There was a Japanese, a Chinese, and an Australian… (sounds like the start of a racist joke?) WELL IT´S NOT.
Recently I´ve been educated into the finer aspects of Chinese dining whilst having dinner with some friends from the UNWTO. Being a global organization, the mix of staff does not favor one single origin but a vast group of multi-regional, multi-lingual employees from around the globe. All social events become a learning adventure that make you a more well-rounded global citizen… or something like that?!!!!
Ni Hao Chinese Restaurant (Calle de Silva, 20) in Madrid had been given the two thumbs up from a Chinese girl at work and considering that many of this group was currently taking Chinese lessons in their lunch hour, it proved a great place for a night out.
I tried a variety of weird and wonderful food such as jellyfish, and Mu Err Mushrooms (which I thought were the strangest noodles ever), and was educated about proper dining etiquette which is very important to traditional Chinese, who feel good manners can invite luck.
5 things I learned from my Dining Experience:
- Don’t use chopsticks to hit the side of your bowl or plate to make a lot of noise. Only beggars would be seen doing this in China.
- Chopstick skills display education and status. Someone with poor skills is seen as being uneducated, as their parents have not taught them well.
- Finishing all the food on the table is impolite. Frustrating when it´s so delicious that you want to lick the plate. Finishing all the food implies that the host could not feed you – that they did not provide enough food for their guests. Therefore if you´re eating with Chinese, always order a little more than you´ll need.
- When eating soup, don´t scoop straight from your bowl on the table to your mouth. This is “eating like a dog”. Instead hold your bowl and eat / drink from that.
- Contrary to what I thought – for Chinese people at least, slurping your soup is also impolite. However eating with your mouth open is acceptable as long as you don´t make noise.
So there you have it. Food for thought! We ordered 15 dishes between 8 of us with drinks and the bill was still under 100 euros, so it’s worth the visit if you’re getting sick of boccadillos and jamon!
(Ps excuse the less than ideal iphoneography)