The concept of eating at Chinese restaurants has always confused me.
Nevermind the critical language barrier and subtle body language and lack thereof of chopsticks precision; the underlying social protocols of how to eat certain dishes and where they’re placed and when (they arrive) has always baffle me when dining out with a friend.
Drinking tea is essential, no coffee or chocolate included. If the water is running low, placing teapot at the edge of the table and leave the lid partially aside, so the servers can spot the dwindling teapot as they pass by. Always ask for a fork if in doubt with other eating utensils.
MSG is a salt-based powdered rock-like product so avoid the greens if necessary. Chop your noodles into manageable portions before slurping. The beef and curry peanut mix is extra chewy so enjoy large mouthfuls behind your napkins. Shrimp and mango do not mix well together. Leave the coconut and chocolate paste cinnamon roll for last (you will still have room to enjoy it!).
An impromptu dim sum luncheon with a friend, at a restaurant nearby Queensborough today was also a unique learning experience on different pronunciations within vegetables and yellow mustard, small pink dumplings sized and weighed, expectations of dating social habitations, cooking classes and a comfortably full stomach (;