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Asian Dining Rules [Kindle Edition]

Steven A. Shaw
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (52 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $15.95
Kindle Price: $8.00
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Sold by: HarperCollins Publishers

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Book Description

Most Asian restaurants are really two restaurants: one where outsiders eat, and one where insiders dine. So how can you become an insider and take full advantage of Asian cuisines?

In this indispensable guide, dining expert Steven A. Shaw proves that you don't have to be Asian to enjoy a VIP experience—you just have to eat like you are. Through entertaining and richly told anecdotes and essays, Asian Dining Rules takes you on a tour of Asian restaurants in North America, explaining the cultural and historical background of each cuisine—Japanese, Chinese, Southeast Asian, Korean, and Indian—and offering an in-depth survey of these often daunting foodways. Here are suggestions for getting the most out of a restaurant visit, including where to eat, how to interact with the staff, be treated like a regular, learn to eat outside the box, and order special off-menu dishes no matter your level of comfort or knowledge.

Steven Shaw—intrepid reporter, impeccable tastemaker, and eater extraordinaire—is the perfect dining companion to accompany you on your journey to find the best Asian dining experience, every time.

Editorial Reviews


“With Shaw’s Dining Rules under your belt, you’ll be ordering like a regular.”

About the Author

Steven A. Shaw, aka "The Fat Guy," is the founder of the phenomenally successful eGullet website, a James Beard Award-winning food critic, and a contributor to Saveur, Crain's New York Business, and many other publications. He lives in New York City with his wife and son.

Product Details

  • File Size: 283 KB
  • Print Length: 274 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0061255599
  • Publisher: HarperCollins e-books; Original edition (October 6, 2009)
  • Sold by: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B001HPW9QK
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #990,211 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining October 22, 2008
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This little book is a very entertaining read. Part storytelling, part instructional, often very personal, every page is engaging. Steven Shaw writes in a style that is something between a columnist's approach and an essayist's. The result is a series of interesting, short segments that loosely hang together within each of the cuisine-specific chapters of the book. The closest comparison I might make to the flow is to a travel show on television.

Is the author authoritative on the topic? I can't honestly say, though I'm mostly convinced. I hedge because of issues with the advice itself - the "rules" referenced in the title - and the limited coverage. See more below on that. The book carries two Asian heavyweight endorsements on the front and back covers, though: Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto and Martin Yan of Yan Can Cook. So presumably the educational content is accurate.

This is a 250 page book that covers 5 major cuisines. Each cuisine chapter is, therefore, regrettably limited, especially when you toss in all the personal stories and offbeat - if interesting - segues (e.g., pairing French wines with Japanese food). And there's the rub - the book is supposed to be about "dining rules," here meaning what you need to know and how to act in order to be treated like an insider and get the good stuff. The overview-level coverage winds up coming short of the goal, in turn leading to the doubts concerning the author's authority mentioned above.

The Japanese section illustrates all the points mentioned above. The entire section is only about 50 pages long.
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15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Title is misleading October 23, 2008
By Laura I
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I assumed this would be a book about 'Asian dining rules' and I was pretty much wrong. Maybe I have a different definition of what 'rules' are, but I assumed that meant things like etiquette, what not to do, etc. I love going to eat at authentic asian restaurants and figured this book would show me how to interact with the staff properly.

In my opinion, the book seemed like it was aimed more at people who had never ate at an Asian restaurant before (who those people are, I have no idea). The advice was common sense, like if you go to a Chinese buffet, fill your plate right when it's brought out from the kitchen so that the food is fresh. And, avoid the lomein because it'll fill you up. The Japanese section of the book focused almost entirely on sushi, and frankly I think there's a lot more to Japanese cuisine than that. It's sort of like writing a book about Italian food and only talking about pizza. I had figured this book was going to tell me things like what 'itadakimasu' means, etc.

