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‘Food is one of life’s greatest joys’, said the person who didn’t know the many ways food-related etiquette could offend. The team at Charles Grech Bistro – top bistro in Sliema – shares some interesting dining traditions across the globe:

Fork? What the Fork’s a Fork?!

In Thailand, using a fork to put food into your mouth is frowned-upon and considered bad manners. This item of cutlery should only be used to help food onto a spoon. End of.

Off with your shoes!

Removing shoes before entering an indoor space is customary in Japan and is not necessarily limited to entering a home. It is even required at certain restaurants, particularly more traditional ones where seating comes in the form of pillows next to low tables. Either way, shoes should be placed neatly in a designated area, generally close to the entrance. The idea is to keep outdoor dirt, well, outside.

Madame Tussauds meets Gastronomy

If you’re a fan of Madame Tussauds, head to a restaurant in Japan. Although seeing a wax figure of Angelina Jolie is unlikely, what you are very likely to see is a display of accurate plastic/wax replicas of the restaurant’s served food displayed in the entrance window. Such displays are great for the vast majority of foreigners who do not read Japanese. So instead of ordering blindly and risking ending up with something you would never dare eating, just point to the dish you want to order. Simple.

Right hand, wrong hand…

We’ve all experienced not knowing what to do with our hands when stuck in an awkward situation. The Middle East and India set things straight, having rules on which hand does what: the right hand is for picking up food, the other is to be used for the bathroom. Fair enough.

Pour me a drink or I shall die of thirst

In Korean culture, you shouldn’t pour your own alcohol. Rather, wait or ask someone else to do the job for you. Moreover, alcohol should always be offered to the oldest person first as a sign of respect.

Slurp away

Yes, we’re back in Japan and their truly unique dining traditions. You may get a few glares if you try this one at our bistro in Sliema (or anywhere else for that matter), but in Japan, not only is slurping noodles not considered the height of band manners, it is even welcome.

Clean China

Eating everything on one’s plate in China implies that your host didn’t feed you enough. China shouldn’t be cleaned in China, so leave some sauce or something.


At Charles Grech Bistro, the best bistro Sliema has to offer – you needn’t worry about any of these dining traditions, particularly the last point. Our delicious food will ensure you won’t want to leave so much as a crumb! So if you’re looking for passionately-prepared food made using only top-quality ingredients, head to the ever popular restaurant in Malta: Charles Grech Bistro.

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