Eating in a Traditional Chinese Restaurant

Dining Etiquette 101 – Eating in a Traditional Chinese Restaurant

Nothing compares to dining outside and eating delicious Chinese food. It’s a unique experience that introduces you to various delicacies and dining practices that you may not be familiar with, especially if you’ve never been to an authentic Chinese restaurant.

 If you’ve recently been invited by a friend to have dinner with them at a traditional Chinese restaurant and you don’t know the first thing to proper dining etiquette, there’s nothing to worry about. Keep reading below to find out some useful tips that will ready you for a memorable dining experience at authentic Chinese restaurants.

 Prepare Your Appetite

 When you attend a traditional Chinese setting, you need to come with an empty stomach to ensure you get a real taste of being in a Chinese seafood restaurant. Their meals typically consist of ten to twelve courses of scrumptious servings served on a round table so everyone can help themselves to the food before them.

 You can expect a host or waiter to serve the food using a large spoon or a pair of chopsticks that haven’t been used by anyone else. It will ensure the food remains fresh and untouched by other people’s utensils. 

 Wait for Your Host

 As a sign of respect, you should wait for your host to begin eating first or at least give everyone the signal to start digging in. It’s also essential to remember chewing your food slowly so that you don’t get full quickly, and you can take the time to enjoy each bite. 

 Keep the Fish in Place

 Part of dining etiquette in Chinese culture involves the proper treatment of fish, typically served with the head pointing towards the guest of honor as part of mainland China and Hong Kong’s culture. Since a fish’s head is treated as a specialty, if you’re appointed as the guest of honor, you should keep the fish in its rightful place.

 Aside from that, the fish you’re about to eat will also have to be deboned to ensure everyone has a great time enjoying its meat. Either the host will do the honors or will appoint a server to do it for them instead. 

 Try Various Delicacies

 If you find yourself dining at one of the top Chinese restaurants, you shouldn’t be surprised to witness all kinds of food you have probably never seen or heard of before. The right thing to do is to try all of them to show your host that you’re enjoying yourself. 

The food can range from duck feet to century egg and even snake soup—if you’ve never tried nor heard of them, you’re in for a sure treat! Keep an open mind and try it all out; you’ll be very surprised at how much you’ll enjoy yourself!

 Learn to Use Chopsticks

 You can expect Asian cuisines like Chinese, Japanese, and Korean food to require the use of chopsticks. While you don’t have to be an expert, you do need to be knowledgeable about the proper use of chopsticks. 

 Avoid pointing while using your chopsticks because it’s considered rude. Similarly, don’t place your chopsticks in your bowl and have them stand up because it corresponds to a dark meaning relating to death! Instead, you should put down your chopsticks horizontally on the end of your plate.


 The tips above are just some of the most common reminders that people have a habit of forgetting when they eat at a traditional Chinese restaurant. If you’re looking forward to eating out anytime soon at an authentic Chinese food place, remember to mind your table manners and learn to enjoy your meals!

 Are you looking for the best Chinese food in Houston to satisfy your cravings? Ocean Palace Restaurant serves Chinese seafood and dim sum dishes. We also offer catering, take-out, and delivery options. Check out our website so you can start ordering today!

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