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Proper Table Manners in Singapore

Proper Table Manners in Singapore

Food is a very important aspect in Singapore life. The residents of Singapore and the visitors to the area are able to enjoy some wonderful meals. The food is influenced by other cuisines from around the world. Singapore is able to take this global food and make it its own. While the food is influenced by many countries, the way that the food is consumed is based on the traditions of Singapore. largely based on the back ground of the people. in US german and Italians still have their own unique way of eating and manners around the table yet there is lots of common ground.

Eating food is only part of the enjoyment of the dining experience. Sharing the food with others and enjoying the location where the food is eaten also play a role in the whole dining experience. It is important for people to understand the customs and traditions that surround the dining experience in Singapore. There are things that people need to understand before they sit down and start to eat. The table manners and etiquette of eating in Singapore requires learning a few things. There are several basics that everyone should know before they travel to Singapore so they do not insult anyone or make mistakes that will embarrass themselves.



Singapore meals are influenced by the Western Culture. Many visitors may expect to see chopsticks in use when they sit down to a meal. While it is a good idea to learn how to use chopsticks before you travel to Singapore, it is not always necessary. Forks and spoons are commonly used in the area and there is no shame with using these utensils.hawker centers it can be hard to find a fork Of course, if you decide to use chopsticks, make sure you learn the right way to use them.

The use of the utensils is something else that should be considered. If an individual is dining with Malay or Indian guests, the fork is used to separate the food, but the spoon is used to put the food in the mouth.

The food in Singapore is most commonly served family style. This means that a diner will use a serving spoon to transfer the food to their plate. The serving spoon should not touch the personal plate or another person’s plate when serving the food.

If you are eating soup, you can combine chopsticks with the use of a soup spoon. The chopsticks are used to put the rice on the spoon. When eating the soup, do not slurp it. That is not considered polite.


Other guests at the table

There are several rules about the table manners in respect to the other guests at the table. Many of them have to do with how to deal with elders at the guest.

  • Elders are respected in Singapore. It is proper etiquette to let them start to eat first. Do not start to eat until the elders at the table pick up their chopsticks or utensils and begin to eat.
  • Lazy Susan’s are often used at the Singapore table. The food on the Lazy Susan is turned so that every guest can reach it. The Lazy Susan should be turned to the elders first and it should only be turned in one direction. That direction is clockwise.

In addition to showing the respect for the elders at the table, there are a few other things that visitors to Singapore should be aware of. It is not polite to cross over another person at the table to get food from the center of the table. It is better to turn the Lazy Susan or ask that the  food be passed to you. If there is a Muslim at the table, do not pass food with your left hand. It is also impolite to eat anything with your left hand in this case. Shells and bones that are left after eating should always be placed on the plate and not directly on the table. If you are eating fish, do not flip the fish over. That is bad luck in the Chinese culture.


Other tips

One of the hardest thing that travelers have to deal with is when to tip and when not to tip. In Singapore, tipping is not needed. There is often a 10% service charge that is already added to the bill to take the place of tipping. In addition, when invited to a restaurant to eat, it is polite to allow the host to order the food.

There may seem like a lot of rules and traditions to follow, but it is important to realize that Singapore is a popular tourist destination. Not everyone adheres to the rules of etiquette as strictly as others. It is always a good idea to follow the lead of the host to decide how strict you need to be.

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