Eating Chinese food in China can be a wonderful experience, but it can also be overwhelming if you’re not familiar with the local customs and etiquette. Here are some tips to help you navigate the experience:
- Familiarize yourself with chopsticks: Most Chinese restaurants in China will provide chopsticks instead of forks and knives. If you’re not familiar with using chopsticks, it’s a good idea to practice before your trip. In China, it’s considered impolite to wave your chopsticks around or use them to point.
- Familiarize yourself with the menu: Many Chinese restaurants in China will have menus in Chinese characters only. If you don’t speak Chinese, consider using a translation app or asking a local for help. It’s also helpful to familiarize yourself with some common Chinese dishes before your trip.
- Order family-style: Chinese meals are typically served family-style, with several dishes shared among the table. It’s a good idea to order a variety of dishes so that everyone can try a little bit of everything.
- Use serving utensils: In China, it’s common for each dish to have its own serving utensil. Use these utensils instead of your own chopsticks to serve yourself.
- Show appreciation: It’s polite to compliment the host or restaurant on the food. A simple “thank you” or “delicious” in Chinese (xiexie or haochi) can go a long way.
- Pay your share: If you’re dining with a group, it’s customary for everyone to split the bill equally. Make sure you have enough cash on hand to pay your share.
- Don’t waste food: In China, wasting food is considered impolite. It’s better to order a little less food than to leave a lot of leftovers on the table.
Overall, dining in China can be a wonderful cultural experience. Remember to be open-minded, respectful, and enjoy the delicious food!