Paying for “Fusion” Dining

Photo Credit: Mike Shaheen via Compfight cc
Photo Credit: Mike Shaheen via Compfight cc

It’s a huge red flag when a restaurant describes themselves as fusion! Fusion cuisine usually means that they’ve taken ethnic food and tried to transform it to be different but also charge much higher prices than the authentic ethnic cuisine. I usually try to avoid places that are fusion since they don’t have a good track record of success. It empties out my wallet and the food itself isn’t that great.

I found myself there on a double date just this past weekend at a Vietnamese fusion restaurant. A couple we like to go out with chose the place and we decided to try it. An hour later the bill arrives and it was a lovely whopping $140 before tax and tip even! Did we order everything off the menu? Not quite.

2 cocktails and 2 beers
Shrimp dish with only 4 shrimp and some dried out jasmine rice
Baby octopus over fried brussel sprouts
Fried rice
Vietnamese crepe
Fried taro spring rolls
Kale salad
Salt and pepper squid

The portions weren’t very large either and all the dishes weren’t worth it. The fusion element of it all was mostly transforming Vietnamese flavors into something more palatable for the average American. For the price we all agreed that it wasn’t a place we would come back to. Another fusion restaurant that I wasn’t impressed with! Wish i could get that $35 back and instead spend $10 on a huge meal at an authentic Vietnamese restaurant.

When it comes to fusion cuisine it’s generally not worth it.

High prices
Fusion restaurants are generally found in upper middle class neighborhoods where there aren’t a lot of authentic ethnic foods. Thus the higher prices since it’s in a nicer neighborhood and there aren’t any cheap ethnic restaurants around to cut its prices. Usually some kind of gimmick is involved like a nice view of the city or refined dining space.

Food isn’t always up to par
When it comes to using the word fusion it’s usually interpreted in many different ways. It means that they don’t have to taste like authentic ethnic food and they can change it up however they want. Many times this leads to food that really isn’t tasty at all but is marked up because it’s trendy.


I’m always up for trying something new especially when it involves food! Hearing the cuisine described as fusion definitely makes me think twice. I love eating out and saving money so throwing money on bad food obviously isn’t good.

What is something you try to avoid because you know it’s going to be pricey and not worth it?

4 thoughts on “Paying for “Fusion” Dining

  1. Any restaurant in a hotel or casino in Las Vegas is a rip off. A handful of buffets might be worth it. I’m not a huge fan of fusion, but I do enjoy a restaurant called Bachi burger, which is japanese inspired hamburgers. Their burgers are always so tasty. On the flip side, I really enjoy authentic ethnic restaurants more than others.

    1. I’ve heard of Bachi burger and haven’t gotten round to trying it yet. Now I need to make a trip to Vegas to go!

  2. Sorry to hear the meal was so horribly priced for what sounds like the quality of the local Chinese takeout. I’ve never actually avoided trying something because of price, but I have been upset in the long run.

    My fiance and I went to a strangely named seafood restaurant. We figured the unpronounceable name meant it was going to be really good…wrong! Well, in my case, I absolutely loved it. Then my fiance tried her food. Her salmon was extra dry and the only thing she really ate was the veggies. Ready for the bill…. $187! I had no idea cocktails were $19!
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    1. The quality actually wasn’t too bad. But definitely overpriced. At least our cocktails weren’t $19! Oof $187…at least you liked your meal! Half good haha.

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