Have you eaten yet?

Have you eaten yet?

Eating and drinking is a very important part of Chinese culture and so it seems natural that I would devote this post to the dining habits here. The Chinese generally eat meals shared between everyone at the table which is why round tables are popular as they allow better access  to the shared dishes.

So let’s start simple with a lesson in chopstick etiquette

  • Do not put chopsticks vertically in a bowl as it resembles the incense sticks used for the dead
  • Dint use chopsticks as toothpicks
  • Don’t use chopsticks as a fork
  • Don’t wave your chopsticks around
  • Don’t lick or suck your chopsticks
  • Don’t make noise by beating utensils with chopsticks

In other words, just eat your food like a mature adult.

And now moving on to restaurant etiquette

  • The boss sits furthest away from door
  • The people to his right are more important than the people on his left
  • Do not start until boss has started, that includes even picking up the chopsticks
  • Do not directly criticise the food
  • If you do not want to eat something it’s easier to say that you’re allergic – no questions asked.
  • It is common for the host to order the food on everyone’s behalf
  • The host is usually responsible for the bill
  • But you should try to fight over the bill, but not too hard. Use the rule of 3 – ask 3 times and give up
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