How to Eat Thai Food: Proper Thailand Table Manners

April 12, 2021
IN Thai Cuisine

Where are your manners? Manners, in general, are important, especially table manners.

When eating at a Thai restaurant in Seattle, manners can make or break your experience. Even the best Thai food in Seattle can almost become less delicious if your manners aren’t up to snuff.

Whether you’re dining in or enjoying Thai catering, you should mind your manners. To learn all about Thai table manners, keep reading.

Good Table Manners

Fortunately, Thai table etiquette is similar to that in the West. There’s no need to worry about stuffy table manners or overly formal etiquette.

Thai people enjoy sociable, rowdy meals with drinks and laughter. Meals are a fun cultural exchange.

The highest-ranking person or host typically sits at the middle of the table. The honored guest sits across from the host so they can converse easier.

Someone should show you your seat. If you’re on bamboo mats on the ground, always sit so that your feet don’t show.

The following point is key: Group meals in Thailand are shared, so don’t order your own food. It’s customary for a table’s senior ladies to decide on dishes for the group.

Expect to try different kinds of fish, meat, and vegetables. You don’t have to express any dietary restrictions when ordering.

Now let’s discuss utensils. Chopsticks in Thailand are only used for standalone noodle dishes. Don’t use them to eat rice-based dishes.

People in Thailand eat with a fork in the left hand and a spoon in the right hand. The spoon is the main utensil and the fork only manipulates food.

How to Eat the Best Thai Food in Seattle

At a more traditional Thai restaurant, don’t expect any knives because the food should already be bite-sized. Don’t ask for chopsticks.

Feel free to use condiments and add extra seasonings and sauces to your food. Try your food before spicing it up because some dishes are already spicy enough.

Wait to start eating. Wait for the most senior or highest-ranking person to signal that it’s time to eat before digging in. Or, don’t start eating until they do.

Don’t use your left hand because it’s considered “dirty.” Thai people eat slowly, so take your time and enjoy the meal.

You’re free to have a beer with dinner. You won’t have to pour your own drinks and someone will likely refill your glass for you.

Put all of the inedible pieces on one side of the plate at the end of the meal. Try not to leave meat, vegetables, or other food on the plate.

When it comes time to pay, don’t check the bill immediately or argue over who pays. The host or wealthiest person is usually expected to pay.

Thai Food From a Thai Restaurant in Seattle

Table manners still matter in 2021. Finding the best Thai food in Seattle is only half the battle. Once you’re at the restaurant, you’ll have to dine with appropriate respect for Thai culture and customs.

Even ordering Thai catering calls for manners befitting the food’s culture. Whether you’re dining in or eating out, do it by visiting the very best Thai restaurant in Seattle.

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