Food Culture in Malaysia and Japan

Keywords: malaysia food culture, japanese food culture

The growing, rearing and handling of foodstuffs seems to have held a particular fascination because the nineteenth century. Food and beverage industry has really growth and moving positively if compare to the preceding years, which is from the amount of restaurant that starts day by day. There is a huge variety of restaurants with the various types of food in Malaysia that representing different country and culture by offers an exciting array of food outlet stores, from junk food to fine dinner and everything among. Local food together offers Malay, Cantonese, Szechuan, Indian and Nyonya food while international food covers the gamut from Japanese to Middle-Eastern, Italian and American. Today, more folks are thrilled to test and explore each restaurant that just opened. Moreover, due to the lifestyle and styles, more people are eating dinner out rather than cook at home. For example: Recently, increasingly more Japanese restaurants have been opened up around Malaysia. Every restaurant will try to talk about a new idea and originality with their brand.

As enough time goes by, people are usually more selective nowadays. They wish to choose a good quality food, with a good part, with a good branding, and ready to pay with an acceptable price. There are a few students are prepared to pay high price for just one meal because they want to get one of these new restaurant or a new cuisine with a good quality of the food. Thus, all restaurants have to try their finest to meet up with the customers' anticipations. Besides that, there is also to recognize every part of these business has an impact on customer support because involve in person customer contact and the supply in food has growing daily. Each restaurant must supercharge them self to increasing customer service which involves making a committed action to learning what our customers' needs and desires are, and producing action blueprints that implement customer friendly processes.

The writer discovers this matter interesting because nowadays people often ask the simple question like "Where are we heading to eat? I love Japanese foods especially sushi. Where can I get a scrumptious sushi with ideal price, good service and good destination to hang out?" When people decide to choose a Japanese restaurant, there are a few factors that influence their decision making, such as customer's emotion, satisfaction and brand devotion. It is vital to know customer's behavior to be able to create a long term marriage. Therefore, the writer has chosen the subject "An analysis of Sushi Zanmai Malaysia popularity among university university students. "

There are three different principles of Japanese restaurant that owe by SuperSushi Sdn Bhd Company which are
  • 1st Principle: Sushi Zanmai that started since in April, 1997, the original conveyer-sushi restaurant. There are many retailers of Sushi Zanmai that are in Sunway Pyramid, The Gardens, One Utama and Low-Yat.
  • 2nd Principle: Sushi Zen that began since in Sept, 2007, a informal kiosk-style Japanese restaurant.
  • 3rd Concept: Pasta Zanmai that began since in Dec, 2007, a Japanese Casual Pasta Restaurant.

Within this short period, this company has developed the restaurant very fast, from one concept into another idea.

The reason for this research is:

  • To identify factors that impact people selecting Sushi Zanmai as a sushi restaurant
  • To identify current trends of Japanese food
  • To recommend methods that may help to boost current condition


1. 1 Food Culture in Malaysia

Malaysia has a put together populace of over 18 million people. Due to its central location, between your Indian Ocean and the South China Sea. Malaysia has typically been a meeting point for merchants and travelers from both the East and West, it also offers produced a most diverse culinary melting pot. As a result, Malaysia has a multicultural and multiracial human population consisting of three main group which can be Malays, Chinese, Indians and numerous indigenous individuals. With such a varying ethnic structure, it is no real surprise a great variety of religions is widespread throughout Malaysia.

In Malaysia, eating out is actually a gastronomic excitement. A mix ofcultural and cultural histories which will make up Malaysia's diverse human population is mirrored in the wide range of affects and flavours within Malaysian cuisine. And each talk about in Malaysia has something to offer in terms of culinary delights. For example: Penang, the famous in hawker stall haven, where all the most scrumptious food requires that only costs as little as RM 3. 50 per dish, such as Penang Char Kway Teow, Fried Oyster, Laksa, etc. Mallaca is also home to Baba Nyonya food, which dished up in quaint cafes in historical shop houses. Or in Kuala Lumpur, the most diverse offering of foods from all around the globe, such as Chinese language cuisine, Indian delicacies, Japanese cuisine, Thailand food, Vietnamese cuisine, European cuisine, Arabian dishes, etc.

