DINING in a fancy restaurant is not something the majority of us do often.
There are many do’s and don’ts when fine dining and it is important to know them to avoid creating an awkward moment.
Metro Online Broadcast speaks to Sunway Resort Hotel & Spa food and beverage assistant manager Gilberr Cunanan to find out more about dining etiquette.
1. Sit up straight and no elbows on the table:
When you are seated at your table, sit up straight and do not slouch in your seat. Also, do not place your elbows on the table when you’re having your meal.
2. Do not season your food before trying it:
Let’s be honest, when we’ve cooked a perfectly good meal, we hope that people will enjoy it as it is without needing to add more seasoning. The same goes for chefs.
It is impolite to season your meal as soon as it is served without even trying it out first. After a bite or two, if you still feel that the dish lacks salt or needs a little pepper, proceed to season your meal.
3. Cut only a few pieces of your meal at a time and chew with your mouth closed:
Some people tend to cut up their entire meal (eg. chicken chop) before consuming it. Though this helps to speed up eating, it may look like you’re in a rush to finish your meal. Instead, cut only two to three pieces. It is also important for diners to practise chewing quietly and with the mouth closed.
4. Do not reach for food on others’ plates:
It is not polite to reach across for other people’s food. If you would like to sample what they are having, request for it to be placed on a small plate.
5. Hold a wine glass by the stem:
It is a norm for guests to hold a wine glass by the bowl. However, the right way to hold a wine glass is by its stem.
6. Use a napkin to wipe your mouth:
Napkins are placed for guests to use. Use them when you need to wipe your mouth. Do not, under any circumstances, use your hand to wipe your mouth. This will reflect badly on your person and leave a bad impression on people you are dining with.
7. Do not pick your teeth in restaurants:
It is common to see people using a toothpick to pick their teeth in certain restaurants.
If you are having dinner at a fancy restaurant, refrain from using a toothpick or worse, your finger, to pick your teeth.
This will only make others around you feel disgusted and uncomfortable. If you feel the need to do so, excuse yourself and head to the bathroom.
8. Dealing with unfamiliar food:
Sometimes at a restaurant you may be served something you’ve not had before. When this happens, watch how others around you start their meal. Note the utensils they pick up and how they eat the food served. This helps to avoid awkward moments and stares from others.
9. Excuse yourself before leaving the table:
It is rather rude to stand up and walk away from your company while dining together. If you need to leave the dining table for whatever reason, say ‘excuse me’, then leave the table. You don’t want that girl or guy you are with to think you have decided to ditch them, do you?
10. Complete your meal by placing your utensils properly:
Show that you are done with your meal by resting your utensils on the plate parallel to each other with the handles pointing at the five o’clock position.
If you are taking a break from eating, leave the utensils crossed on your plate and facing down.