Dining Etiquette: Dine and Wine in elegance and style!

Every other week the city welcomes a new fine dining restaurant and learning dining etiquette is certainly the need of the hour.

We all love the feel of fine dining,
but we often resist ourselves from such experiences due to the fear of using fancy cutlery which often seems like weapons to the lay man. The very thought of eating with the fork and knife scares the hell out of most people. But little knowledge and the willingness to learn about dinning etiquette can change the very you consume food and will make each meal the most memorable one.  Babita Narayanan, Principal Consultant of Persona, shares with the do’s and don’ts at a fine dining restaurant. Read below and enlighten yourself and yes don’t forget to have fun with fork and knife the next time you grub.

The five common courses
1.    Appetizers
2.    Soups
3.    Starters
4.    Main course
5.    Desserts

Basic Dinning Etiquette
1.    If you are going for a buffet then remember the following: -
a)    Never pile up your plate with food.
b)    You not allowed to take more than two helpings of the same dish.
2.    Do not keep any personal belongings on the table.
3.    It’s always nice to offer a seat to the lady first.
4.    And never talk on the phone while eating.
5.    If the call is urgent then kindly excuse yourself and answer the call.
6.    If you are in a formal dining set up then it is extremely important to follow the host. It’s the host who starts first and everyone else follows the suit.  
7.    Salt and pepper should be passed on together because they are married.
8.    The food should always be passed from the right to left and it should be just kept in front of the person who asked for it. And never pass the food from one hand to another.
9.    Conversations while eating are extremely important. Because some
       topics offend others.
10.  Four golden words should always be at the tip of your tongue
       (Please, excuse me, thank you, sorry) please and thank you should be
       used each time the waiter serves you and clears your plate.
11.  Always signal the waiter by raising your hand gently.

Napkin Etiquette
1.    Open the napkin very gently and place it on your lap.
2.    Do not flap the napkin before placing it on the lap.
3.    And if you have dropped the napkin while placing it on your lap,
       do not pick it up.
4.    Use the napkin only to dab your mouth.
5.    Do not use the napkin to blow your nose or clean your ears.  
6.    The napkin is used only to wipe the fingers and not to clean your hand.  
7.    But then if there is something that you want to remove from the
        mouth then just quietly do it with the corners of the napkin.
8.    And if you are going to use the wash room then simply leave the
       napkin on the chair and excuse yourself.

Bread Etiquette
1.   You do not use any kind of cutlery for breads like bread, naan or chapatti.
2.   Do not use a knife to cut the bread into two halves.
3.   You cannot dip the bread in the butter bowl.
4.   Take a knife and take as much butter as you want and put it on your
      plate because you cannot use the knife again to take butter from the bowl.
5.   Break a piece of bread and butter it with the knife and eat it in a
      position where the mouth is low.
6.  You cannot butter the entire bread like a sandwich.

Soup Etiquette

1.    Soup should always be consumed inside out.
2.    Never blow your soup.
3.    And any kind of seasoning on the soup or any food should be done only
      after you have tasted it.
4.    People often have the habit of adding salt and pepper, and sauces to
       the food without even tasting it which is not a good sign.  
5.    Even when you are taking the last bit of the soup, tilt the soup bowl inside
       out to take it.
6.    Always finish your soup because it’s your first sign of appreciation
      the food.          

Basic Cutlery Etiquette
1.    In a formal dining set up, the cutlery is always laid on the table.
2.    Every course has a particular type of knife and fork and the food has
       to be consumed with the respective cutlery.
3.    Always start eating from the farthest cutlery, it is always used from outside in.
4.    Never keep the used spoon, forks, and knife on the table.
5.    The rule for fork, knife and spoons are simple.
a)    The Left side: the count is simple, it’s always fork and food
        (Left=Fork and Food)
b)    The Right side: the count again is simple; it’s always knife and the drink.
        (Right=Knife and Drink)
6.    The spoon is always placed on the top of the service plate.
7.    The cutlery should never be moved from its place.
8.    You should never move your wine glass to the left side; it should always
       be positioned back to its respective place.

Eating Etiquette
1.    Always start eating your food after the host
2.    Never chomp your food noisily
3.    Never criticize the food that you are eating
4.    Never lean on the table to eat food.
5.    The food should always be bought to the mouth.
6.    Never place your elbows on the table.
7.    When you are using just one hand to eat the other hand has to rest on
        your lap.
8.    Do not talk to someone pointing with your cutlery; the cutlery should
       always be placed back on the plate.

Ending A Meal
1.    The fork and knife if kept on the right of the plate means that you need
        more food.
2.    And if you have opened and crossed the fork and knife that means that
       you are coming back.
3.    To simply end a meal just place the tine of the meal facing towards the
        plate  and the sharp edge of the knife always faces the fork. Both the
        fork and knife should be placed in the centre of the plate vertically.
4.    Always place the napkin back on the table before leaving.
5.    Thank the host before exiting the venue.

Hope these tips enlightened you to enjoy your next meal without any kind of fear! Have fun!

Tags: dining etiquette, using the right cutlery, knife and fork, etiquette training in bangalore

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