant in NYC.

 With the goal of introducing the Western world to the natural beauty and energy of Korean food, it has been expertly veganized with the use of sea vegetables, wild mushrooms, and ancient mountain greens and roots. 

Enjoy these sesame leaf tofu patties, crispy mushrooms, and avocado stone bowl rice that will fill the stomachs of hungry diners.

Additional crowd-favorite Asian fusion restaurants  to add to the list

MalaTown, Las Vegas, Nevada

MalaTown reinvents dining by fusing contemporary innovation with classic flavors. 

The brand’s vision of an authentic Mala-Tang experience allows guests to personalize their dish with a variety of ingredients like Chinese cabbage, spicy beef, bamboo shoots, shiitake mushrooms, and more to their plate. 

Ta Joia, Bothell, Washington, DC

In honor of the Lee family’s Korean ancestry and its matriarch’s time spent in Brazil, this family-run business serves cuisine with a touch of the two cultures. 

One of their signature dishes is the Ta Joia special, a trio of slow-cooked brisket, pork, and sausage that’s paired with Spanish rice, pico de gallo, and green sauce. 

ZOMO Asian + American Eatery, Englewood, Colorado

Another family-owned restaurant is on the scene, as it remains a popular little bistro in downtown Englewood. 

The cuisine is self-described as Asian American with its specialties, namely the Kansas State egg rolls—filled with seasoned ground pork with rice noodles, chopped peanuts, and cilantro on the side— and Bahn Mi Bites—four slices of baguette topped with a choice of protein (beef, pork, chicken, tofu or shrimp) loaded with carrots, jalapenos, and rice noodles. 

Their entrees range from stir fry to pho, meatloaf to noodle bowls, and much more. 

Ekiben, Baltimore, Maryland

Their take on Asian fusion is pretty simple: they use the freshest possible ingredients in their culinary creations. 

They made a mark with their legendary steamed buns filled with Thai chicken meatballs slathered with coconut sauce and smothered with delicious papaya slaw. 

Boba Burger, Morton Grove, Illinois 

This is a surprising culinary treasure situated in the bowling alley of Classic Bowl at the Waukegan crossroads. 

Named after Boba’s bubble tea, this traditional snack store has a twist.  Boba Burger easily accommodates bowlers and Asian fusion burgers, hotdogs, Banh mi sandwiches, and drinks. 

This family-run Vietnamese-American restaurant has been serving the people of Morton Grove.

QR code menu technology for streamlined workflow and buzz-worthy marketing

Internactive menu software
Order dashboard of MENU TIGER.

The harsh truth is that it’s a tough nut to crack for restaurants to gain recognition on the international stage to successfully introduce Asian culture. 

You see, it’s more than just the business; it’s how Asians bring their childhood homecooked meals to foreign tables. 

One way to do that is by using technology like MENU TIGER smart menu software that gives all the necessary functions to expedite workflow and make effective marketing initiatives. 

Here’s what it can offer: 

Streamlined ordering process using QR code menus 

One of the benefits of QR code menu is that customers can access offerings by scanning it, eliminating the need to wait in line or fumble through sheets of paper. 

They can browse your digital menu at their own pace, place orders directly from their phones, and even make special requests or modifications. 

However when implementing this in your business, it could be a challenge for a few, especially those who are not used to technology.

That’s why it is essential for you to set simple instructions on how to order in a menu QR code for customers to be guided.

Multilingual support feature

As many Asian restaurants cater to diverse guests with varying language preferences, MENU TIGER’s menu translation feature is already a win for owners. 

Restaurant owners like you can select their preferred language from the menu software, ensuring everyone can easily understand your menu items. 

Real-time updates 

Updating menu items, prices, or special deals on traditional printed menus can be expensive and time-consuming. 

However, updates can be made instantly with digital menu QR code software. You can quickly update the menu on the website, and the changes will immediately reflected on the online dashboard. 

Contactless payment integrations

MENU TIGER  offers PayPal and Stripe payment integrations so customers can complete their transactions directly from their phones.

This QR code-based restaurant menu enhances convenience for customers and reduces the need for physical contact during the payment process, promoting a safer dining experience. 

Marketing opportunities for Asian Restaurants

This advanced menu software can be an effective tool for your marketing strategies. 

You can build your own website by integrating branding components such as logos, social networks, color schemes, illustrations, and more. This reinforces brand recognition among customers and generates buzz around the business. 

Let’s take Asian recipes even further with QR code menu software 

QR code menus are poised to revolutionize Asian recipes passed down through generations. 

By offering a bridge between tradition and technology, Asian restaurants can enhance the dining experiences of customers, foster cultural appreciation, and create a more interactive and engaging journey for food lovers. 

With MENU TIGER, these are all possible as it provides feature-rich software that guarantees assistance to restaurant owners—big or small—on their way to culinary success. 

Head over to the website, make an account, and let’s go beyond the dish to deepen cultural connections across the globe. 

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