Chinese Buffet Etiquette You Need to Know and Observe

What does etiquette mean and how is it essential at a Chinese buffet? Etiquette refers to a traditional way of behavior among members of a particular society or organization. The Chinese are famously known to observe good manners and adhere to their traditions with a lot of discipline. They believe that how you portray yourself in public reflects your kind of upbringing you got from your family. As you prepare yourself to experience the mesmerizing way of dining at a Chinese buffet, you have to practice some of the natural rules. You will get plenty of meals offered to you, and you need to know what you got to do. Here is a well-researched article on the basic manners you should apply.

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  • Never use your hands to pick anything on the buffet table. You will always see each serving utensil provided for fetching each type of food. No matter how a particular dish seems easy to grab with your hands, avoid touching the meals to prevent contamination of germs which might be on your hands.
  • Don’t mix the serving utensils. To avoid contamination and loss of flavors in the meals provided one appliance should not get used in serving another dish. Utilizing each apparatus for what they get made for preventing mixing of foods and keeps away allergic reactions.
  • Serve what you can finish. At a Chinese buffet, you might get tempted to taste everything on the table. You might end up not finishing up the food. It is advisable to take a little at a time and come back for more.
  • Always serve from youngest to oldest then yourself last when serving food and tea. Helping others first is a sign of respect in the Chinese culture, and you should observe it.
  • Hold down the lid when you want to pour tea. Well, Chinese teapots are unique, and the cover does not get permanently placed in the kettle. To avoid spilling, hold down the lid. As a sign of appreciation, tap the table with two fingers for the person serving you to know you are grateful.
  • Let the person who called to the buffet, serve you. You should not help yourself, and if you asked someone, you must serve them.
  • When coming back for more, leave your used plate at your table. Pick a fresh dish to serve more food to avoid contamination. You might not want to make another plate dirty, but it’s advisable to leave it behind to prevent the spread of germs.
Chinese Buffet Etiquette

Chinese Buffet Etiquette

Rice has got special rules too

  1. Never stick your chopsticks into the rice. The Chinese believe that it is rude and can cause adverse luck also.
  2. Rice is served to balance your meals. If your meals are too spicy or hot, add some rice and don’t pour soy sauce into it.
  3. Always finish up your rice or your partner will get spots on his/her face. The Chinese still got their kids to finish up their rice by scaring them this way.

Chopsticks can get used in various ways.

  1. Where serving utensils do not get provided, use the back of your chopsticks to get some food.
  2. Chopsticks are used to pick foods and not used for spearing food.
  3. You should not use the chopsticks as drumsticks to entertain your guests. Using them to tap into the bowls to produce some musical sounds is rude, and you will get to embarrass yourself.
  4. When serving yourself, don’t dig into the trays with the chopsticks to get the best parts of the foods you like. The Chinese relate it to grave drilling, and it is also rude and shows that you are mean to others.
  5. Do not chew on the end of your chopsticks as it is impolite.
  6. Once you are through with your meals, do not leave the chopsticks sticking out upright on the plates as it implies burning of incense for the dead in the Chinese traditional beliefs.
  • If you are the host, ensure that your guests get plenty to eat by serving them most of the food. Also, there should always be some leftovers because when your guests finish up everything, it’s believed that they were not satisfied. At a Chinese buffet, prepare to eat until you cannot eat anymore.
  • There is always a whole fish at each serving. When you get done with one side of the fish, do not turn it over. The Chinese fishermen always symbolized fish to a boat and if you turn it over, it means capsizing the vessel which translates to upsetting your luck.
  • Water and other beverages can get consumed at any time, however, in a formal Chinese buffet, alcohol is taken only during toasts and your cup can get refilled ready for the next toast.
  • Always get ready to foot the bill. When the staff brings you the cost, it is polite not to start arguing or discussing who and how the money should get paid. Even as a guest, you should always get ready to pay and avoid splitting of the bill. Not settling the cost is impolite and you will get embarrassed too.
  • Never take the leftovers home. At a Chinese buffet, you are not allowed to leave the restaurant with any leftovers. You are only allowed to eat anything, and anyhow you want. Your fellow guests might want a second meal.

You have seen the kind of manners you are required to portray when you plan to attend a Chinese buffet.  These rules are easy to follow and essential too. Whenever you go to a Chinese buffet, keep in mind that adhering to these standards will not only reduce wastage, limit contamination, ensure that your health and that of your fellow guests get safeguarded, you also will help in keeping the whole dining experience running smoothly. You now have the ideas of how to behave and what to expect. In case you want your family or friends to try something new, you can now comfortably take them out to a Chinese buffet if you don’t feel like cooking at home.

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