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Food is definitely a huge part of every travel itinerary. Millions of international travellers visit Southeast Asia (SEA) from across the globe each year, and they can be a huge source of potential revenue for your restaurant. Use this guide to see which cuisines would best satisfy your diners, depending on where they’re from. 

  • Top 10 tourist nationalities visiting SEA
    Popular Cuisines
    Southeast Asian
    American, Thai, Indonesian, Malaysian (especially halal)
    Chinese
    American, Continental, Chinese
    European Continental, Chinese
    Japanese
    American, Japanese
    Australian
    American, Continental, Most local cuisines
    Korean
    American, Korean
    American
    American, Continental, Most local cuisines
    Indian
    American, Indonesian
    Taiwanese
    American, Chinese, Taiwanese
    Russian
    Continental, Thai

Read on to learn more about the most popular cuisines among the top 10 nationalities visiting Southeast Asia.

American

American

American influences are not just limited to its world-class entertainment but extend to the universal popularity of American cuisine. For Asians travelling the Southeast Asia region, Western food often means all-American food such as burgers and fries, fried chicken, mashed potatoes, steak, buffalo wings and pizza – all of which are popular American staples. Popular with tourists from any part of the world, American cuisine is a must-have on your buffet line for a sumptuous Western selection.

Continental

Continental

Seen as the ancestor of American cuisine, continental cuisine largely refers to Italian and French fares – widely popular with tourists from all over the world. Italian dishes are noted for their simplicity and use of ingredients like tomatoes, cheese and mushrooms, which have naturally occurring MSG that adds to the “umami-ness” of the dishes. French communal fare, such as poulet rôti and beef bourguignon, is ideal for a buffet setting.

Southeast Asia

Southeast Asia

Thai, Indonesian and Malaysian cuisines are known for their rich taste and use of ginger, lemongrass, kaffir, chillies as well as a host of spices. Tourists seek delicious local dishes like satay, nasi goreng, beef rendang, tom yum and pad thai when visiting these countries. Furthermore, an abundance of halal dishes are a popular draw for Muslim visitors.

Chinese

Chinese

Representative of the Chinese culture, Chinese food is multifaceted and influenced by various provincial fares such as Sichuan and Beifang dishes, however Cantonese food is the most popular. Chinese cuisine is known for its staples like rice and noodles as well as the various stir-fry dishes that are well-received by tourists the world over!

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