Discipline: Social Science
The paper is a qualitative study attempts to explore meaning of authenticity in the ethnic Malay cuisine; and to identify the dimensions of authenticity of Kelantan Malay ethnic cuisine from the consumer’s perspectives of ethnic Kelantan Malay restaurants in Kota Bahru, Kelantan. In-depth interviews were conducted with eleven respondents. The respondents consist of resident of Kelantan state with various backgrounds and they are so obsessed with authentic Kelantan Malay cuisine. The paper identifies six properties of
authenticity for Kelantan’s Malay food namely; (1) originality, (2) quality commitment and credibility, (3) heritage and style persistence, (4) scarceness, and (5) purity, which similarly as Liao and Ma’s (2009) Product Authenticity characteristics. Besides, it also supports three out of five alternative definitions on the meaning of authenticity by Cohen (2007) - authenticity as customary practice or long usage, as genuineness in the sense of an unaltered product, and as sincerity when applied to relationships. The paper contributes to the understanding of meaning of authenticity of Kelantan Malay restaurant and its key components; useful information in the context of ethic restaurants for addressing the authenticity representation of an ethnic restaurant, it is important to maintain the authentic food (cuisine) of that particular.