TikTok Theory: The Chinese Restaurant 3.5 Star Rule

For almost 100 years, the star system has been a simple option to gauge how good a restaurant is: extra is best. No confusion there. No nuance, both. In mid-September, nonetheless, @rocketjump proffered an uncommon spin on stars; he posted a video on TikTok explaining why he solely goes to Chinese eating places that get 3.5 stars out of 5 on Yelp. An evaluation follows the 50-second video beneath.


The thrust of his argument: Any Chinese restaurant in a serious metropolitan space that will get 4 or 5 stars has appeased non-Chinese cultures by rewarding eateries for nice service — one thing he’s satisfied correlates to mediocre meals. In his opinion, you need to go to the 3.5-star ranked spots the place the meals is most genuine — and scrumptious — as a result of the institution focuses on taste, not service. At 5-star joints, the service is “too good.” The meals is “not as good as it could be.” And “too many white people like it.”

It’s all about cultural expectations of service. Generalizing madly however convincingly, he says that you just need to go to locations the place the waiters are impolite, they usually’re not going to concentrate to you, however the meals will style higher.

His idea leans closely on the concept in Asia, meals servers should not as proactive they usually’re not going to only come to your desk to provide your refills. You’ll must flag them down. On the identical time, individuals on Yelp are “insufferable.” They’re knocking eating places as a result of the service is unhealthy. Ultimately, the meals balances it out. “So you end up at 3 and a half stars,” he explains.

Testing the Theory

Is he proper? Is there any option to measure it? One lady from Queens, New York — @crabby_jackieee — utilized his idea to her favourite Chinese eating places and, lo and behold, she studies the hack is spot on (the video begins with @rocketjump and she or he jumps in after 5 seconds).

To check the system myself, I googled “best Chinese restaurants near me,” and pored over the outcomes. Apparently, of the highest 10, just one had 3.5 stars — Bonnie’s, which additionally occurred to have appeared in Bon Appetit’s “50 Best New Restaurants” article just lately. Coincidence? I believe not.

Bonnies Restaurant NYC Chinese Food

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