Chinese Etiquette for Dining (End)
- At the end of every course, the waiter will bring out a small cake or a cup of tea. The reason for cake and tea is to help a person to clean out the taste from the last course. The main course of the banquet most of the time is fish.
- A whole fresh fish will be used most of the time.
- Before cooking the fish, the waiter/waitress will bring out a live fish for you and your host to exam. Or, if you like, you may walk to a tank full of fish, which is located in the middle restaurant, and pick out a fish from there.
- After finishing the top part of the fish, simply remove the bone or skeleton and then eat the bottom part. However, please do not flip the fish over after you have finished the top part. Flipping the fish over is considered to be a sign of bad luck.
- For most meals where the animal is served the head will not be removed. Furthermore, if the head of an animal points at someone then that person is the guest of honor.
- If you do not want to eat something, say that you have some health restrictions or allergies to some food. To put it more simply, just blame your doctor.
- Fruits signal the end of the banquet and each fruit have a special meaning.
- People will not linger after the banquet, they will leave immediately.
- Before you leave the country, it is best to throw a banquet in return.
- It is best to hire a guide or an interpreter.
- Remember, whoever throws a banquet will consume 100% of the cost. This rule is not just for throwing a banquet but also for everything else. Let me put it this way, if you are the one doing the inviting or you are the host then you will be the one to pay for everybody.
- Expect the bill to be10% higher because the restaurant usually adds the tip to the total bill.
Which dish is good?
Congratulation, you have made it through the middle of the banquet. Hang in there, just a little more to go. Right now, dish after dish, course after course, you may feel that it is never going to end.
Then you see the waiter/waitress bringing out some cake and tea and you may think this signals the end. Unfortunately, you are wrong. In Chinese culture, cake and tea are use to clean out the taste of the previous course.
For example, if you just had a duck, cake will lighten the after taste and tea will clean out the oil. Then, the next course will be on its way to your table.
It does not matter how many courses are in a banquet, there is always a main course. The majority of the time, the main course will be fish. Or if you do not find fish at your banquet, you may find one of these courses to be the main course. This is simply because they are rare and expensive.
- An exotic animal such as monkey's brain, shark, and eel.
- Shark fin, and if shark is too rare, then they may replace it with another rare fish fin.
- Peking duck
- Swallow's nest pudding
- And others...
<<< Chinese Culture
<<< Indian Culture
<<< Japanese Culture
<<< Vietnamese Culture