Tips On Manners When Dining Out

If you have ever been invited to dinner at a restaurant that is classified as a fine dining establishment, you may have been quite confused. After all, there are more forks and knives on the table for one person than there are courses in a meal! The napkin is annoying and confusing too. Wherever you try and put it, you are sure to get a disapproving stare or two from other people. Here are some tips that you should follow if you are ever invited for this type of culinary experience again.


In a typical restaurant setting, whether waterfront dining in Sydney or a seven course meal in the city, you may have noticed that the cutlery for each course is brought in with the course itself. It isn’t set out in some complex arrangement when you sit down. However, for fine dining this is indeed the case. The cutlery for the entire meal is set out in a certain order around your plate when you sit down. You may usually find the forks on the left, the knives on the right and the spoons on the top. If you are confused, simply follow the outside-in rule. Start from the outermost fork and knife for the first course, and then progress inwards as the meal moves along. Still confused? Wait for the host to pick up their cutlery and follow suit.

How to use the cutlery you get

When it comes to the main course at any fine dining or waterfront dining establishment, there are going to be meats. Never cut up your meat first and then use a fork to eat it. Always cut each portion and eat it immediately after. Every time you take a mouthful of food, put the knife and fork down while you chew and swallow. Place these down on the plate, not on the table, and make sure they are placed with the tips crossed. This will notify your waiter that you aren’t done with the food yet. If you are finished with the meal, place the knife and force vertically on the plate. Make sure the tines of your fork are facing upwards and that your knife blade is facing the fork. Never use your fork like a spoon and scoop your food up. If you drop your fork or knife, do not pick it up. Your server will replace it immediately.

There are many other rules to follow, of course, but the cutlery is the most obvious and the most basic. Make sure that you are on your best behavior and that you are in no way being loud, rude or belligerent. You should be able to have a smooth, slightly awkward fine dining experience!