With mixed origins, there are certain ingredients common to numerous meals in Malaysia. Multiple types of rice and noodles, that are from local or imported from Thailand, Japan or India, are often used as basics. The Malays include a lot of seafood in their diet, like fish, squids, prawns and crabs that used showing up in Malay food. And most of Malaysian food use fish sauce or fish paste because fish live is around the shores of Malaysia's islands. Fresh herbal products and roots are generally used to make Malays food. Indian and Thai curry spices with local varieties are often used to create wealthy and spicy curry meals. A dried out spice is also form an important element of Malays cooking. Furthermore, in a city of Malaysia which is Malacca was one of the fantastic trading centers of the spice in the fifteen century. And Coconut is another favorite element which is also common found in countless dishes. For instance: Santan(the coconut milk), to make creamy curries. It really is to include savory sweetness of the laundry also to cool the fireplace of hotter spices.

Today, rice is the staple for nearly half the world's society, particularly in parts of China, India, Indonesia, Japan and Southeast Asia.

According to historians, they believe that is was initially domesticated in the area within the foothills of Eastern Himalayas (Northeastern India), and extending through Burma, Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, and Southern China. From here, it spread everywhere and human cultivation created numerous varieties of rice.

According to the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), based in Philippines, there are 120. 000 types of rice worldwide. In the generations, there are three main types of rice developed in Asia, is determined by the content of the grain which is

"Amylase means an enzyme that breaks starch down into sugar"

Rice has divided into three (3) which can be long grain, medium grain and brief grained varieties. In cases like this, different populations, consumer different types of rice.

Foods during the day in Malaysia are three meals each day and rice is almost always included, even at breakfast time. For instance, Nasi Lemak. A typical meal consists of rice dished up with soup, curries, and some veggie stir-fries and also consumed super fruit for dessert. An average of Malay lunchtime and evening meal was all meals are placed in the heart of the desk to be shared by all the diners and usually the Malay food is often consumed with the hands.

There are similar eating design within Japan and Malaysia, which the primary staple is rice which is eaten with almost every meal. The meal features is quite same, such as the tastes of special, sour, spicy, bitter and salty. Like Chinese language style wheat noodles offered in meats stock known as Ramen have grown to be extremely popular during the last century and Malaysian like to ingest noodles. Follow by sea food, as Japan is bounded by sea as identical to Malaysia's islands. Therefore, When Japanese delicacies involves Malaysia, the meals itself easily accepted by Malaysian.

1. 2 Record of Japanese Food Culture

The rice-centered food culture of Japan progression follows the benefits of wet rice cultivation from Asia more than 2000 years ago. The cultivation and intake of rice has always performed a central role in Japanese food culture. The tradition of Japan is usually grain dished up with seasonal vegetables; seafood and other sea products reached an extremely superior form in the Edo period (1600-1868) and remains the radiant core of local Japanese cuisine. In the century. 5 since Japan reopened to the West, Japan has developed a remarkably rich and varied food culture which includes not only native Japanese cuisine but also many foreign dishes. Some adapted to Japanese likes and some imported more or less unchanged.

In the 6th century, benefits of Buddhism to Japan became the official religion of the country and the eating of beef and fish were prohibited. The first saved decision prohibiting the eating of cattle, horses, dogs, monkeys and chicken breast was issued by Emperor Temmu inside a. D. 675. Regulations and emperor eliminate the eating of virtually all flesh of animals and fowl because based on Buddhism are prohibiting to getting rid of.

In the 15th century, many of the foods and food materials consumed by Japanese nowadays, for example: miso, tofu or soy sauce.

In the 16th century, the combo of Spanish and Portuguese frying approach with Chinese method for cooking fruit and vegetables in oil resulted in the introduction of tempura, the popular Japanese dish in which seafood and many types of vegetables with profound fried method.

In the early 19th century, the development in Edo, the introduction of sushi has started out. Today's, almost all of people are aware of that food. It created from vinegar grain top or combined with raw seafood. And during that time, sushi was sold from stalls as a snack food, and that stalls were end up being the starter of today's sushi restaurants.

In the mid 19th century, many of new cooking and eating traditions were launched where the most important being eating the beef. Consider of Japanese dish, Sukiyaki that contain beef, vegetables, tofu and other ingredients prepare at the stand in a soup stock of soy sauce, sugary sake and sweets was first dished up in European style restaurants. Another dish that popular during this time period is Tonkatsu, means a deep fried bread pork cutlets.

In the early 20th century, using Indian curry powder, Japanese curry rice (kareraisu) became very popular dish which consisted fruit and vegetables, meat or sea food with a dense curry sauce and dished up with rice.

In generally at sushi restaurants, costumers will be seated at the counter-top and call out their order item to a sushi chef. Or sit at Conyever belt where the customers can get small plates before you, or call a special order if you do not see what you want on the belt. Or customers can take a seat on tatami mats. As like Chinese, Japanese also ate with chopsticks to transfer the food. The rice dish is not presented as tightly to the mouth area. Soups are used immediately from the dish and really the only dish ingested with a spoon is an unsweetened egg custard which known as chawanmushi.

