How would you rate your table manners?
By Karen Ann Monsy
Friday, June 15, 2012

See how you score when it comes to the art of dining

Do people enjoy 
dining with you or have you noticed they seem to give you a wide berth whenever you have a plate of food in your hand? Coincidence, surely? Maybe not.

From snazzy restaurants to fast food outlets and even your own home, there is a way to eat and a way to behave around people who eat. So perhaps the real question is: how do others rate your grasp of dining etiquette? Be brave. There’s only one way to find out… 

1. If a fellow diner is chomping away at his/her food (not unlike a cow), would you:

a.   Shrug and ask: “What’s wrong with that?”

b.  Pretend to enjoy the song playing (either in the restaurant or in your head)

c.   Glare at the person till he/she stops eating altogether

2. You’re enjoying your meal in the office pantry when some colleagues, having finished their own, engage in loud hawking and spitting sounds at the nearby washbasin. Would you:

a.   Clean off your plate and join the act

b.  Not be bothered (“I hear it at home all the time!”)

c.   Caution them to take it easy; there are safer procedures available if they’d like their lungs taken out

3. When faced with too many unfamiliar cutlery items at a fancy restaurant, would you:

a.   Pick any at random and tuck right in

b.  Wait for the others to begin and follow their lead

c.   Work your way from the outside in because that’s how it’s done, duh

4. If you have a particularly stubborn something stuck in your teeth, would you:

a.   Use multiple toothpicks or the fork at the table itself to extract the offending particle

b.  Tongue it incessantly till your fellow diners ask if you need some help with that

c.   Try to map out the location of the nearest washroom in your head, the time it would take to get there and the obstacles you’d have to overcome to get there

5. When eating, do you prefer your hands or a spoon and fork?

a.   Hands of course, how else do you get finger-lickin’ good?

b.  Depends, are we talking biryani or noodles?

c.   Always eat with cutlery — even at home

6. If you receive a call during the meal, would you:

a.   Excuse yourself to answer it — and return when half the course is done

b.  Take the call at the table itself and put the caller on speakerphone

c.   What call? Phones should be on silent during mealtimes by law

7. You’re starving mad. Would you wait to eat till all are seated and served?

a.   Are you kidding me? Outta my way!

b.  Offer your services as a ‘tester’ and declare each dish excellent in hopes of a second helping

c.   Cough loudly every time your stomach emits a low… rumble…

8. If you don’t like the food your hosts have served, would you:

a.   Say as much, Gordon Ramsay-style

b.  Talk about how “interesting” the dishes are and that it certainly tops your list of, er, unforgettable meals

c.   Try to swallow the food down without chewing — or choking

9. What do you usually talk about during meals?

a.   Every single grisly detail of the latest murder mystery you read last night

b.  You’re usually too busy savouring the food to talk

c.   Anything that whets the appetite — not diffuses it altogether!

10. If there’s just one more piece of your favourite fried dish left, would you:

a.   Spear it with a fork, saying, “SINCE nobody wants this…!”

b.  Agonise over what the others will think if you help yourself to it

c.   Offer it to everyone in turn with a smile, hoping, hoping, hoping no one will say “Yes”



>Mostly As — Let’s just say your scores leave something to be desired... and no, it’s not another meal. All is not lost though. Head for the nearest etiquette school in town or just read up online. Hopefully, it’ll soon be your finesse and not your appetite that leads the way!

>Mostly Bs — It’s amazing how nothing seems to faze you — at least on the outside. Compromise is the name of the game, for you like to have your cake and eat it too. Just remember: half-baked desserts don’t go very far — and that applies to company too!

>Mostly Cs — With impeccable manners like these, you’d be a definite pleasure to dine with. But you probably already know that, right? So let’s cut right to the chase: fancy going out to dinner tonight?


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