THEORY: Only Eat at Chinese Restaurants with 3.5 Stars on Yelp
Have you ever gone to Yelp! to search for restaurant recommendations?
The app can be a great tool to use, especially when you are out of town and are not familiar with the restaurant choices in a strange city.
But should you always shoot for a 5-Star rating when it comes to choosing a restaurant? One man has a theory about finding a happy medium.
Freddie Wong posted a TikTok video on Twitter with the tag line, "I only eat at Chinese restaurants with 3.5 stars on Yelp. He claims that a Chinese restaurant with a 3.5-star rating on Yelp will be more likely to have more authentic Chinese food than restaurants with a 3-star or 4-star, or even 5-star Chinese restaurant.
Wong says, "3.5 stars is the sweet spot for authentic Chinese food", and begins to explain his theory by talking about P.F.Chang's.
"P.F. Chang's - two and a half stars. Bad, obviously. Obviously bad!" is how he begins and, other than those lettuce wrap thingies, he's probably right.
He continues: "Din Tai Fung. 4 stars. Too many stars. Too many white people like it, the service is too good, but the food is not as good as it could be."
This is where we find the crux of his theory: it has to do with the service and the difference in cultures.
Wong then brings up another restaurant: Shanghai Dumpling House. "The dumplings here are better," he says, "I've been here." This is where we begin to understand his theory, as he goes on to say this: "The waiters are not going to pay attention to you. They are going to be rude, but it's going to taste better."
Wait, what? It'll taste better because the waiters are rude?
No, that's not exactly what he is saying.
He is pointing out that cultural expectations are different in Asia than they are here in the United States of America.
Wong says that Asian waiters are not as proactive as American waiters and that they aren't as attentive as waiters from the US. You'll more than likely have to flag down a waiter from Asia if you need a refill on a drink or if you need more sauce or whatnot.
And when the employees are more authentic to the ethnicity of the food, then the food should be more authentic to that region.
So, the next time you are looking for authentic ethnic food in a major city, are you going to take Mr. Wong's advice and look for 3.5 stars?