Author Topic: Asking for a Fork At a Restaurant Where Chopsticks Are Provided  (Read 8906 times)

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Nemesis

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Re: Asking for a Fork At a Restaurant Where Chopsticks Are Provided
« Reply #45 on: December 05, 2010, 09:06:14 PM »
Dear OP,
The lady you were dining with is a snob.

No, Asians do not find it rude when someone who can't eat with a pair chopsticks asks for a fork and spoon instead. We actually find it rather polite. In fact, we find that people who don't know how to use a pair of chopsticks very rude if they INSIST to use them and proceed to "miss" and end up "throwing" and "catching" dinner all over the table.

Btw, it IS rude to eat food with your fingers at the table if you are dining with friends.

blarg314

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Re: Asking for a Fork At a Restaurant Where Chopsticks Are Provided
« Reply #46 on: December 05, 2010, 09:43:40 PM »

There isn't anything wrong with asking.

I do find that when travelling in chopstick using countries you can usually get a fork in areas that are used to dealing with tourists. If you are going more off the beaten path, restaurants are less likely to provide forks. In general, if the restaurant has an English menu, they can probably get you a fork. So when travelling in those areas, it's better to bring your own utensils.

Personally, I'll ask for a fork or spoon if the food is not being served in a chopstick friendly way.  Eating sticky rice out of a bowl is not particularly difficult - the rice clumps together nicely, and you are allowed to lift the bowl. Eating not so sticky rice off of a plate is way too time consuming.

When I went to Seoul I also found the Korean chopsticks difficult to use. I could eat with them, but it took about a meal and a half before my hands stopped cramping.

Now, if you do business with Asian companies, or in Asian countries, learning to eat neatly with chopsticks would fall under appropriate business etiquette. In that case, using a fork and spoon could look bad, like you can't be bothered to learn.

As a aside, when my husband first left Japan he used to eat a chicken leg/thigh at least once a week, to practice his knife and fork technique.


Winterlight

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Re: Asking for a Fork At a Restaurant Where Chopsticks Are Provided
« Reply #47 on: December 06, 2010, 11:44:38 AM »
I think the staff would probably rather give you a fork than watch chopsticks go flying. ;D Not that this ever happened to me. :P
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LadyJaneinMD

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Re: Asking for a Fork At a Restaurant Where Chopsticks Are Provided
« Reply #48 on: December 06, 2010, 11:50:45 AM »
I *know* how to use chopsticks, really I do!  I used to use them all the time, at Chinese places.  But now my right hand is too weak to deal with them, so I have to ask for a fork.

Please don't laugh at the n00bs who ask for a fork.  Some of them simply can't use chopsticks anymore.

Oh, and yes, the snotty lady was just that. Snotty.


blahblahblah

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Re: Asking for a Fork At a Restaurant Where Chopsticks Are Provided
« Reply #49 on: December 06, 2010, 12:03:09 PM »
Huh. Never realized that steel chopsticks were so uncommon...

Just did a wiki search, and yes, the Korean chopsticks look very different than all of the others. Guess I never gave it much thought; in fact, I prefer the flat style to the round ones, but obviously I'm biased since the former is what I grew up with.

NotCinderell

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Re: Asking for a Fork At a Restaurant Where Chopsticks Are Provided
« Reply #50 on: December 06, 2010, 12:05:06 PM »
Emphatically not rude to ask for a fork if you can't manage chopsticks.  When I lived in China, I occasionally got pre-emptively offered forks in restaurants by overly solicitious waitstaff who couldn't believe that a white girl could manage with chopsticks.  If they were so kind to offer, then clearly they wouldn't have been offended if asked, right?

Wonderflonium

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Re: Asking for a Fork At a Restaurant Where Chopsticks Are Provided
« Reply #51 on: December 06, 2010, 12:05:44 PM »
Anyone else now craving Asian food? Chinese, Japanes, or Korean, I don't really care.

Stateside, the chain restaurant Noodles & Co. has little things you can snap on to the end of your chopsticks to make them training wheel chopsticks.

Definitely not rude to ask! Better that than to make a mess or starve.
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blewellyn

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Re: Asking for a Fork At a Restaurant Where Chopsticks Are Provided
« Reply #52 on: April 12, 2013, 07:10:32 PM »
Just wanted to comment on the metal vs wooden chopsticks thing.  I have a friend who immigrated from Korea a couple of years ago.  Koreans use metal chopsticks in restaurants because they consider them more sanitary.  Some Koreans use metal chopsticks at home but many use wooden chopsticks at home because to quote my friend "they are more comfortable for us to use."  so no, you weren't rude and I'm pretty sure they probably get such requests from native Korean patrons as well.

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rose red

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Re: Asking for a Fork At a Restaurant Where Chopsticks Are Provided
« Reply #53 on: April 12, 2013, 07:21:30 PM »
It's not a rule and it's not my place to tell people how to post, but when reviving a thread that's over a year old, perhaps make a note to avoid any confusion. :)

Bijou

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Re: Asking for a Fork At a Restaurant Where Chopsticks Are Provided
« Reply #54 on: April 12, 2013, 09:06:12 PM »
We frequent a Chinese restaurant and they always put forks on the table.  In fact, you ask for chopsticks if you want them.  (Maybe because most of their clientele is not Asian and they know the fork is the preferred utensil.) 
When I was introduced to Chinese food many years ago I loved it and said either I'll learn to use chopsticks or I won't eat the food.)  I loved it when we took or 11 year old granddaughter there for lunch and she asked for and used chopsticks like a pro.
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Calistoga

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Re: Asking for a Fork At a Restaurant Where Chopsticks Are Provided
« Reply #55 on: April 12, 2013, 10:06:04 PM »
I've been told several times that it's perfectly OK to eat sushi with your fingers. If it's ok to forgo utensils entirely, it should be fine to use a fork.

EllenS

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Re: Asking for a Fork At a Restaurant Where Chopsticks Are Provided
« Reply #56 on: April 12, 2013, 10:41:36 PM »
Actually, in one restaurant I frequent, forks are put on the table, and you have to ask for the chopsticks!

I have been in some restaurants where both chopsticks and forks are provided, and some where only forks were provided and you had to ask for chopsticks.  I have never even seen a restaurant in the US (and I have lived in quite a few multicultural cities) where chopsticks only were on the table and you had to ask for a fork!

WillyNilly

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Re: Asking for a Fork At a Restaurant Where Chopsticks Are Provided
« Reply #57 on: April 12, 2013, 11:03:46 PM »
^ its not uncommon at all. My whole life I've found it it to be the norm in Chinese, Japanese, Thai and Korean restaurants for forks to be by request only. They always have them and its totaly cool to ask for one, but its not normal IME for the to start off on the table.

Raintree

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Re: Asking for a Fork At a Restaurant Where Chopsticks Are Provided
« Reply #58 on: April 12, 2013, 11:06:22 PM »
I live in a Canadian city with a LOT of Chinese (and other ethnic) restaurants and I've always been led to believe it's perfectly fine to ask for a fork. The servers have always been obliging and friendly about it. I've tried to use chopsticks and while I can get by if necessary, I find a fork much easier. If they didn't want me to use a fork, I think they wouldn't have forks available.

Doll Fiend

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Re: Asking for a Fork At a Restaurant Where Chopsticks Are Provided
« Reply #59 on: April 12, 2013, 11:13:53 PM »
Don't know if this had been mentioned but this thread also brings up the use of chopsticks and their use.
Chopsticks are Rude?