There are several ways to describes the differ of Japan delicacies from other delicacies, First, portion of the dish are small since it is to fully capture the diners attention with the freshness, natural flavour, the beauty of each dish, the atmosphere and the whole meal. Second, the meals for a meal is served simultaneously, so diners get their own helpings on specific plates and bowls instead of offering family style from large bowls in the middle of desk. Third, Japanese use less engine oil which to stress the light and natural taste of the meals.

And now, development of Japanese restaurant that opened up increasingly more in Malaysia. It can be reason behind the movements between on the list of Malaysia. There is similarity between Malaysia delicacies and Japanese food that makes Malaysia is simpler to acknowledge. Other reason is Malaysian are very open minded with those culture.

1. 3 Food influencing consumers towards collection of food

There are numerous factors that influence consumers towards selection of food, whether it is created by individuals or other people. Food choices are influenced by many interacting factors that happen to be income, culture, the matter about health, values, faith or even genetic.

Many functional models have been developed to describe these affects that including The Lifestyle Model of dietary behaviors (Pelto, 1981), which makes an attempt to describe how these factors interact to cause specific food behaviours.

Societal Factors:

  • Food Production and Syndication System is responsible for the option of foods which is different from region to region and country to country. Food supply influences and subsequently is inspired by the socio-economic and politics systems. These serve to regulate the creation and circulation of food in culture.
  • Government policy may also be associated with the purchasing ability of consumers through programs like the oversight of food quality through protection standards, diet labeling requirements and other creation programs (Josling&Ritson, 1986)

Lifestyle Factors:

Income (restrictions what foods can be bought) Occupation (influences food habits in a number of ways, for illustration: the location of the job also influence meals habits) Education (the position and self-realization phase of food use are usually, through not necessarily dependent on higher levels of education) Nourishment Knowledge (may or might not exactly translate into knowledge based habit, and greater affect over what someone eats than what the individual knows about nutrition) Ethnic identity (a distant heritage that has been revised or lost on the generations through acculturation) Rural-Urban (host to residence may affect which foods people eat) Religious Beliefs (depends upon what religious beliefs, may have a great effect on food patterns or may have no influence by any means) Health (specific foods are often credited with health promoting qualities, such as ginseng in Asia) Physiological (age, gender, body image, and express of health)Most of influence lifestyle factors are impacts food behaviors.

1. 4 Factors influencing attractiveness of Japanese food towards university or college college student

The marketing combination is the set of marketing tools which often summarized as the four Ps that the organization uses to accomplish its aims in target market segments (McCarthy, 2001). And most marketing specialists would say that the right marketing combine is the the one which maximizes customers' satisfaction and ends in the highest sales or market show.

  • Product

It is thought as anything that can be offered to a market for attention, acquisition, use or usage that might satisfy a need or a want.

Step one; the product emerges should come from an research of its strengths, weaknesses, opportunity and risks.

There are two classifications of product
  • Tangible product Goods
  • Intangible product Services

For a restaurant, the goods are food and drink outlet stores offered and the service is the client service. Therefore, it is logically to include services within this is of the merchandise. (David Jobber)

Step two; is an in depth analysis of the mark market to determine the type of the chance, what's its size and probable? How strong is your competition and how is it likely to evolve in the foreseeable future?

Step three; is research into the needs of potential customers, what is it that customers actually want?

According to Hamel and Prahalad, 1991, today, this runs beyond merely requesting customers, what are the client looking for, but artistically seeking to discover needs that customers cannot articulate because the clients are unaware of the possibilities offered by new technologies and the changing environment.

People will usually seek a restaurant that offering excellent food, in particular when the restaurant have a good service, value and ambiance. People meet their needs and wishes with products. Thus, the product is the main thing for a business because without products there exists nothing to advertise or sell. So when a customer determines to buy something, the customer will look for certain characteristics. The customer will want to know how many different products that offered by restaurant, which offers a more interesting personal savings and what is contained in the product. Product will need to have the energy to leave a good impression and interest so the customer won't hesitate to visit the restaurant for the second time.

  • Price

It is defined as what the merchandise or service costs to the customer or the total amount that customers are prepared to pay for a product and service. To be able side, price is the only real element in the marketing mix that produces revenue. And setting a price for a product is very important.

