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Table Etiquettes in Spanish, Japanese and Italian Restaurants

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A country’s cuisine is an extension of its native culture, so it naturally follows that eating their food also means practicing the same dining etiquette and traditions.

On your next dine out, whether in a Spanish, Japanese or Italian restaurant, make sure to practice these following customs for more indulging dining experience.

Spanish

  • It’s necessary to talk

For people in Spain, meals are social events; and therefore, should be the time to socialize and chit-chat as much as possible. In fact, when there’s sudden silence over the table, expect someone to say that an angel must have passed by them.

  • It’s okay to tell white lies

it is considered impolite to refuse the food you have been served. But if you really have to, make sure you do it in a way that the host or the chef won’t get offended. The proper way to say it is to just tell them that you have already eaten or that you are already full, even if you are not.

  • Avoid talking about business

Although conversation is encouraged during meal times, talking about business is deemed inappropriate. It runs the risks of raising issues and tensions, which can ruin a good meal.

Japanese

  • Make noise while sipping the soup

The thought of making noise while sipping liquids at the table is dreadful for some, Japanese find it pleasing to hear people slurping on their food. The slurping sound signifies that the diner loves his food and is believe that the air from slurping adds flavor to the broth.

  • Avoid adding wasabi

At authentic sushi restaurants, food items that should be paired with wasabi are already added onto the dish. But if you really need an extra kick of spiciness to your sushi, brush just a tiny amount directly onto the fish.

  • It’s a no-no to pour your own drink

Japanese table etiquette is built around showing respect to your fellow diners, and one way to do this is to pour someone else’s beverage for them. Pouring your own drink prevents others from giving back the same courtesy you show them.

Italian

  • Go easy with the condiments

Italian chefs are very serious about food quality, so much that too much use of on-table condiments can be an insult to the restaurant’s chef. Instead of adding more salt and pepper to your dish, drizzle a little bit of olive oil to enhance the flavor.

  • Leave the sweet drinks for snacks

The Italians believe that sweet drinks, like sodas and fruit juices, have the tendency to mask the taste of meticulously prepared food. Water and wine are the preferred drink to accompany any dish during any meal.

Now that you’re equipped with the right table manners on each culture, you are all set to enjoy your next gastronomic adventure to some of the many international restaurants here in Singapore.

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