When enjoying a meal at a restaurant, proper etiquette is essential, unlike when grabbing food at a dining hall or ordering from Seamless. To ensure your dining experience is as authentic as possible, especially when trying cuisine from different cultures, it is important to learn a few tips and tricks.
Which Fork is Which?
If you plan to go to a high-end Western restaurant for a date or special occasion, be sure to read up on American etiquette to make your evening as classy as possible. When it comes to utensils, always start with the outer fork and spoon and work in. If you don’t know whose water is whose, remember that yours is on the right side of your plate. After cutting your food using a fork and knife, switch hands so the fork is in your right hand before eating.
In Chinese and Japanese cuisine, rice is a significant component to most meals and dishes. When eating rice at a restaurant, you should never rest your chopsticks in the rice itself, and such an act is seen as offensive to the servers and chef. Avoid this seemingly common mistake by placing chopsticks on the side of your dish, or on a small plate often provided for your utensil.
A range of cuisines, including Ethiopian and traditional Indian, customarily use the most basic utensil of all — the hand. In order to enjoy your finger food in the correct manner, only use your right hand while eating. In many cultures, this rule is used to establish a sanitary way to use your hands when enjoying a meal.
A version of this article appeared in the 2014 Food and Fun Guide. Dana Reszutek is a managing editor. Email her at [email protected]