Guide: Fine Dining Etiquette

Whether a seasoned diner, or a curious first timer, one mustn’t be intimidated by the purported rigidity of fine dining...

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Napkins

When it comes to napkins, it is encouraged to dab the mouth rather than wipe. While it was common to tuck one’s napkin in front of your collar in a bygone era, doing so today is considered quite offensive. Unlike cutlery you may have accidentally dropped, you may pick up a fallen napkin, unless a server is nearby to retrieve it for you. A napkin left on the seat indicates that you will return from any sudden departure from the table, whilst a tidily placed napkin on the left side of your plate, unfolded, means you are done.

Bite-sized bread

These are not to be munched! Also, you shouldn’t go slicing away at your bread with a fork and knife. Instead, tear off dainty pieces before you savour each buttered morsel gracefully. One must also resist dipping the entire roll, served as appetizers before the actual meal, in soup.

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Wine

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When raising one’s glass to toast, it is not necessary to touch glasses. Eye contact would surely suffice, and so too a smile, if one also happens to be feeling rather generous. When faced with differently-sized glasses, usually placed on the right side of your plate, remember that the largest glass is for water, a medium-sized one for red, and a smaller one for white. Graciously inform the server on the exact wine you’d like more of, never hold up your glass in doing so, and let him know politely if he’s poured enough.

Careful Conversation

A dining affair is meant to be an enjoyable one, so you best leave more controversial topics for other affairs. That means no heavy debates over sex, politics and religion, lest you want to see your evening take a turn for soured moods and severe disagreement.

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