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Asian Restaurant Analysis - Daawat

Essay by   •  April 12, 2011  •  Case Study  •  818 Words (4 Pages)  •  1,782 Views

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Daawat is an Indian restaurant that combines 'Asian' elements with 'Western' elements to create a fusion experience. It provides us with an image of Asia that we have come to expect: the open kitchen with Tandoori Chicken hanging above the tandoor oven and interesting smells of curries and spices. But, It was obvious that there was a fusion of cultures including a western style décor, seating arrangements and the table setting.

There were several markers of "Asian-ness" or "otherness" in the décor. This included artworks and colours that were obviously not traditional in European restaurants and added to the atmosphere of being in India. However the environment was predominantly western. These western elements of the restaurant largely detracted from the feeling of "Asian-ness" but were surprisingly not noticed on first inspection as these markers of our western culture are commonly found in these settings. These elements included things like the wine and alcohol lists and an open bar with a 3-litre bottle of Jim Beam proudly displayed on it. The restaurant also seemed to lack the ambience of an Asian restaurant, which can be very loud with music and talking. Daawat instead played calm and quiet English music that we felt was a compromise made to attract non-Asian customers. The way the tables were set up seemed to be another compromise to make western customers more comfortable, including knives and forks with clean white plates. However, our meals were served in a non- western way. They were served in small copper pots called karahi and the open kitchen did produce a scent uniquely Indian, due to the spices used to cook.

The menu also gave us the first indication of how this restaurant fused many cultures together to please as many tastes of various customers as possible. It showed how the restaurant was trying to fit into the category of Asian and not just Indian. This included a section of the menu dedicated to the "chef's special", which strangely included Indian-Chinese and Indian-Thai food. Some other dishes were also not "authentic". For instance they had two choices of naan that were not traditionally "Indian". These were chocolate naan and cheese naan. These two breads are obviously fusion foods that have been made to cater to New Zealand tastes. This shows how globalisation has affected how restaurants of 'minority' groups such as Indians run their business. They have to cater to people outside their own ethnic group. Somehow this also detracts from how "Asian" and "authentic" a restaurant is.

The concept of Asian restaurants in New Zealand shows how globalisation is occurring between New Zealand and Asia. In New Zealand we have become accustomed and familiar with Asian food and culture through the movement of Asians to New Zealand. Asian restaurants are very much integrated

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