"The main difference between..." Eating and Drinking Tip by Chris_Dahlia

Eating and Drinking, Beijing: 52 reviews and 80 photos

 
 

The main difference between Chinese and Western eating habits is that unlike the West, where everyone has their own plate of food, in China the dishes are placed on the table and everybody shares. If you are being treated by a Chinese host, be prepared for a ton of food. Chinese are very proud of their culture of food and will do their best to give you a taste of many different types of cuisine. Among friends, they will just order enough for the people there. If they are taking somebody out for dinner and the relationship is polite to semi-polite, then they will usually order one more dish than the number of guests (e.g. four people, five dishes). If it is a business dinner or a very formal occasion, there is likely to be a huge amount of food that will be impossible to finish.

One thing to be aware of is that when eating with a Chinese host, you may find that the person is using their chopsticks to put food in your bowl or plate. This is a sign of politeness. The appropriate thing to do would be to eat the whatever-it-is and say how yummy it is. If you feel uncomfortable with this, you can just say a polite thank you and leave the food there, and maybe cover it up with a little rice when they are not looking. There is a certain amount of leniency involved when dealing with Westerners, so you won't be chastised.
One thing to be aware of is that when eating with a Chinese host, you may find that the person is using their chopsticks to put food in your bowl or plate. This is a sign of politeness. The appropriate thing to do would be to eat the whatever-it-is and say how yummy it is. If you feel uncomfortable with this, you can just say a polite thank you and leave the food there, and maybe cover it up with a little rice when they are not looking. There is a certain amount of leniency involved when dealing with Westerners, so you won't be chastised.

Review Helpfulness: 1.5 out of 5 stars

Was this review helpful?

  • Written Aug 24, 2002
  • Send to a Friend
  • Add to your Trip Planner
  • Report Abuse

Comments

Chris_Dahlia

“A Big Big World!”

Online Now

Top 5,000 Travel Writer
Member Rank:
0 4 3 0 1

Have you been to Beijing?

  Share Your Travels