- Before you commence a meal, wait for your host to tell you three times to begin eating.
- The youngest person at the table should pour alcohol for the other diners, beginning with the most senior person. A senior should then pour the server’s beverage.
- Never transfer food from one pair of chopsticks to another. When women transfer food with chopsticks from a serving dish to their mouth, they should cup their hand beneath the food; men should not.
- Rubbing chopsticks together to remove splinters is a sign of disrespect to the restaurant or host.
- When eating hot noodles, you are encouraged to make a slurping noise; the Japanese believe that this inhalation of air enhances the noodles’ flavor.
- Pieces of sushi should be eaten in a single bite whenever possible; if you must eat a piece in more than one bite, never place it back down on your plate between bites.
- Before each meal, Muslim Pakistanis always recite this phrase: “Bismillah Ar-Rahman al-Rahim.” (“In the name of Allah, who is most beneficial and merciful.”) Afterward, they say, “Al-Hamdu-lillah.” (“Thanks be to God.”)
- Do not begin eating until the eldest member of the family is seated at the table.
- Always chew quietly enough that no one else can hear you.
- Always tear bread into pieces before eating it, and use only your right hand.