Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Eat Yourself Silly

It's happened to you before. You're at a chinese restaurant, and you order a couple dishes. Someone at the table says, 'is that enough?'

Some people have their doubts, but invariably, the standard reply will come - 'it's ok, if there isn't enough, we can always order more.'

So many times, there just isn't enough food to go around; but then, once everything has been eaten, who would REALLY order a second round? You end up going home a little hungry, and before you know it, you're awake at midnight, trying to think of where to go for supper, where you'll have to spend even MORE money.

I know, you're not rich, neither am I, which is why I've decided to publish a friend's (we'll call him Mr. QH) secrets to eating more at a Chinese restaurant (with my expert commentary, of course).


This rule only applies in very select circumstances, but it is fundamental to eating as much as you can. There is a very simple rule of thumb; 65% of the female population is permanently on diet, with 50% of the remaining 35% being able to eat very little. Thus, only about 17.5% of women eat as much as men. You have to watch out for guys, especially fat guys or atheletes. Both are very dangerous due to their healthy appetites. Of course, forewarned is forearmed; the more you know about eating habits, the better you can gauge which table at a free-seating banquet to sit at. If there are many empty seats, see who's sitting there - pretty girls always attract more male company. The best bet is a table almost filled with girls.

Here are some sample tables:


Usually, at chinese dinners, there is always soup, be it sharks' fin, or a poorer imitation. Soon after the soup, they usually serve a cold dish; which do you eat first?

Many of you will answer the soup. YOU ARE WRONG! You may argue that the soup, once cold, will not be nice. However, you are forgetting that the cold dish is the first communal dish to be served, just as everyone is hungry. Be sure to get your share! The soup is already yours; if you're lucky, someone at the table might not like their soup and you might even get TWO bowls; the cold dish, however, will always have people willing to eat it. Make sure you eat all the jellyfish you can, before it disappears. Pineapple slices / cherry bits are also quite popular, so be sure to attack those before the other greedy bastards at your table beat you to it.


Here, we move into the real intricacies of this guide. Based on the basic principle outlined above, we already see that some things are 'yours' whereas some things at a dinner are 'communal'. Soup, being individually portioned, is obviously yours. You can thus save it for later, while happily tucking into all the rest of the food. The same also goes for rice. With the dishes in the centre, though, it's slightly harder to tell. Determining what is logically 'yours', therefore, is thus integral to making sure you don't get ripped off.

First, anything with clear-cut portions is easily divisible. For example, let's say there are five chicken wings, and five people eating. You know for sure that one is yours. The same goes for dim sum. If there's four pieces of siu mai, and four of you eating, one is DEFINITELY yours; it's very bad form of other people to deny you your siu mai tasting rights, after all. You can thus safely ignore these dishes in the initial feeding frenzy.

Next, anything with large bones that remain on your plate (chicken / duck / pork chop with bone) or shells (crab, prawn, lobster) are very easy to keep track of. People who eat a lot of these will immediately be recognizable from their large pile of animal remnants on their plates. Thus, you can go slow with these things. If you see people piling up large piles of shells, be sure to ask them, in as pointed a fashion as you can, something to the effect of, 'hey, is the chicken nice?'

This will draw attention to their greediness, and they will eat slower, because they will think that everyone is watching them. Seize this opportunity to eat more.


Obviously, some things disappear faster than others. The keropok on the chicken dishes, for example, is obviously a hot commodity. This must always be terminated with extreme prejudice. You can keep some on your plate, but be aware that keropok is very visible. Better to chow down on it as quickly as possible, to avoid a noticeable trail of food. Fish, as well, is usually extremely popular, due to the fact that it's expensive, and also delicious. Regard the image below:

Disclaimer: Mr. QH says it's often good to let keropok go, since it's yucky, and also cheap. Go for the fish. Keropok can be made at home, and is for little kids. Real eaters know better.

As you can see, the fish has been totally devoured early on in the dinner, as well as most of the keropok on the chicken. Hopefully, this makes it obvious which elements you should target first.

As a general rule of thumb, however, meat with no bones is always hot property. Don't worry about your rice, you can always eat it with the onions later, since nobody eats the onions. You're a growing individual, and you need your protein.


Your plate can obviously serve as a buffer zone, allowing you to store certain 'hot' commodities, such as that extra bit of fish, or the little bit of meat. However, anything remaining on your plate for too long can become painfully conspicuous. Always remember, clear your plate early, clear it often, and try to get it discreetly changed by the service whenever possible so that you look like you've been eating less than you have.


One of the best things about Chinese cuisine is the ability to serve other people ... with the things you already know are rightfully theirs. Give the biggest eater at the table his share of the chicken early, and he'll have to eat it, or appear greedy, ungrateful, or both. This will occupy him, and free you up to eat all the hotplate beef, you tricky bugger.

