Sharing meals vs individual meals

When I first came to Taiwan, the boss took the staff out for dinner at TGIF. I ordered a burger and chips. As soon as it arrived, everyone at the table helped themselves to my chips. One of them even sliced a chunk off the burger and gobbled it down with chopsticks. I was aghast. Eat what you order. I don’t want any of your chicken hearts and pig offal. I hate shared meals. “Culture” can fuck right off.


I love shared meals, but it is entirely situational. If you’re at a place like TGIF, you’d have to agree to having a shared meal first and order appropriately. Many western dishes just don’t lend themselves to being shared. I’m not sure how someone got to your burger and fries if you placed it in front of you and started man-handling it as most people do, but regardless it is plain weird to take someone’s burger and start cutting it up. With almost all Asian food, shared meals are much better than western style. If you want more of what you want, just order it again and take a bunch.


They used to serve that at TGIF?


This was a while ago, right? I agree this used to happen a lot, but I don’t see it as often these days - there seems to be more recognition that some cuisines are designed for shared meals, while others aren’t.

Of course I may not see it as often because I got so sick of it I mostly stopped going out for meals with groups.

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So Joey became Jimi…

Makes sense.

Depends on who I am eating with. Close family, this style is perfect.

Extended family/friends………keep your chopsticks out the fried noodles.

I have a brother in law who likes to move about every fucking thing on the plate until he finds the one veggie or piece of meat he wants hiding at the bottom. Dirty fucker.


Agreed. First time I went to Friday’s here 20+ years ago, you could get a waiter who couldn’t speak English. And they might bring your dessert out first as, as a friend said, “it was ready”.

At that time many locals didn’t understand the concept of “individual meals” and people eating what they ordered. Shared meals were the norm and it was just natural to swap food freely. Outside of older people and in the backwaters I doubt you’d see people do this now.

As long as the food and the company is good I kind of lake the big round table affairs but there must be beer and wine involved, The LNY Weiya is about the only time I eat with colleagues and its usually fun (if you sit with the right people). I long ago decided I didn’t have to be toasting anyone every time I took a draw of my drink, which helped. They also started serving good wine. The first ones I attended had those big jugs of cheap wine on the tables. I had a group dinner with some students last year that was really fun and at Thank You Teacher parties too.

The only thing I hate is when someone unprompted plops some portion of food on your empty plate. Often it’s something I’m trying to avoid in the first place. They are just trying to be polite but it’s annoying. This also doesn’t seem to happen anymore, though due to the pandemic, I haven’t been to a group meal in over a year.


I don’t care about sharing plates or everyone digging their utensils in the same food. I don’t mind eating half chewed food from immediate family either. But my eldest son won’t even share a drinking glass.

I used to really enjoy the hotel buffet dinners with the graduating students. Then everyone got smartphones, which meant I was expected to smile for a thousand photos rather than just one or two dozen. I no longer attend those.

I always feel bad at big meals with co-workers, because whoever is beside me gets stuck in either a separate conversation in English, or with translation duty. No complaints about the co-workers at all: they’re great. But having a non-Chinese speaker around is a bit of a hassle for the small talk and socializing.


Try those Pimsleur lessons that @nz talked about in the other threads. Only takes about 20 minutes a day and it’s really easy to pick things up, especially if you’ve been here a while and know a bit already. I got the whole set from that little black ship site.


Sharing meals. I can take it or leave it.

But the bones. Damnit. Butchers exist.


They are polite, they use the back of the chopsticks.

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Urine instead of saliva. Yum.


A chopper knife is al they need, not butchers.

Quoted so people that didnt get it think hard. Haha, nice one! Not just urine unfortunatel. check the wastebins next to the toilet. Ladies, you too…perhaps worse…!

Covid, sars 1, hepatitis etc have taught us nothing.

Best to know mandarin and gaurd your plate. I literally eat with arms and hands surroundin my plate. When people try to invade my space, a friendly hand block and polite rejections are more than enough to ward off incoming.

Half educated folk know to use “public” utensils where chopsticks/spoon are placed on the dish. Thankfully this is getting more common.

Interesting the op of this thread isnt answering the question of partitions though. Arent they asking about physical blockades between people and how to share food?

Me too. I want my own plate or bowl or set meal and want to finish it from top to bottom at my own pace. Not even interested in having a bite of yours to see how it tastes. Buffet style can be great. No need whatsoever to share anything.

That’s nasty. You wanna lure him into an Italian restaurant, Big Dave, and you and me teach him some manners?

I get there early, put the gun behind the toilet.
You’ll be searched when you go in. Half way through the meal, you go to the bathroom. Don’t just go. Ask for permission. That will give him a false sense of security. Get the piece and go to town.

If you haven’t watched The Godfather movies, this is a weird message.

Jeffery Epstein apparently threw large buffets and only ate off other people’s plates once they had eaten from it. Feared being poisoned.

I don’t much have a problem with the wife picking off my plate when we go out, but people who don’t kiss me with their tongue don’t get such privilege. After COVID, however, I am far more wary of sharing tapas and appetizers with friends.

I was thinking more we have a cloth in the bread basket, some napkins on the table, wine and water etc but if you wanna ice this motherfucker, then lets play.