How to use eating utensils

The modern life requires you to be equipped with lots of skills. If you have a meeting with foreign partners in a luxurious restaurant coming up, have you got all table etiquette – things like choosing a type of glass to have wine, using fork, spoon, and plate… – in your hand? Today La Badiane will share with you some tips so that you won’t be confused with different eating utensils on your table. 

Unlike the Vietnamese traditional way of using chopstick, meals in Western restaurant often feature knives, forks, spoons and large dishes. It would be confusing if you attend luxurious, Western-style dinners without getting to know how to use these tools in advance.

Western dishes are not all displayed on the table at the beginning of the meal but gradually brought out as the meal progresses, and each person will have their own portion. A standard 3-course meal includes:

- Appetizer: Normally soup or vegetable salad with wine to whet dinners’ appetite.

- Main course: The “lead actor” of the play, can be steak (beef), fish, seafood or chicken… depending on the characteristics of the party.

- Dessert: Can be ice-cream, cake, cheese or fruit.

Therefore, you need to understand what the utensils on the table are for:

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Dinning utensils in Western culture

General rule when using the utensils: Start from the ones furthest from the dinning plate, then slowly move inward.


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Rule 1: fork left, spoon right

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Left index finger along the fork, right index finger on knife

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Rule 2: Spoon right, fork left

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Use fork to get food onto spoon

Besides, you also need to pay attention to how the way you place the utensils is perceived by the waiters/waitresses:

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In the European way: “I stop eating to do something else’

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And this is how to say: ‘I’ve finished eating’

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‘I’m just taking a break’ in the American way

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And this is ‘I’ve stopped eating’, American way

With these tips, hopefully you are now confident enough to have a ball at any party!