How To Eat With A Fork, Knife & Other Dining-Out Stuff


In this post you’re going to kick your dining troubles goodbye. Indians use their hands to eat as often as they can. To find yourself in a setting where you need to rely on the use of forks, spoons, and all those scary table-tools like at hotels and restaurants can be very annoying. The last thing you want is the maitre d’ of all people giving you the look when you’re holding the knife/fork/whatever wrong.

Formal Dining

Here’s a simple and quick exploration on how to understand these obnoxious critters when eating out. In another post, I’ll explore how to actually use them. This post is just a preliminary glance for all those who need brushing up on what’s what.

Know Thy Enemy

This is how a fine dining table at an eat-out usually looks like, and no I’m not including how tables at fast food restaurants appear.

The General Things:

· There’ll be a bread plate with a butter knife placed elegantly atop it. This will usually be at your top left.

· Wine and water glasses take up the top right area. If you don’t know which is which see what the maitre d’ pours into which glass and you’re good to go.

· The main plate will sit right before you, it’s nice and big so you won’t fail to know what it is.

· You’ll usually see a small bowl on top of that for soup.

Dinner Etiquette

The Tools:

The napkin is as much a dining tool as anything else. Guys, hang it from your neck. Girls, spread it on your lap. Of course, guys can also place it on one of their pant legs but not covering both legs, mind you, that’s for women to do.

For dessert there will generally be present a Dessert Fork and a Dessert Spoon, small cute little things, positioned above the plate. No worries if you can’t find them there at first, they’ll come with the dessert when it’s served.

Here come the actual tools. Always start from the outside and make your way in from there.

1. To the left of the plate you’ll find the Forks. There are three different ones. Start from the outside, which indicates the order the meals and dishes will come to you in.

There’s the Salad Fork (Westerners usually eat a nice big bowl of tossed salad before a meal), the Fish Fork (if you’re having fish they serve it before the main meal so as to help with palate-cleansing and digestion) and the Dinner Fork (which you use to hold and cut with the knife accompanying and also to help load your spoon with fried rice etc. and to help twirl noodles and spaghetti).

2. To the right side of the plate you’ll find the soup spoon at the very exterior. Remember the soup bowl sitting on your main plate? That’s when you use this spoon to get that soup done and watch as the maitre d’ clears the bowl and gets your main plate ready for the actual meal.

Again on the right side you’ll find (going towards the plate from the outside) the knives. After the soup spoon you’ll see the Salad Knife (to help get those carrots and cabbage leaves into bite-sized pieces so you don’t look like a feral herbivore!). Then comes the Fish Knife (to accompany your fish fork to hold and cut that swimmer!). Finally there’s the Dinner Knife (to accompany your Dinner Fork, in obvious ways). If you’re having steak you’ll be provided a different steak knife direct from the kitchens (because this badass knife sure looks like something a serial killer will like to have handy and doesn’t quite gel with the rest of the silverware crowd!).

That’s all folks. Plan your next outing with complete confidence knowing you’ll pull it off like a charm. Be the lord or lady of dinner etiquette.

Speak Your Mind