China travel guide

CHINA TRAVEL

YOUR TRAVEL GUIDE TO CHINA
China Travel Guide

Ordering and eating

Ordering In China, like everywhere getting fed is not difficult. Waiters of places that sell cooked food used to call costumers saying ďchi fanĒ, which means "come and eat!Ē. In street stalls and small restaurants, ingredients are exhibited at the front in bundles, buckets and cages. At bigger restaurants you may be guided through the kitchen to select a dish.

Within Chinese cuisine is not common to cook many items together, so if you order a single dish with various ingredients like chicken, cashews and green peppers; it will be probably served in separate plates of nuts, meat, and vegetables.

Another disadvantage is that you have to say explicitly how you desire your meal cooked. If you donít say anything, it certainly will be stir-fried, which can result bored unless you try with steamed or braised plates. Visitors should donít be afraid to ask for the characteristics of the dishes; it is not impolite and can be more pleasing to the palate.

In good restaurants you will be escorted to a chair immediately and you will receive a service similar that in Western merged with the Chinese traditions. By contrast, at cheap places tableware provided a very limited and uncomfortable service.

To handle chopsticks, hold one at the middle of its length as a pencil, then slide the other one below the first, and use them like an extension of your fingers to pick up the food; except for rice, which is eaten with the bowl up against your lips.

It is not a bad idea to attempt to choose food with different flavors and textures when you order a plate; except if you want to eat a traditional meal such as Peking duck or a hotpot. It may be pleasant eating seafood, meat and chicken, each prepared in diverse methods. In Chinese cookery it is common to include a soup accompanying the main dish.

At inexpensive places are served high quantities of noodles and rice. At better restaurants the amount of rice and noodles diminishes gradually. These products are not well considered inside the Chinese gastronomic art, and have never been eaten at banquets unless in an ornate form.

Diners share the food that is all placed in the center of the table. You have to eat fairly slowly, taking time to converse. Itís important to see what others are doing; for example, itís a custom to spit out the smaller bones of fowl on to the tablecloth or floor; or slurp the soup from a spoon or the bowl when the noodles, vegetables or meat inside it have been eaten. After finish your meal, you have to leave your chopsticks upon your bowl. Past dinner, Chinese people don't like to talk, so it is better to get up straight away and leave.

In canteens you must pay in advance, while in restaurants you ask for the bill and pay to the waiter or the cashier. In China, tipping is not a custom.

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