Do you want to sound like a local when you order dishes in Chinese?Or perhaps you’ve always wanted to try some authentic food in a local Chinese restaurant – but weren’t confident enough about your Chinese? That’s all right! Today we’ll share some handy phrases that native Chinese speakers use when they go to a restaurant.
1. 点菜 (Diǎn cài) Order Dishes
Want to have a look at the menu, or ready to order? Use these phrases:
Nǐhǎo, qǐng gěi wǒ càidān.
Hello. Bring me the menu, please.
Yǒu shénme tuījiàn de cài ma?
Can you recommend any dishes?
Wǒmen xiān kàn yīxià càidān, yīhuìr diǎncài.
We’ll have a look at the menu first, and then order.
Nǐhǎo, wǒ chīsù, kěyǐ bù fàng ròu ma?
Hello, I’m vegetarian. Can you serve (this dish) without meat?
Wǒ duì….. guòmǐn.
I’m allergic to…
2. 催服务员快点儿上菜 (Cuī fúwùyuán kuài diǎnr shàng cài) Urge a waiter to serve faster
Don’t want to wait for your food for too long, or would like certain dishes to be served earlier than the rest? Use these phrases:
Nǐhǎo, qǐng xiān shàng yīxià mǐfàn.
Hello. Bring us the rice first, please.
Nǐhǎo, wǒmen de cài kěyǐ kuài diǎnr ma? Wǒmen kuài chīwán le.
Hello. Can you bring the rest of the dishes faster? We are almost finished with this one.
Bù hǎoyìsi, wǒmen gǎn shíjiān, [xxx] cài bù yào le.
Sorry, we are in a hurry. Please cancel the [dish name].
3. 菜里有虫子或者别的东西 (Cài lǐ yǒu chóngzi huòzhě biéde dōngxi) Something is wrong with the food
Not that it’s a common thing to ever say in a restaurant, but…. life happens. Found a fly in your soup? Want to complain about the food or service? Here’re some phrases you can use:
Nǐ hǎo, kěyǐ zhǎo yīxià nǐmen jīnglǐ ma?
Hello. Can I speak to the manager?
Zhège cài kěyǐ miǎn dān ma?
Can we have this dish for free?
4. 买单 (Mǎidān) Pay the bill
Finished with your meal? Ready to pay? Then it’s time to ask for the bill:
Nǐhǎo, mǎidān, kěyǐ Wēixìn ma?
Hello, bill, please. Can I use WeChat?
Qǐngwèn kěyǐ kāi fāpiào ma?
Can I get an invoice?
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