The explosion in the number of Pan-Asian restaurants is driving the growth of Oriental food in the UK, according to a new report.

Wing Yip, the UK’s leading Oriental grocer, commissioned the Oriental Food Report, a comprehensive study of the growing influence of Chinese food and other South East Asian cuisines in the UK.

Restaurants, and particularly new openings in and around London, are driving consumption with 70-80% of those who eat Oriental cuisines doing so at a restaurant. With relatively few people cooking Oriental food at home, restaurants are critical to the success of the market and there are now more than 4,000 Chinese, Thai and Japanese restaurants in the UK – an 18% growth in the last five years.

The latest data from Horizons backs up the research, highlighting that the number of Pan-Asian dishes listed by branded restaurants has also grown by 9% over the last three years. Chinese food continues to dominate the favourite meal list with 87% of those who have tried any Oriental cuisines eating it nowadays. The most popular Oriental dish is Sweet and Sour Chicken with Thai Green Curry at number two and Sushi coming in at number four.

Brian Yip, managing director of Wing Yip UK Trading, said: “This report highlights that consumers are becoming far more adventurous in their tastes and with the number of Pan-Asian restaurants growing, including some exciting new concepts, the future looks bright for the sector.”