Eating and Drinking, Hong Kong
* When eating out with local Chinese, it is the custom for the host to order from the menu on behalf of his guests.
* A traditional meal will usually consist of some seafood and dim sum.
* Chinese tea is an integral part of any Chinese meal. 'Yum Cha' means drink tea.
You'll find some of the best restaurants in the world here, but don't expect quiet, romantic meals. The Chinese tradition is to eat big, loud meals. Feel free to burp if you're enjoying your food. It's not considered rude, but a compliment to the chef!!
Here's another important cultural tip:
Be Quick to Offer to Pay for Meals: Although it will NOT be accepted (relax... don't panic!), it is considered POLITE to OFFER to pay the dinner/ lunch bill. NEVER offer to split the bill as this would result in loss of face for your Hongkong host... and a sure way to lose that friendship!
Photo Below: Happy Valley here in HK.
When you are invited to a Chinese dinner and your invitation card reads - Dinner at 7 pm sharp - it is seldom so. In fact, it is culturally acceptable to be late. Don't be taken aback when you are the only one seated at the table at 7 pm - looking somewhat lost - while every one else will start streaming in at 7.30 pm onwards. Is this a unique custom?
Although many people in Hong Kong are Cantonese speaking, the younger generations speak both English and Chinese as well so communication is not a problem.
For meals, tapping the table twice with the index finger and middle finger when the waiter pours drinks or serves, says 'thank you'. For teapots, tilting the cap up signals to the waiter that you'll like him/her to add hot water to the tea leaves.
A China based brewing company Tsing Tao is one of those beers you will find in most lounges around the region. I believe the pic below was taken in the Wing in HKG.
In most busy streets you'll find many such food vendors especially at night. They provide a good variety to choose. I love the curried fishball best.
Dried shrimps are used in chinese cuisine., either in dishes or soups.
They are dried from the sun and can be found at some ports.
Learn to eat with chopsticks. Otherwise it can be very difficult to eat your noodlesoup on a ferry.