Families Turn To Non-Chinese Eateries As Price Of Reunion Dinners Soar High


Traditionally, Chinese New Year (CNY) reunion dinners were more of a home-cooked family affair. However, in the past decade, due to the convenience and ease of banquet-style dining, most Malaysian Chinese families have opted to eat-out for their reunion dinner.

However, as Malaysians generally are tightening their belt due to the rising living cost, the implementation of the GST in April, and the weakening Ringgit, more Chinese families are choosing to usher in the Year of the Goat at non-Chinese restaurants. The main reason cited was the overly-inflated price tags at Chinese restaurants for reunion dinners.

Lobster, geoduck, truffle oil and other fine-dining ingredients is a norm in this year’s menus, with prices to match in excessiveness.

Restaurants Increase Prices as Demand Increases

The Tai Thong Group is offering set meals for a group of 10 priced from RM798++ to RM2,398++, while Chynna at KL Hilton has eight-course dinner sets priced from RM1,888++. In fact, China Treasures at Sime Darby Convention Centre, has priced its “Wealthy Prosperity Set” for 10 at a whopping price of RM4,740.88. Even smaller Chinese restaurants have increased their prices for CNY reunion dinner sets by at least 50%, citing a price nothing less than RM500.

These exorbitant prices has lead to increasing number of Chinese families choosing to flock non-Chinese restaurants instead to get more out of their Ringgit. Many urban Chinese families now focus more on the gathering with loved ones more than the choice of cuisine. They make their selection based on quality and value, and not just from the necessity to have Chinese food.

In line with that, non-Chinese restaurants such as Latest Recipe (Le Meridien), Erawan Classic Thai and Fusion, and Kampachi are fully booked for CNY eve dinner.


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