5 common eating practices in chinese culture

Qǐng Màn Tòng: 5 Common Eating Practices in Chinese Culture

There isn’t food without a thriving culture. Similar to other civilizations, the Chinese have also developed ways and practices through the years to honor their sustenance for bringing life to them. 

In fact, they need to enjoy food in groups as the activity strengthens people’s connection to each other. As a result, there are standard eating practices in Chinese culture that everyone should respect and follow. 

  1. Sharing Meals Among Your Peers

If you’re eating in a Chinese restaurant for the first time, you might notice that orders come in bigger batches. Unlike other fine dining restaurants, the Chinese practice the idea of sharing among people at the same table, hopefully making a meaningful connection with each other.

If someone has already ordered a menu item that you’d like to order, they will likely have to share the order with you. There should be no need to reorder the same food item but ask for another viand for yourself. However, this practice only applies to viands. If you’re thinking about sharing your rice bowl, there is no need for the gesture.

  1. Best Time to Order Fried Rice or Noodles

Both fried rice and noodles are excellent orders for people eating alone in a Chinese restaurant. The two food items are typically ordered for those who would like a quick bite if they’re on the go or only have a few spare minutes to eat. 

The fried rice and noodles aren’t meant to be shared—but they are suitable for people who wouldn’t want to order other viands to go with them.

  1. Avoid Hoarding the Food

Since sharing is the primary value taught by the Chinese while enjoying meals, hoarding is never an acceptable behavior on the table. Although Chinese cuisine indeed produces one of the best recipes globally, it isn’t proper to hoard a viand for yourself.

Instead, getting one at a time while allowing others to grab a piece for themselves is an excellent practice. It is a manner some people can also apply even if they are not eating in a Chinese restaurant. Overall, eating should be a learning experience for everybody.

  1. Order Dishes in Even Numbers

Chinese people associate numbers with fortune and good luck—even numbers, along with the number eight, are the luckiest numbers in the culture. Following superstitions that involve numbers is crucial for the Chinese people.

For example, it’s believed to order dishes in an even number like two, four, six, eight, or ten. Although it’s not stated that odd numbers bring bad luck and misfortune, ordering in even numbers is best practiced in Chinese restaurants. Enjoy the best Chinese food in even numbers, and fortune may be on your side soon enough.

  1. Enjoy the Food with Others

On average, there are at least fifty menu items in a Chinese restaurant. Since people should share the meals, it’s crucial to bring many people with you to try all of the items in the restaurant.

Dining in Chinese restaurants is an excellent way to cap off the week or start it. Some families spend their day together in these restaurants while celebrating the connection and relationship they have built with each other—making food the best way to celebrate relationships.


Chinese food isn’t new to everyone’s palette. However, if people are going to indulge in classic savory dishes, they should also practice the culture that comes with the food. Keep in mind that people can’t separate food from the culture as there is no food without it. Therefore, qǐng màn tòng and enjoy your food while it’s hot.

Ocean Palace is a go-to restaurant for the best Chinese food in Houston. If you’re looking for dim sum restaurants near you, we serve them fresh and hot from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. What are you waiting for? Explore the wonders of Chinese cuisine today from Ocean Palace!

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