Do you like to eat Chinese food but have always been intimidated with the strange customs and non-English speaking proprietors or waiters? (Quite rare these days, actually, even in hole-in-the-wall restaurants in Chinatown).
Well, fear not. John Mariani of Esquire Mag has a list of neat tips to make your dining experience better:
1. Go on Sunday
Chinese families pile into Chinese restaurants throughout the day on Sunday, certainly for the dim sum brunch but also for the unusual delicacies made by the kitchen specifically for Chinese clientele. This is the one day that you can be sure to eat what the Chinese are eating, and you have to do little more than check off what looks exciting on the menu or ask the waiter what the next table over is having that looks and smells so good.
2. Just Nod
With dim sum served from carts, wheeled through the dining room by servers who may speak limited English, you should just nod at what looks good when the server takes the top off the steamer. The most info you'll get out of him is "pork," "shrimp," "abalone," so go with what you like. Dim sum is so inexpensive, you won't go far wrong even if you don't like one or another item.
Link - Thanks Marty!
The chinese usually serve (complimentary) green tea, often in a single pot per table to be shared by the people there.
If you run out, the code to "ask" for more, is to tip the lid, so it's resting at an angle on the pot. "open".
Be suprised at how fast it's noticed from the other side of the room and a fresh pot of tea is brought over promptly.
How we love our dimsum!
I won't tell you what the cooked chicken- or duckfeet are called on the menu though... ;-) Let it be the gourmet surprise, or let it give them the deserved giggle if you can't stomach them.