London survey spells out dos and don'ts of dining out

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Indy Lifestyle Online

Is it rude to tweet about a luscious treacle tart at dinner? Or take a phone call when your starter is being served?

It's an issue that has London divided in a Zagat survey released Wednesday that asked respondents to weigh on the issue.

According to the 5,500 diners answering the 2012 London Restaurants Survey, 53 percent said it's "rude and inappropriate" to text, tweet or talk on the phone while dining at the table.

A trans-Atlantic comparison reveals that the Brits - who have a historic reputation as the exemplification of etiquette and manners - are more forgiving than their American counterparts.

In Los Angeles, for example, more than half of Zagat readers - 67 percent - said it was rude to text and dine, while 64 percent of New Yorkers shared the same opinion.

Meanwhile, preserving your Michelin meal or epic triple-decker sandwich on camera was considered acceptable by the majority of diners, with 74 percent of Londoners saying it was "ok."

Though the cost of dining out in the city has jumped 6.3 percent, up £43.40 (€50) from £40.84 (€47) in 2010, Londoners said they're eating out more this year - the first increase in three years, Zagat says. Last year, survey respondents said they ate out 2.2 times a week. That rose to 2.4 this year.

A Zagat spokesperson told Relaxnews their definition of an 'average meal' is simply the "price of dinner with a drink and tip."

Despite the increase, London is still the "homebody" of major cities, and dines out the least compared to Chicago, San Francisco, and New York. According to Zagat, residents in Tokyo eat out the most with an average of 3.8 restaurant meals eaten outside the home.

Tokyo also pays the most for a restaurant meal, at €81 on average.

Here are the top 10 favorite cuisines among respondents of the Zagat's 2012 London Restaurants Survey:

1. Italian
2. French
3. Japanese
4. Thai
5. British
6. Chinese
7. Indian
8. Mexican
9. American