The same as any cuisine, Indonesian dining comes using its own traditions and practices. While these are not always practiced in restaurants particularly those located in other countries such as Singapore, it’s worth learning how Indonesian locals follow dining etiquette. It’s not only because you are preparing to consume in an authentic Indonesian restaurant, but more about getting to know the country’s unique means of celebrating life through food.
Indonesian dining is commonly more reserved compared to that particular of other countries. This is due to the mixture of cultures in the country. So yes, dining proves to be a critical aspect of dining, so while not only able to truly save yourself from embarrassment, but most importantly feel fulfilled along with your experience.
You will find 5 things to bear in mind when eating Indonesian food in Singapore restaurants, and these are:
- Spoon and fork only.
In Indonesia, food is served with a couple of utensils: spoon and fork. This pair of utensils is all that suffice in a dinner setting, even yet in formal restaurants. You will find even restaurants that do not take advantage of these utensils since they’re not necessarily part of Indonesian dining and have only been adapted during the current times.
You might not find a blade available, and meat is cut by way of the spoon and fork. Also, food is eaten utilising the spoon and only, and picking up the food must be done utilising the right hand. This is as a result of Muslim tradition of eating only with the right hand, which can be regarded to function as clean hand.
- Eat with the hands.
You might find it archaic but yes, it’s part of Indonesian dining tradition to consume with the hands. This is even regarded to be sacred, as eating is just a divine celebration of life and bountiful harvest. In most restaurants, tables feature a ceramic basin of water, and this really is where you will wash both hands before and after eating.
Sometimes, the basin of water is served individually, thus you’re able to play one bowl of water for yourself. In bigger restaurants however, such as those that are generally for family diners, there is only 1 basin shared by everyone seated on the table.
- The elders take the very first serving.
Another important practice in Indonesian dining is who should take the very first bite. In most restaurants and diners, the oldest members of the group will soon be given the priority for food serving, and it’s only after they are done taking their share that you can begin picking your food.
There’s also instances when the most revered person in the group is the one who could take the very first serving during dinner. This is observed if you are dining with nobility, or in today’s times, people who have high ranks in the society (such as your boss or extremely important guests).
- Who pays the bill?
When eating Indonesian food in Singapore restaurants, it is important to note concerning who pays the bill. Usually the one who invited you for lunch would shoulder the expenses, but it addittionally customary to go Dutch, especially when you have all agreed to share the expense of the dinner.
Unlike in Western countries, tipping is not practiced in Indonesia. You might find it odd, it’s not common practice to pay for the servers extra. However, if the restaurant already features newer and Western manners of serving and accommodating guests, then tipping can still be performed (but not required).