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5 No Nos of Fine Dining

By Tabinda


(Disclaimer: This article is written in good humor)
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rn127 rules attached to eating at fine-dining restaurants, and Kreserve has summarised them in the acronym: FACT D. Like a case file title, this acronym will teach you all the ins and outs of how to look, act and even eat as if you play croquet ritualistically, or wear Monza driving gloves when you choose to not employ your chauffeur. But breathe, because these rules only apply in high swinger restaurants. rnrn

1. Fun with Food

rnHidden bones and seed pips can avalanche a good first impression, and they can’t always be avoided. The best way to deal with them is by excusing yourself and removing it in privacy - and do not put it into your napkin or onto your plate. Nobody likes seeing a salivated bone. For smaller ordeals such as seed pips, be sure to use your forefinger and thumb to remove it and place it at the side of your plate. rn
rnIt is worth remembering that you don’t exactly look endearing with your mouth stuffed with too big a slice of fish. Make sure you cut your food into small pieces so that the fork does not have to enter your mouth at all. Besides, eating slower illustrates patience and manners, whereas eating fast can cause a mess and make you seem like you are in a rush to go somewhere else. Two qualities that can crumple any amount of smoothness your hair gel exudes.rn

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2. Acting

rnJay Gatz didn’t become Gatsby by mouthing “old sport” every other page in the book; he did it by imitating and exemplifying the classy. And the classy do not blow on hot food - they let the cooler surrounding air do it. This is actually one of the best ways to focus on your conversation with your partner(s) instead. Keep in mind that although taking photos of your Starbucks cappuccino is all good, in classy restaurants its simply viewed as “cheap” - hence, why French restaurants have started to ask their customers to not do it. It simply gives the image of someone who hasn’t dipped their feet in upper class waters, so keep your hands on the utensils, not your phone. rn
rnSpeaking of phones, don’t put them on top of the tables. You can put them in your pockets, or your bag, and if you’re waiting on an important call, your best move would be to mute it. Phones, keys and purses should all stay off the table. After all, it’s a place for plates - try to enjoy the company and the dish at hand. However, if its more of a family gathering than a formal one, there’s no reason why you can’t take pictures of the company - and then maybe sneak in pictures of the food. Be discrete in order to avoid any embarrassment though. rn
rnIf you’re hosting however, its a slightly different ballgame. Your guest must always order first, and it would be polite for you to order the same number of courses as your companion. To ensure that the waiter knows who to ask first, simply say “My guest would like to order first”, or indicate with a gesture. Also, hand in your credit card before the guest arrives in order to avoid polite squibbles over who’s paying. It also shows your guest that you’ve taken initiative to impress them, and impress you will. rn

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3. Conversation

rnConversation is key to forming connections - FACT A: Bill Gates did an awful lot of business networking to get to the 1%. Stay far away (with a fifteen feet pole) from topics revolving around religion, politics or sex. “What?!” I hear you cry, “But then there’s nothing to talk about!” If you’re with acquaintances or associates, start with small topics, find shared interests and go on from there. But never start talking about business before the entrée is finished by everyone at the table. If you’re with family, try to make sure the conversation doesn’t turn into a heated debate - at least not inside the restaurant. rn
rnAnother thing to remember is to tone down. I know you’ve just heard something unbelievably hilarious but nobody wants to pull out the heimlich in this resto. Tone down the noise level; don’t shout at the person across the table just to ensure they hear you. It embarasses your company, it may embarass you, and that slick fine-dining, polo-playing vibe you’re giving off might just choke.rn

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4. Time

rnThis is fourth on the list for the sake of the acronym. It really should be the first, and you really should have an impeccable sense of timing. Eight minutes late is the limit. On the dot is the minimum. Do not arrive an hour (or even 15 minutes) before the event starts, and do not try to be “fashionably late” - it’s a faux pas in the fine-dining industry. rn

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5. Dress Code

rnNow you’re going to a fine-dining restaurant, so you don’t want to glam it up too much but you do wanna dress for the occasion. Here are some pointers in the right direction:rn

rn1. Is it Casual?rnIf it’s casual, stuff the jackets and jewellery and veer far from your sweatpants, but close to your jeans. Jeans and a clean shirt always whip up an excellent casual image, without giving a “still staying at my mother’s” vibe. rn

rn2. Is it Business Casual?rnThe differing line here comes with the accoutrement of a professional look - knee-length skirts and collared polo shirts (don’t mix the two though) will suit the occasion nicely. Chuck out the sneakers.rn

rn3. Is it Elegant?rnPut on platinum. For her, it could be the long bottle-green dress she’s been longing to wear with those emeralds (RM 50 or 50,000, no one will know) whilst he would require a darker suit with cufflinks that compliment her jewellery. rn
rnKeep in mind that your company will most likely be the type who mind - although do remember that those who matter, don’t mind (Dr. Seuss)
rnFollow us to get fresher insights on the world of food!rnrn

Dining Tip   Dining Etiquettes   

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