Also, don't hold back on ordering something extra. If you feel like having a little glass of wine, indulge yourself. When the bill comes, few people will be thick skinned enough to point out that you had more than your fair share, but hey, you'll go home just that much happier.

Along similar lines, when doing the ordering, don't hesitate to order something you like, which isn't very popular around the table. Always obey your craving for pig liver, chicken feet or random intestines. Challenge your eating buddies to be adventurous, enjoy most of the adventure yourself, then split the bill cleanly down the middle. Sweet.

Other advanced tactics include drawing attention subtly to big eaters. Be sure not to be too obvious; if you appear to care too much, the game is up. Gentle ribbing always works; some other greedy person at the table will get in on the act, and soon you will be able to distract attention away from yourself to the other big eaters, while you chow down.


Always be sure not to point out that you've eaten more than everyone else. You don't want your friends resenting you when the bill comes along. Wait for other people to comment on their state of satiety, especially if you suspect everyone else ate less than you. If you've stuffed yourself silly at everyone else's expense, and they want to go for round 2, always cite being tired, rather than full, as your excuse for heading home to sleep off those well fought for calories.

Hopefully, this helped you in your quest to stuff your face. Until next time, dig in, pig out and get more bang for your buck!

Today's Blog Babe: The Mail Order Bride; she would have made it to the original post, but then, seeing as to how she made all her livejournal archives friends only, there are occasional picture droughts on her site. Don't be like that, leh, miss, we're all very friendly, you know.


Blogger AcidFlask spewed forth...

lol, that's priceless. At least you guys have access to a REAL chinese restaurant there. :(

12/4/05 02:19  
Blogger jllt spewed forth...

Haha! Great work! Must teach people to get the choice portions too! Like the drumstick of chicken, the chin/cheeks of fish...

I'll print this out into a manual and bring to the next wedding dinner I attend.

12/4/05 04:06  
Blogger Adrian spewed forth...

I do much the same thing, but at drinking sessions. Everyone pays an equal amount, while I am usually the only one sloshed, heheh.

12/4/05 06:36  
Blogger spatick spewed forth...

Haha great guide! You left out an important part about the "Last-Piece syndrome" in which the last piece of meat/veg on a table is always left behind...A shrewed diner will avoid taking the last piece at all costs as it makes it painfully obvious that he is 'greedy'!

Heres a tip on acquiring the last piece without losing any face:

Offer the last piece around to everyone, claiming they should 'finish it'...the targets will usually decline politely and return the pleasantries to you..whereby u reply 'Ok i wont stand on ceremony then' and claim your prize.

12/4/05 07:58  
Anonymous nilsinelabore spewed forth...

So are u going to blog about your upcoming karaoke competition organized by the HKSA? I heard you are representing SAMSU?

12/4/05 08:58  
Blogger Daniel spewed forth...

haha...strategies for chinese cruisine dining....sweet!

12/4/05 09:03  
Anonymous Jol spewed forth...

Hahahaha this is fantastic.

12/4/05 09:33  
Blogger jordangoh spewed forth...

You left out something very important. That is, the drinking part.

Being a lousy drinker, I HATE it when I go to dinners with my kakis where drinks are served.

I take 300ml of beer, they guzzle down 300lt each. When it's time to settle the bill, we'll split everything e-q-u-a-l-l-y cause I'm not that "thick skinned" like you suggested.


So there. AVOID going to dinners with champion drinkers.

12/4/05 09:34  
Anonymous Anonymous spewed forth...





12/4/05 10:36  
Blogger Claris spewed forth...

god.. y are u making me hungry in every entry..food food food.. slurp! but good analysis there!

One more thing to add, u can choose to go sit with whole lot of kids when u go for these sort of banquets.

kids dont eat much. :p

12/4/05 11:00  
Blogger ~*Starryluvly*~ spewed forth...

You forgot to mention another worthy competitor: the angmoh male.

I noticed a fair few angmoh guys will shovel in more than their share before anyone else at the table has had a go a the dish. So you should try and get your share before they do!!

Or maybe this just applies to the guys I date...?

12/4/05 11:18  
Blogger jllt spewed forth...

By the way, here's a site for you, Mr J.


12/4/05 11:23  
Blogger Mail Order Bride spewed forth...

Hey thanks for the link! ;)

12/4/05 11:35  
Blogger Gabrielle spewed forth...

hey man, was surfing ard, stumbled into this http://www.xanga.com/home.aspx?user=kimfluttersby

think she's quite chio. haha. can post in your next blog post as babe of the day? heehee

12/4/05 12:05  
Blogger Injenue spewed forth...

haha you are now officially the place where i come to find chio bu bloggers lolz...

