Miss Sing Manners
by Larry Colen

misssingmanners.html 18 april 2001 2Feb99

Q: I'll be serving both Asian and European food at a dinner. Where should I set the chopsticks?

A: Folow the same rule as in setting with western silverware, put the utensils for the first course on the outside, and work your way in. If you will be serving wonton soup as your first coure, salad as your second, pepper crab and laksa as the third, steak, potatoes mee goreng for the third course and durien pudding for dessert the utensils would be placed: (separated by course, the utensils would of course all be lined up with each other)

Soup Chopsticks                                        Ceramic Spoon
    Salad Fork
         Dinner Chopstiks                           Ceramic Spoon
              Dinner Fork                     butter knife, steak knife
                                         Pudding spoon

An exceptionally helpful hostess would also supply nose plugs for the guests that did not desire to partake of the durien.

Q: When eating with flatware, should I hold the fork in my left hand and the spoon in my left, or the other way around?

A: That depends upon whether it is European or American food being served. If it is European you hold the fork in your left hand and the spoon in your right. If it is American food you pick the fork up with your left hand (note that it is set on the left) and transfer it to your right hand and put it down on the left of the plate. You then pick up the spoon with your right hand, and transfer it to your left so you can pick up your fork with your right hand. Then use your fork to put the food from your plate onto your spoon and set the fork down on the right. Transfer the spoon, with the food from your left to your right hands, eat the food, pass the spoon back to your left hand and pick up your fork. Note that itis allowable to set flatware down on the "wrong" side of the plate during the meal.

Q: I had dinner at a restaurant on Orchard Road the other night and there was a strange piece of cloth under the silverware. What was it?

A: That was what is called a napkin. It is supposed to be placed on your lap during the meal and it is used to wipe up any food the might get on your hands or face.

Last modified 04/18/01

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