"Price has an extremely strong impact on sales amount and market share; empirical studies (analyzed in Tellis, 1988; and Sethuraman and Tellis, 1991) show that, for most products, price elasticity is significantly higher than advertising elasticity. "

The company will need to set a cost that the client are able and inclined to pay and at the same it will help the company to accomplish a good degree of profits. Whenever a customer asks about the price of a product, the client also thinking about knowing will there be any special discounts or special campaigns.

Therefore, no subject how good the merchandise, how creative the advertising or how efficient the place or distribution, unless price features costs the company will make a reduction. (David Jobber, 2004)

For instance, if the purchase price is expensive, regular students will not be able to find the money for it and can think to have their foods in other restaurant. Nowadays, customers are matter about the price tag on their food and tend to compare the purchase price to another restaurant. The customer will evaluate whether the value of the product is worth the amount that the customer are paying, because customers are always firmly inspired by price.

"Price often fulfills two functions all together: it shows the sacrifice that the buyer must make to be able to acquire the product or service included looked after acts as a signal of the grade of the product (Monroe, 1990)"

Another concern is where costs have the partnership between price and recognized quality, because many people use price as an indicator of quality.

According to David Jobber, the more value something gives compared to that of your competition, the higher the price that may be billed. Price should accurately key to the value to the client. The sacrifices that created by the customer is in order to experience the great things about a product, thus from the restaurant itself have to give the best for the customer.

  • Place

It is thought as place or syndication as a couple of interdependent organizations involved in the process of making a product available for use or consumption by customers. Or the business activities that make the product available to concentrate on customers.

The measurements of place are channels, collection, location, inventory and move. (Borden, 1984) For instance: Location, where customer can buy the merchandise so distribution programs are the key for this area. And in reality, many restaurant companies believe location is becoming the main factor to success.

Warnaby and Dominic, 2004 showcase the benefits of shopping in town centers. Thus, the business will need to find ways to bring the products to customers and make the merchandise accessible to the clients. For example: Convenience that is also important concern in food shop patronage that your time and swiftness service is required, to be able to satisfied the clients need and want.

Place or distribution considerations play a major role in influencing customer motives. Within the marketing of consumer goods, the role is to ensure that the product is available to the buyer when and where it is needed and in sufficient variety and volume.

  • Promotion

It is defined as the actions that communicate the merits of the merchandise and persuade concentrate on customers to buy or use the merchandise. Company need to plan promotional activities properly to be able to create awareness of potential customers. It really is where advertising and communications are used to encourage customers' uptake of the merchandise or service.

Promotion has several types of tools which can be: Advertising, Sales promotion (discount rates, coupons), Publicity, Word of Mouth, Personal Advertising, Merchandising, Sponsorship and etc.

The main reason why advertising is so important is to communicate with individuals, categories or organizations. Through promotion, the note like information about products can be communicated to existing and potential clients.

Promotions can reinforce brand placement. A 1985 review by Frankel and Co. and Perception Research Services discovered that, following contact with adverts featuring offers for a brand, consumers thoughts and opinions of the brand( issues like quality, value and nurturing about customers ) better by over 8 percentage compared to those exposed to only brand sell adverts.

In other words, it must have the right facilities and services (product) and make them easily accessible to guests (place) with the correct amount of promotion and the right price. (David Abbey, 2003)

Japanese food-Korean food

Japanese and Korean foods are popular and are constructed of similar substances. However, the meals have their own preference, formula and way of eating. Despite the fact that Korean food and Japanese food seems to be similar, both of them have their specialties.

Japanese food and Korean food seems to be similar because they use same element. For instance, both of these use onions, renewable onions, red peppers, organic fish, and rice. Koreans and Japan enjoy eating fresh sliced fish, which can be sushi and sashimi. Sushis materials are boiled rice, and organic sliced fish and sashimis component is just as raw sliced fish. In addition, Korean and Japanese rice is the same.

However, Korean and Japanese food is not totally same. Koreans makes food spicier and saltier than Japanese food. The price tag on Japanese food is greater than that Korean food. When people eat meals at a Japanese restaurant, they should pay a lot of money for their meal. For example, the essential foods like rice, sashimi, plus some sea food cost thirty-five dollars per person. However, Korean basic foods, rice, main stew, and lots of side meals cost just ten us dollars per person. Japanese fresh sea food has high valuable, so most people prefer heading to a Japanese restaurant like Benihana. Nevertheless, it is expensive.

Every person has his/her own cravings, someone want to eat Japanese food and the other want to consume Korean food. Both foods may seem to be to be similar, because they're made of almost same elements. However, all of them has their own formula, taste, and design of eating. Despite the fact that Japanese food is expensive, people prefer to eat Japanese food.

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