12/4/05 12:30  
Anonymous Anonymous spewed forth...

"Give the biggest eater at the table his share of the chicken early, and . . . [t]his will occupy him, and free you up to eat all the hotplate beef, you tricky bugger."

man, i totally love this. i thanks you for bringing laughter when it is most appreciated.

12/4/05 14:10  
Anonymous Anonymous spewed forth...

you are crazy

come eat dinner with us

sam & emma

12/4/05 18:01  
Blogger miss jurisfiction spewed forth...

Haha, how true.

How about some advise on dealing with greedy husband/dad. There is this uncle of mine who is always the first to strike; saves ALL the best pieces for his family and leaving others the benefit of inferior bits.

12/4/05 20:05  
Anonymous Gabe spewed forth...

This is damn HILARIOUS!!!!!

hats off to you man, Joel!! I've been wanting to archive this for a long time!

my goodness, i can't stop laughing. cool shit cool shit... especially so because we have the same experience... lucky for you... for me, i face this practically all the time!

12/4/05 22:10  
Anonymous SugarRush spewed forth...

wahahahahhaha......... u're so smart man!!! next time i must try that too! cos sometimes i want to eat more a..but so paiseh.. so scared the pple at the table can see how greedy i am.. hahaha...
anyways.. here's my email: fullofhope84@yahoo.com

Thanks yah!

13/4/05 02:07  
Blogger Army of me spewed forth...

Fuckin funny..mind if I linked you?okay i already did..so its just a routine question..Now if only I had this guide before I attended all my graduation nights.I would have been dateless,true but still well-fed..

13/4/05 02:14  
Blogger J Schnorng spewed forth...

jh: Sorry to hear UIUC is so shit. Too bad lah, what to do...come up to chi-town more often, lor!

t: Yes; I was worrying about the whole choice portion thing; mr. qh said, never mind - usually you can make up for it by eating the really expensive stuff with no bones. The guy is really quite an expert on these things, you know. He thinks about eating a lot. Oh, and regarding your site rec - you tempt me with food so often, miss! it's damn nerve-wracking, you know! argh!

AQ: Wah, the problem is, if you get too sloshed drinking, you might suddenly feel generous and over-pay. For this reason, I always carry damn little money around with me. It's a good tactic, I think.

spatick: yalor - the last piece; in some situations, offering it around is good, but then, usually, with big guys, they will chomp it regardless. sometimes, it's easier to just sneakily take it and hope nobody notices. usually, even if they do, they won't say, especially if it's buried in vegetables, etc.

nsl: eh? are you from u of c? who are you ah?

daniel: he who got no strategy is lost.

jol: always happy to entertain you darling.

jordan: unfortunately, I'm a fucking great drinker, hence often don't pay attention to this.

IA IA: aiyah miss, you asked for TOMORROW'S entry, what - there? you see? like i promised.

claris: yah lor...kids are always the best to sit with, from an eating point of view. however, i don't get to eat with kids that often, and when i do, you don't even need a strategy. when i was in the orphanage in japan, i'd always have a shitload to eat, because the kids would be done, and there'd be food left over, and i'd be, like, 'eh, why not.'

starry: wah, you date angmoh guys ah? so happening!

juicypout: oh, any time, miss.

gabrielle: heehee...thanks for the rec...i'll keep her on the list somewhere (it's getting longer every day, i say!)

injenue: cool. i like chiobu bloggers.

z: haha...you're welcome, i guess.

sam & emma: shit. you should have called me. i'll call tomorrow i guess.

miss juris: do a pre-emptive strike, and help his kids to the lousy bits. no matter how thick-skinned he is, he can't give his kids TWO helpings, right? either that or just zero in on the good part first.

gabe: heh - all thanks to your roommate, leh! haha.

sugarrush: paiseh is always the first stumbling block to getting ahead. thick skin is essential to sucess!

nethia: haha, well fed is underrated. being dated doesn't make you sated. people fight wars over food, not love; the trojan war was actually fought over helen's ability to make lamb souvlaki.

13/4/05 03:45  
Blogger ~*Starryluvly*~ spewed forth...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

13/4/05 05:07  
Blogger ~*Starryluvly*~ spewed forth...

Well, it helps that the majority of men in Australia are angmoh... lmao.

13/4/05 05:09  
Blogger J Schnorng spewed forth...

starry: orrr - you're in austraylliah, ehhh??? aye seee....

14/4/05 03:19  
Blogger ~*Starryluvly*~ spewed forth...

yep... am studying in the land of the nasal accents. If you don't mind.. I shall link you in my blog. =)

14/4/05 08:09  
Blogger J Schnorng spewed forth...

I don't mind at all, miss.


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