Like I said, I think this would be a good book for someone who really hasn't had much by the way of Asian food, and would like help choosing menu items. But if you already have a passion for is, you should probably pass this one up.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fun Read! November 1, 2008
By RG3
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Reading Asian Dining Rules is like spending time with a good (and funny!) friend who explains what food critics already know about how Asian restaurants really work and how to get the most out of your experience. He takes you through Guerrilla Sushi Tactics, explains "Thai spicy", and lets you in on the secret of the Two Menus in Chinese restaurants. The real stories about families who have started and run their own restaurants are great. I find myself thumbing through the book before heading out to Asian restaurants now. I would recommend the book to both novice and experienced diners.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A book on Asian food that is a page turner? October 30, 2008
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I have an interest in Asian culture and history, and so thought this book might prove interesting. I never assumed that it would be such a page turner. Within the pages of this book lies advice for eating in restaurants, etiquette rules, history, and much more. Of course, the author gives advice on how to make the most of your dining experience, but what makes the book really interesting is all the stories the author has to tell of his personal experiences. This book is well worth reading for anyone with an interest in Asian foods and Asian culture.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Must For Asian Food Junkies October 28, 2008
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Like author and famed foodie Steven A. Shaw, I enjoy eating at Asian restaurants A LOT. Therefore, ASIAN DINING RULES, packed as it is with useful information about the most popular Asian cuisines in North America, may well approach Biblical status with me. Whether your favorites are Japanese, Chinese, Southeast Asian, Korean or Indian, Shaw very likely knows much that you don't about your cuisine of choice. (He has the perhaps unfair advantages of living in NYC, being a culinary expert, and having lots of Asian friends, but that is beside the point.) Chapters are arranged by region, with Japanese and Chinese getting the most coverage. Indian gets the least, perhaps reflecting Shaw's order of preference, or perhaps his degree of's hard to tell.
Of particular interest are the descriptions of unusual dishes, for those who like to eat "outside the box", and strategies for obtaining non-menu items, as well as dishes not geared so much toward "Western" taste. The chapters include many side essays on various related topics, and these should definitely not be skipped over, as some fascinating info is to be found there. Alas, there will always be those diners whose idea of great Asian cuisine mainly consists of Pu-Pu Platters and Fried Rice, and this fine book is certainly not for them. For the rest of us, ASIAN DINING RULES is a must.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Read This Book Before You Go To An Asian Restaurant
I learned a lot from this book, and I have already taken several tips from it. It is informative and very easy reading.
Published 1 month ago by Penelope Shaw
1.0 out of 5 stars Totally misleading title. Buy a bunch of Asian cookbooks instead, even...
This is not a book about Asian dining etiquette. This is mainly a book about Asian food served in the US and what you need to know to get the most out of the experience. Read more
Published on December 7, 2010 by Jackal
3.0 out of 5 stars Moderately entertaining not actually instructional
I read this book the first time and came away with the feeling that I hadn't learned very much from it... Read more
Published on October 16, 2010 by C. J. Thompson
4.0 out of 5 stars Decent primer for asian cuisine neophytes
Steven Shaw's, "Asian Dining Rules" is a decent primer for neophytes to the wide-world of Asian cuisines and makes for a light, fun read for those with many belly-fulls of... Read more
Published on September 16, 2010 by Sibelius
5.0 out of 5 stars Asian dinibg info
The book is in excellent condition, transport time was just a bit longer than usual, but I an very satisfied. I would prefer that a bill not be included in a gift.
Published on September 6, 2010 by EP
4.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating and fun read
Steven Shaw is a New York Jew, which automatically makes him something of an expert on Chinese food at least. Read more
Published on May 27, 2010 by Stacy Alesi
4.0 out of 5 stars Asian Dining Rules!
See what I did there, making the title into a pun by adding an exclamation mark? Well, all humor aside, this is a very good introduction for those who have never eaten at an Asian... Read more
Published on May 17, 2009 by Zekeriyah
3.0 out of 5 stars Cursory Look but Good For True Culinary Beginners
I was somewhat led to believe from the cover that this would be a tips and cultural guide to various Asian cuisines and while the book does contain that, it does so very... Read more
Published on April 20, 2009 by Carl Cheng
4.0 out of 5 stars Great for the adventurous but relatively inexperienced palette.
The title of Steven Shaw's breezy little reader ASIAN DINING RULES can be taken two ways; first as a rundown of the rules that one should abide by when dining in Asian restaurants,... Read more
Published on April 16, 2009 by Brian T
3.0 out of 5 stars decent guide to asian dining
A little too narrow in scope to be of much practical use, but provides a good guide to asian dining.
Published on March 19, 2009 by Adam
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