Thai Dining Etiquette

In Thailand it is said that the day may well be planned around what you are having to eat. This means you may well end up doing things of interest around your favourite food vendors or restaurants, just so you can enjoy your favourite snacks. So much importance is placed on food in Thailand and it is easy to see why with so many delicious treats to choose from. However Today’s post is based around some dining etiquette to bear in mind when invited as a guest to a Thai persons home to eat.

  • Eating in Thailand is certainly far more enjoyed in a group as a social event rather than on your own and also presents the extra pleasure of everyone sampling lots of different dishes.
  • However on the odd occasions when a Thai has to eat on their own, during such times as working lunch breaks, they will invariably stick to one plate dishes. Popular one plate dishes would be a noodle of some kind, curry and rice or a fried rice dish.
  • In Thailand during the early days food was eaten with the fingers, today only dishes such as sticky rice with chicken are eaten in this way. In Bangkok during the 1900’s eating with the fingers gave way to the fork and spoon style table lay up and soon after the rest of the country followed suit.
  • The fork is used to push food on to the spoon and then eating the food from the spoon. The fork should not be put in to the mouth, in fact it is the equivalent of putting a knife in your mouth in the west.
  • It is a total misconception that Thais eat a lot of their food with chopsticks. Chopstick use is purely reserved for Chinese style dining and Chinese noodle dishes.

The Delicious Dish Of Pla Rad Prik (salmon with Chilli)

  • In general the dishes are served to the table all at once, unlike in the west were dishes are served in courses. However if the staff cannot manage to bring the dishes all at once then the diners will wait until all the dishes have arrived before starting to eat.
  • The Thais are not so insistent on the dishes being steaming hot as we are in the west and are quite happy for the dishes to sit around for a while untouched.
  • On the subject of steaming hot food, it is actually very impolite to start getting stuck in to a piping hot dish as soon as it arrives as it shows a distinct lack of control on your behalf. You should wait to get the nod first i.e waiting for the referee’s whistle.
  • Whilst dining as a guest at a Thai dinner engagement remember not to touch any of the food before the host, oldest or wealthiest person attending announces that eating should commence. This is usually done in an informal way by quietly announcing  ” kin khao” which simply means eat rice.

Khun Lek and Assistant Nong Yao

  • In the west we usually bring the serving plate over to our plate to serve ourselves from, but in Thailand the serving plate stays on the table and you reach over to it with your spoon.
  • As a foreign guest you will be looked after very well and for sure will get all the help in the world from the diners, the Thais will just want you to enjoy the food and the fine Thai hospitality.

Book Recommendation:

The Life In The UK Test Handbook

Author Saengduan Thompson

In Thai and English    Paperback  £9-99 free postage and packing

Saengduan Thompson who is Thai realised as she went through the naturalisation process and passed the life in the UK test herself  providing a Thai translation of the official materials as well as the official English study material to make it easier for Thai speakers to pass the test.

The book has been well received in the Thai community

Far more details about the book are available on the website at

Recent Thai Gourmet Events:

Late October Thai Gourmet did an event in West Bagborough near Taunton for Ian Haynes and family for a special birthday meal. The family chose one of the popular menus from the Thai Gourmet itinerary as listed below.

Ian and Maureen Haynes and party


Papaya Salad (Thai salad with peanuts, lime, fresh chilli, garlic and tomato)
Chicken Satay (Grilled chicken with peanut sauce)
Spring rolls (Fresh vegetables wrapped and cooked in thin pastry with a sweet chilli dip)
Kanompang Na Moo (Fried spicy pork on toasted bread with a cucumber dip)

Main CourseGang Khiaw wan Gai (Chicken green curry with coconut milk and vegetables)
Thoot Man Khao Phot (Corn cakes with garlic and pepper)
Gang Massaman Nua (Beef cooked in rich curry sauce with sweet potatoes & coconut milk)
Phat Thay (Noodles with prawns, peanuts and bean sprouts)

DessertKhaaw Niaw Gap Mamuang (Sticky Rice with Mango slices)

Thai Gourmet were delighted that the whole evening was a great success and received a nice message from Ian to verify that.

A slightly belated thank you to you all for the
excellent meal you prepared and served for us on Saturday night. We
thoroughly enjoyed the food and it will be an occasion to remember!

Best wishes.

Ian and Maureen Haynes and party.

Another memorable event, but this time more local to home in Lopen, somerset was the buffet party event organised by Alex Peto-dias. Starters were walked around in the familiar Thai Gourmet fashion whilst the main course was served to a large table for each of the 24 guests to help themselves.

The Buffet menu chosen was the Thai Gourmet extra buffet listed below.

Second part of the buffet at Alex peto-dias

Gang Khiaw Wan Gai (green chicken curry)

Chicken Satay (grilled chicken with peanut sauce dip)

Giew Grop (crispy deep-fried pork wrapped in thin pastry)

Thot Man Khao Phot (fried corn cakes with garlic and pepper)

Spring Rolls with vegetables (wrapped in crispy fried thin pastry with a sweet chilli dip)

Kanompang Na Moo (tasty fried spicy pork on sliced toasted bread with a cucumber dip)

Som Tam (delicious Thai papaya salad)

Rice (Thai Jasmine Rice)

For more information on the catering services of Thai Gourmet or to book a meal please visit and click on catering or go to

Again we were happy to report on another success and also had a nice note from Alex.

Hello Trevor
Many thanks to you, khun Lek and team for another delicious Thai meal and a seamless service – I love the way you deal with everything with minimum fuss!
There were lots of great comments about the food.
Kind regards

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