Whether you’re in Hong Kong for business or pleasure, one thing’s for sure: you’
There are many places that follow the typical western restaurant experience and you won’t have to worry about any of this, but on the chance you wander into a more traditional Hong Kong restaurant, you’ll be prepared and won’t be shocked by the whole experience.
1. Everything need to be done quickly
Restaurants expect you to know what you want to eat, to slurp it down quickly and then move on. The faster they turn tables, the more money they can make, at least so goes the thinking.
2. Share your space
It’s a little awkward at first. Space is at a premium and you’ll probably end up knocking elbows with your neighbours.
3. Only one thing at a place
There are a lot of really small shops throughout Hong Kong who only specialize in one thing. These places do one thing only and they do it well. It’s the only way they’re able to survive for so long. So go there and get what they specialize in.
4. Use Cash and Pay at Door
After you place your order, your order receipt will appear at your table, typically slipped between the table and the glass put on top of it. When you’re done, you don’t need to ask for the bill. Just take the slip of paper and pay at the door.
5. Tools included
You’ve ordered and your food comes to your table at lightening speeds. Open it and you’ll find chopsticks and anything else you may need. You really don’t need to talk to anyone.
6. Be prepared and carry your own napkins
You can also use these napkins to wipe down your utensils and bowls before eating.
7. Squat toilets
Speaking of washrooms, most traditional places don’t have a western toilet or even a toilet at all. You’re much more likely to find a squat wet toilet and whether or not there is toilet paper is a toss up.
8. Be aware of bones
Unlike most of western cuisine, much of Chinese cooking is on the bone. The belief is the bone gives extra flavour and the best parts of the meat are sucked right off the bone.
9. There really is no service.
No one will come by to ask you how your meal is or if there is anything else that they can get you. The wait staff will leave you alone unless you need something from them.
10. Have an open mind
As cheesy as it may sound, dining out in Hong Kong means having an open mind. There are things sold and being eaten that are just strange to the western palate. The experience in itself can be uncomfortable and unnerving with tiny tables and so many people squished around them.