Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur and Singapore have more in common than close proximity and easy flight connections, they’re also renowned for their distinctive culinary flavours which attract foodie-loving travellers from right around the world.
Wego, the leading travel search site in the Asia Pacific and Middle East, along with big data review partner TrustYou, examined hotel culinary review comparisons for the three Southeast Asian capitals, for the past 12 months. The reviews were split into a variety of categories that received the most mentions from millions of verified guest reviews collected by TrustYou. The data is applicable to hotel restaurants, bars and food in each city.
“These three cities pride themselves on their individual culinary specialities and have a natural and neighbourly, competitive nature,” commented Joachim Holte, Chief Marketing Officer for Wego.
“Internationally these Southeast Asian hubs have become renowned as culinary tourism hotspots, with local delicacies perfected by talented hotel chefs who have the additional pressure of competing with the rising talent of food experiences among the increasingly high standards of hotel dining,” he added.
“Singapore won out with an overall total quality rating of 86 per cent, with Kuala Lumpur and Jakarta following with extremely decent scores of 83 and 82 per cent respectively,” said Holte.
“We know that food can be a singular motivation for travel in itself, especially popular with Malaysians, Indonesians and Singaporeans who really appreciate the tradition and experiences that food contributes to a trip,” continued Holte.
"Hotels that deliver memorable dining experiences will attract more of these foodie travellers. These ranks allow destinations to see where they stack up to the competition in order to improve and market their culinary offerings to travellers," said Benjamin Jost, CEO of TrustYou.
Breaking down the reviews, Kuala Lumpur listed highest in the restaurant and bar category (91.61 per cent), with Singapore and Jakarta tying at 90.7 per cent.
The city that received the most mentions specifically about food was Kuala Lumpur (82.6 per cent), followed closely by Jakarta (81.2 per cent) and Singapore (79.03 per cent).
Jakarta rated highly in the fruit and dessert category (81.2 per cent), with Singapore’s beef and poultry receiving the most dish mentions rated at 76.02 per cent. Kuala Lumpur’s famed fish and seafood rated high at 77.89 per cent and breakfasts were very popular with reviewers, rating 79.14 per cent.
Bar and beverage mentions saw Jakarta leaping to a rating of 75 per cent, an increase from 64 per cent in the previous quarter, edging up to Singapore’s rating of 76 per cent in the same category.
“Culinary tourism is thriving in Southeast Asia,” Holte continued. “As the world’s leading low-cost carrier region with an enormous diversity of quality accommodation to suit every budget, the competition between these great cities is hotting up. More travellers are taking the affordable opportunities to discover the food, culture and colourful traditions of all three with great convenience.”